Perle Mesta Park Development

The land we now enjoy as our neighborhood park, was acquired in July 1974 by the City of Oklahoma City with proceeds from the 1968 General Obligation Bond Issue – and was officially designated as Perle Mesta Park by the City Council in May 1975. Most of the existing homes were sold and removed (as complete units or in parts) in 1976. 

O.W. Skirvin, Perle Mesta’s brother, donated $5,000 for the establishment of the park and “Perle Mesta Plaza.” Historic Preservation Inc, parent organization for Heritage Hills Neighborhood, was an early supporter of the park and donated $15,000 toward its development in 1977.

Playground improvements were funded by a 1995 General Obligation bond issue. And the gazebo was constructed in 2001 with funding from the City’s Early Efforts Neighborhood Grant Program, the Parks Department and Mesta Park Neighborhood. 

Since 2001, the Mesta Park Neighborhood Association and friends of Perle Mesta Park have invested nearly $150,000 in our neighborhood park. Our first initiative was planting four Lacebark Elms along the west side of the park where two ramshackle apartment buildings were removed. The trees were funded by the first (of four) grants from the Margaret Annis Boys Trust through the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.

Dr. Stan and Raina Pelofsky funded the development of a comprehensive plan for the park in 2004. Garden Design Associates’ plan envisioned several crepe myrtle beds, nearly two dozen live oaks throughout the park and a new entrance feature on the southwest corner. The bulk of the landscaping was installed in 2005 with assistance from the Margaret Annis Boys Trust. Another generous donation from the Pelofskys funded the southwest entry feature in 2007. 

In 2009, two major projects were implemented to improve safety. The Southeast entrance to the park was transformed by removing a non-historic wall and replacing it with an open welcoming plaza. New lighting was installed through a partnership with OG&E and Pelco Industries. Both projects were funded by the MPNA and private donors with a generous gift from our neighbors in Heritage Hills.

In 2013, the Pelofskys made another generous donation and sponsored the installation of the terracing on the Southeast corner of the park which completed the setting for Perle Mesta Plaza, the site of Mesta Festa and other neighborhood gatherings.

Proceeds from successful neighborhood fundraising projects (Holiday Home Tour and Mesta Festa) funded the replacement of the water meter that feeds the west side of the park in 2016. This will make it possible to expand the irrigation system in the future. These funds were also utilized to install two new picnic tables in 2017. 


Platted as “University Addition” in 1902 by Anton Classen, Mesta Park was developed in stages, largely between 1906 and 1930. Half the construction was complete by 1915. G.A. Nichols, who later created the Crown Heights district and Nichols Hills, built many houses in the Prairie, Foursquare, Craftsman and other styles popular in the early 20th century, and also planted many of the trees that now characterize the graceful streets of Mesta Park.

The curve at the intersection of NW 18th and Shartel can be attributed to a streetcar line that once served this neighborhood. Streetcars would travel along Shartel, turn onto NW 18th and then connect with another line that ran along Classen Blvd. Some of the more distinguished houses were built on blocks near the streetcar line at Shartel and clustered along Northwest 16th.

Following years of disinvestment, the neighborhood saw revitalization begin in earnest in the late 1970s, and in 1983 the district was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. In 1994, the neighborhood was designated a Historic Preservation District by the Oklahoma City Council. This act preserves buildings that reflect the area’s cultural, social, political and architectural history.
— https://www.okc.gov/departments/planning/design-review-and-historic-preservation/historic-preservation