Improving Community Appearance
Ponies on Parade
Ponies on Parade is a public art project that was designed to help make Midwest City more lively for citizens and to help create a visual interest in the Cityscape. It provides an aesthetic for citizens, encouraging visitor’s to linger in destination areas. It increases the knowledge of the history and culture of Midwest City and provides a colorful aesthetic interest to public areas.
The pony was chosen because of the unique history of the pony-lot houses, which were successful as a result of a marketing technique employed by City Founder W.P. Atkinson to sell homes in the Ridgecrest Country Estates. Parents would fall in love with the home and the children would fall in love with the pony in the backyard that came with the house. Ponies could be cared for at home or boarded at the nearby stable on the corner of 10th and Midwest Boulevard.
Many residents do not know that story and the ponies were a way to spark conversation about Midwest City’s history. Seven ponies currently brighten up the Cityscape. Artists were picked by committee and paid a stipend for their designs. Each pony has a sponsor, a title and a plaque. More ponies may be added in the future.
Artworks & Artists
|1||Where the Art of the Land Flies High||MWC High School 2013||Cy Valanejad||Rose Rock Office Park|
|2||Where Inspiration Flies High||Carl Albert High School||Cy Valanejad||Bowling Green Shopping Center|
|3||Where Imagination Flies High||Ken Owen||City of Midwest City 2012||Library|
|4||Where Liberty Flies High||Ken Owen||City of Midwest City 2012||29th Street|
|5||Where Leadership Flies High||Ken Owen||MWC Leadership Class 2012||Near Charles Johnson Park|
|6||Where the Spirit Flies High||Bob Palmer||Welcome Center||Welcome Center|
|7||Courage to Take the Lead||Ken Owen||MWC Leadership Class 2012||YMCA|
29th Street and Air Depot Blvd. Utility Lines
Burying power lines makes a huge difference in the aesthetics of a City Scape. At this high profile intersection, it was critical to invest in burying the power lines.
Midwest Blvd Rock Wall
The Original Mile Revitalization Plan recommended building a wall along Midwest Boulevard. The residences backing up to Midwest Boulevard were bordered by a mix of stockade wood and chain link fences. The fence line was considered an eyesore that presented a poor first impression to visitors. Additionally, residents felt that their yards should be screened from traffic since they backed up to an arterial street. The recommendation was for a brick wall with wrought iron on the top. However, a rock wall was chosen because it served the same function at a lower cost to citizens.
The Original Mile Landscaped Islands and Markers
The Original Mile Area of Midwest City represents the oldest residential development in the city. The area is the focus of the Revitalization Plan for the Original Mile completed by consultants Ochsner, Hare & Hare in December of 2011. The plan evaluated existing conditions and recommended actions for the enhancement and revitalization of the area. The Original Mile was designed with 15 grassy medians that create eyebrow-like streets placing the islands in the middle of housing clusters like an eye. The 15 islands presented an opportunity to create usable green space to enhance the appearance of the neighborhood.
A Hospital Authority grant was awarded to develop the islands into little focal points of beauty with flowers and neighborhood markers. Rain gardens were built into a couple of the islands to help with draining issues as well.
Rain gardens were a new concept for Midwest City. They are basically bio-retention areas in existing street medians that allows rainwater to be held and released slowly into the ground. Underground irrigation pipe spreads water flow into all areas of the median. The trees, plants, mulch and soil in a rain garden combine natural, physical, biological and chemical processes to remove pollutants from runoff. A rain garden reduces pollution while providing a landscaped area that is easy to maintain and requires little or no watering. Trees and plants that are both wet and drought tolerant, grasses, shrubs and perennials have been identified for planting in these areas. The City monitors the rain gardens and provides ongoing maintenance.
Historic Ridgecrest Sign Refurbished
The City of Midwest City was awarded a small grant from the Midwest City Memorial Hospital Authority for the purpose of refurbishing the historic Ridgecrest Neighborhood sign which had fallen into disrepair over the years. The lettering had completely fallen off leaving only the words Country Estates which was not the name of the neighborhood but described the type of lots that were being sold.
The Ridgecrest Neighborhood was famous for the pony-lot houses. When Mr. Atkinson began developing the Ridgecrest Addition in the 1950’s and early 60’s, each home purchased came with a Shetland pony. The homes were marketed as “Country Estates” because they were more expensive and included a larger yard than those in the Original Mile. While the parents were touring the new homes for sale, Mr. Atkinson would take the children to the backyard to show them the pony. The parents had a hard time saying no to a pony lot home. Some of the early Ridgecrest homes still have small stables in their back yards, however, not all of the home owners wanted to care for a pony at home. Most ponies were kept at the pony stable at the Mr. Atkinson’s home on an acreage that was located at 10th and Midwest Boulevard. It is now called The Atkinson Heritage Center. The pony stable and corral where Ridgecrest residents boarded ponies can still be visited.