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The old Canadian County Jail opened its doors in 1907 and served the County for 78 years. Now it is in a state of great disrepair and the Commissioners voted to tear down the building.

During this Lunch & Learn presentation, participants will learn about Solomon Layton, the architect of the old jail and numerous commercial and residential buildings in Oklahoma, including the State Capitol. The presentation will then focus on the old jail's rich history, particularly several design features that made it unique when it opened in 1907 and that are still unique for an utilitarian building. A poorly worded lease between the County Commissioners and Preservation El Reno greatly contributed to the old Jail's current state of disrepair and its placement on the 2021 Most Endangered Places in Oklahoma list, and we will discuss lessons learned from that process. Next, the presentation will outline the steps taken to reverse a decision from the County Commissioners to destroy the historic Building. Finally, we will conclude with a summary of the vision for the building, which we hope to have fully restored by the Route 66 Centennial in 2026.
Head of the Jail Restoration Committee at Preservation EL Reno
Amy is a lawyer who practices throughout Oklahoma. She has always loved old buildings and admires the craftsmanship that can be found in buildings and furniture. Amy and her husband, Tommy, own one of the oldest homes in El Reno, which was Tommy's childhood dream home. While family members tried to talk them into buying a new home, Amy and Tommy wanted the features that only come with old buildings. Over the last several years, Amy has worked on preservation and recognition of her church's 100 year old sanctuary. The old jail will be Amy's first major renovation project, but she is excited for people to see this amazing building.
Section 106 Coordinator | Historical Archaeologist, OKSHPO