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Oklahoma City in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma — The American South (West South Central)
 

Centennial Land Run Monument Project

 
 
Centennial Land Run Monument Project Marker (<i>tablet 1 of 3</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 21, 2015
1. Centennial Land Run Monument Project Marker (tablet 1 of 3)
Inscription.  
(tablet 1)
This monument commemorating the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889 was almost 25 years in the making. The tireless efforts of several visionary Oklahomans, generous contributions from a trio of initial donors, and extensive funding support from the City of Oklahoma City, the Federal Government, and the State of Oklahoma have ultimately resulted in a monumental bronze sculpture unlike any other in the world.

The concept of a land run monument originated in 1982 when long time Oklahoma City Chamber leader Ray Ackerman and Chamber staff member Stanley Draper, Jr., suggested that a significant and permanent landmark commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Land Run of 1889 be undertaken. The multi-piece sculpture was to be part of a 1989 World's Fair being planned for Oklahoma City. When preparations for the World's Fair were discontinued, consideration of a land run monument was also set aside.

In 1999, Lee Allan Smith — another well-known Chamber and civic leader — renewed interest in the monument, but this time as a keystone element of the 2007 Oklahoma Centennial Commemoration of Statehood. Smith contacted
Centennial Land Run Monument Project Marker (<i>tablet 2 of 3</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 21, 2015
2. Centennial Land Run Monument Project Marker (tablet 2 of 3)
the prestigious Oklahoma artist Paul Moore, who had completed a number of earlier sculpture commissions for Smith. Smith asked Moore to create a clay model depicting the energy, chaos and emotions of the opening moments of the run. Smith's presentations and Moore's maquette won unanimous support for the project at an annual Chamber retreat.

(tablet 2)
Having obtained the support of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Smith soon secured seed funding from the Kerr-McGee Corporation, Luke Corbet, CEO; LaDonna and Herman Minders; and Edward L. and Thelma Gaylord, of the Oklahoma Publishing Company. These early donations were vital in getting the project underway.

Smith then approached Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphries and City Manager Glen Deck, both of whom enthusiastically embraced the project, as did the City Council which in July, 2001 approved $1.7 million for the monument. Deck was succeeded by Jim Couch, who ably assisted by Public Works Director and City Engineer Paul Brum, undertook a major and significant role in both planning and implementing the project.

Smith and Moore realized that the size of the massive monument was critical to its visual impact, and their search took them to a number of locations, including Lincoln Boulevard with its dramatic vistas of the State Capitol. Their quest for the preeminent location ultimately led them
Centennial Land Run Monument Project Marker (<i>tablet 3 of 3</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 21, 2015
3. Centennial Land Run Monument Project Marker (tablet 3 of 3)
to a long, gentle slope on the Bricktown Canal. The site itself promised to become an integral element to the monument, with the incline adding to the forward movement of the work and the canal serving as a simulated river. The City of Oklahoma City again stepped forward by donating the site, undertaking improvements, and pledging perpetual maintenance.

(tablet 3)
A chance encounter on an airliner between Oklahoma Congressman Ernest Istook and Smith would result in Istook becoming one of the project's staunchest champions. In January 2003, Smith was named Chairman of Projects and Events for the Oklahoma Centennial Commission and began working with J. Blake Wade, the Commission's Executive Director. Smith and Wade not only obtained the Centennial Commission's approval of the project, but in May 2004 also secured — as a result of the Congressman Istook's leadership — $2 million from the Federal Government.

Smith and Wade then approached the State of Oklahoma and in May 2005 secured a $1 million appropriation to the monument, with an additional $1 million following in February 2006. Throughout the final years of the monument's long evolution, the steadfast support and significant financial assistance provided the project by the Oklahoma City donors to the Oklahoma Centennial Commemoration sustained the impetus that helped fulfill a decades old dream.

The
Centennial Land Run Monument Project Marker group image. Click for full size.
4. Centennial Land Run Monument Project Marker group
(Crosstown Expressway / Interstate 40 in background)
Oklahoma Centennial Land Run Monument pays tribute to the courageous settlers who on April 22, 1889 helped shape Oklahoma's unique history. It also recognizes present day pioneers who through their untiring dedication to this project have immortalized a defining moment in our state's epic creation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicCharity & Public WorkParks & Recreational AreasSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 35° 27.657′ N, 97° 30.289′ W. Marker is in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in Oklahoma County. Marker can be reached from Centennial Avenue 0.2 miles south of Reno Avenue, on the right when traveling south. Marker is located near the south end of Bricktown River Walk Park, overlooking the Oklahoma Centennial Land Run Monument. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 Centennial Avenue, Oklahoma City OK 73102, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Land Run of 1889 (within shouting distance of this marker); The Unassigned Lands (within shouting distance of this marker); Hell's Half Acre (approx. half a mile away); The Land Run (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named The Land Run (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Building of Oklahoma City
Charging Ahead • Oklahoma Centennial Land Run Monument image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 21, 2015
5. Charging Ahead • Oklahoma Centennial Land Run Monument
(approx. 0.6 miles away); City Hall by Forfeiture (approx. 0.7 miles away); A Summer of Political Unrest (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oklahoma City.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Oklahoma Centennial Land Run Monument
 
Also see . . .
1. Centennial Land Run Monument (Wikipedia). The Centennial Land Run Monument is an art installation by Paul Moore, located in Oklahoma City. It commemorates the Land Run of 1889 in the Unassigned Lands. (Submitted on October 6, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. The Oklahoma City Land Run Monument. At the sound of a cannon shot at noon, the anxious settlers surged forward in a tumultuous avalanche of wagons and horsemen all in one breathtaking instant. Many did not achieve their dream; in the chaos of the mad dash, people were crushed, horses fell, wagons toppled, and fights ensued. Besides, hundreds, maybe thousands, of settlers had already snuck in over the border a day or two sooner, to claim the choicest land. These "sooners", pretending to be exhausted from the mad dash, even having run their horses around in circles to get them all sweaty beforehand,
River Crossing • Oklahoma Centennial Land Run Monument image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 21, 2015
6. River Crossing • Oklahoma Centennial Land Run Monument
made a show of slamming their flags into their chosen ground just as the first legitimate settlers appeared in the distance. (Submitted on October 6, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 6, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 5, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 35 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 6, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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Mar. 6, 2021