Edmond, Oklahoma: Wigwam Church

Nicknamed "The Teepee Church," designed by architect Bruce Goff and built by Hopewell Baptist church congregants 1948-1950. 80-ft. tall conical sanctuary resembles an Indian teepee with exterior oilfield metal trusses.
Address:
5801 N.W. 178th St., Edmond, OK
Directions:
North of Oklahoma City, MacArthur Blvd and W. 178th St.
Hours:
Exterior view only.
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Wigwam Church. Wigwam Church

This church is a very, very bad shape. Very unsafe to go inside the church. I do not know if it will be restored.

[Edith, 08/11/2013]

The church interior continues to be off limits. Apparently asbestos inside has deterred easy demolition or renovation of the structure.

Wigwam Church. Wigwam Church

The church was nicknamed "The Teepee Church" by the locals, for good reason. It was designed by world famous architect Bruce Goff (1904-1982). Goff was self-educated and had the reputation of being extremely creative and fearless in his designs. It is said that Frank Lloyd Wright advised him not to study at an architectural school for fear he would lose the unique style that made him who he was.

Goff became head of the Architecture Department at the University of Oklahoma. He designed about 500 projects over his lifetime, and 140 of them were constructed.

This building was completed in 1951, using scrap materials available to him, such as old drill pipe and native fieldstone. Its teepee shape and oilfield scraps are a reminder of Oklahoma's Native American history and the place oil and gas drilling has played in this State.

Though designed by a famed architect, the building was constructed completely by the church membership, taking four years to complete. The building was featured in Time magazine in 1955. This unique building has stood vacant since 1989, but restoration is planned when funds are available.

[Joel Rayburn, 10/23/2010]

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