PONCA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – The Keller-Williams Real Estate office is brand new as of November of 2022.
Owners Russ and Tracy Didlake still love showing it off to people in town, especially those with an appreciation of its unique history.
“Did you have all this in mind?” we ask on an arranged tour.
“In our dreams,” smiles Russ. “It’s very iconic to the community.”
In 1925, as oil man, and later governor, E.W. Marland was laying plans for his ‘Palace on the Prairie’, he bought some property just to the south and had stonemasons build a barn with arches so they could practice before starting on his big house.
“To prove themselves,” states Russ.
The 4-Arches Barn and the property it sat on went back to the original owners after the Marland Mansion was complete.
The structure served its life as a dairy barn, then an abandoned barn for 30 years after that.
“It had collapsed,” recalls Didlake when he took over the property. “It was very close to the point of no return.”
Russ and Tracy knew the barn was here when they bought the property a decade ago, but they didn’t really know what they were going to do with it.
“After we put in on paper we started talking to a local architect,” he says.
Tracy adds, “This was his dream. He loved it and had a passion for it.”
In 2015, they decided to put the stonework back together.
It didn’t take long for Russ to start drawing up more ambitious plans the rebuild it completely.
Slowly but surely the picture took shape.
The finished barn turned office also features loft spaces joined by a grand staircase.
Russ says, “Once the roof trusses were up we realized we’d turned the corner.”
There were plenty of delays, lots of corrections, and inevitable complications.
Somewhere along the way their real estate investment became much more a labor of love.
“I always thought it was a special place,” he says.
But they’re both glad they saved this place, especially now.
Its connection to the more famous structure nearby completes a picture that many worried might be lost to history.
The old 4 Arches Barn isn’t a barn any longer.
“I absolutely love it,” he smiles. “I love coming to work every, single day.”
The restored barn sits along the north side of Lake Drive in Ponca City just east of the Pioneer Woman sculpture.
Great State is sponsored by WEOKIE Credit Union