A new vision is taking shape for a green space in the center of Oklahoma City. A refuge for exploration, Red Ridge will combine historic preservation and conservation with education and a direct connection to nature.

Red Ridge Announces Appointment of Deputy Director


Located on 133 acres of wooded land near Northeast 50th Street and Lincoln Boulevard, Red Ridge sits at the north entrance of our state’s Capitol corridor. 


In the coming years, Kirkpatrick Philanthropies intends to transform this landscape — including the historic R.J. Edwards home — into a nature preserve and study center in the heart of Oklahoma City.

Our similar projects include Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, Mollie Spencer Farm (Yukon, Oklahoma), and several properties improved by the Historic Green Mountain Falls Foundation (Colorado).


To learn more about our vision for Red Ridge, please read our FAQs below or email us at info@redridgeokc.org.


Where is Red Ridge and what is its history?

Red Ridge encompasses approximately 133 acres northeast of the intersection at Northeast 50th Street and Lincoln Boulevard in Oklahoma City. It features a house designed by architect Harold Gimeno and built by Mr. and Mrs. R.J. Edwards in 1934. The residence eventually became the Oklahoma Museum of Art, a precursor to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art in downtown Oklahoma City. During its time as a private museum, Red Ridge exhibited artists such as Andrew Wyeth, Peter Hurd, Doel Reed, and the West Coast Watercolor Society. The house has been abandoned since 1990.

When did the Kirkpatrick Family Fund purchase the property?

On July 27, 2023, Kirkpatrick Family Fund Real Estate, LLC, a subsidiary of Kirkpatrick Family Fund (an affiliated fund of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation), won an auction to purchase the property. The seller was the Commissioners of the Land Office (CLO), a constitutionally created agency of the State of Oklahoma. The Kirkpatrick Family Fund closed on the property on August 31, 2023. Wiggin Properties assisted with the process.

What are the plans for Red Ridge?

Kirkpatrick Philanthropies plans to restore and preserve the property and ultimately create the Red Ridge Study Center and Nature Preserve. It may include amenities such as a library, outdoor classrooms, and meeting spaces for the benefit of Oklahoma City residents and visitors. Preliminary plans include a restoration of the Mediterranean-style main house. (The name Red Ridge, chosen by Kirkpatrick Philanthropies, harks to the residence’s evolution into an art museum.) The surrounding green space has the potential to include community vegetable gardens and perhaps outdoor sculpture. Existing and future partnerships would inform programming and education opportunities.

Who manages Red Ridge?

Lance Swearengin is the deputy director of Red Ridge.

What is the timeline for Red Ridge?

Red Ridge is a long-term project to be completed in phases. A phase-one opening date could be as far away as 2026 or even 2027. The first priority is to secure the property.

Has Kirkpatrick Philanthropies completed similar projects?

Yes. Since 1955, Kirkpatrick Foundation and Kirkpatrick Family Fund have a long and established history of property acquisition, development, management, preservation, and conservation as part of their nonprofit and philanthropic missions. Recent endeavors include Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center at 11th and Broadway in Oklahoma City, major capital improvements at Mollie Spencer Farm in Yukon, and acquisitions and capital improvements in Green Mountain Falls, Colorado.

What is Kirkpatrick Family Fund (the parent entity of Kirkpatrick Family Fund Real Estate LLC)?

Kirkpatrick Family Fund is an Oklahoma City philanthropy started in 1989 by John and Eleanor Kirkpatrick. The mission of Kirkpatrick Family Fund is to invest in ideas, leadership, and programs that contribute to and advance the cultural, intellectual, and societal interests of its community. Kirkpatrick Family Fund is guided by the values of Integrity, Leadership, and Innovation; it accomplishes its mission by supporting organizations with bold, capable leadership and programs that are effective in addressing community needs.

What is the history of these philanthropies in northeast Oklahoma City, where Red Ridge is located?

In 1976, founder John Kirkpatrick established Omniplex (now Science Museum Oklahoma) on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard next to the Oklahoma City Zoo. In April 1978, the Kirkpatrick Planetarium officially opened. More recently, in 2011, Kirkpatrick Foundation and Kirkpatrick Family Fund made a $1 million leadership gift to the Oklahoma Zoological Society (also founded by John Kirkpatrick) to build the Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital at the Oklahoma City Zoo. This private-public partnership has set the standard for zoo hospitals around the country. The philanthropies also have a history of support for the Millwood School District, Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City, Langston University, Restore, the Metropolitan Better Living Center, Freedom City, Oklahoma Historical Society, Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma’s Camp Trivera, and many other organizations.

How can I receive updates about Red Ridge?

Please email info@RedRidgeOKC.org and provide your contact information. We will share periodic updates about our progress via email, this website, and future social-media accounts.