Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project

 

 
Enterprise Square USA

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Institution Name: Oklahoma Christian University
Original/Historic Place Name: Enterprise Square USA
Location on Campus: Memorial Rd. and Benson Rd.
Date(s) of Construction:
1982original construction Glover, Tom for Glover Smith Bode
Designer: Tom Glover of Glover Smith Bode
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Contemporary (Glossary)
Significance: education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Materials:
Foundation: concrete
Walls: brick
Roof: asphalt
 
Function:
ca. 2004-present (2006)classrooms
ca. 2004-present (2006)other (exhibition space for public free-enterprise economics exhibit)
ca. 2004-present (2006)other (multipurpose meeting center)
 

Narrative:
In 1982, Oklahoma Christian University opened a major exhibit center called Enterprise Square USA. The 60,000 square foot building cost about $5,000,000 for construction, including the exhibits it housed. The center was designed to teach the principles of private enterprise and did so through many interesting techniques. There was a donut shop, for example, which gave visitors a chance to demonstrate the principles of supply and demand by making decisions about making donuts. Another exhibit gave everyone a chance to choose among several occupations/professions and then placed the person in a video scene where he/she would appear in the occupation/profession they had chosen. A room with giant heads paid tribute to such enterprising persons as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, and George Washington Carver by showing artifacts relating to their lives. Other exhibits allowed visitors to see movies, compete in computerized games which demonstrated economic principles, and even hear a quartet from singing heads of famous Americans which taught lessons about the free enterprise system.

Enterprise Square received national attention in various publications and broadcasts and initiallyl drew about 60,000 visitors a year. The building was designed primarily by Tom Glover, architect, and the primary exhibit designer was Rod Lopez Fabraga. Dr. Stafford North, Executive Vice President of the University, coordinated the design and construction of the building and exhibits. Dr. Terry Johnson, President, headed the fundraising for the center.

After about twenty years, the exhibits were closed because the number of visitors was declining and upkeep became prohibitive. Other uses are made of the space today.
 

References:
 

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Last update: November 2006