Preserving Oklahoma

The Salina Courthouse is a recent success story of Preservation Oklahoma. Photos courtesy Preservation Oklahoma.

The Salina Courthouse is a recent success story of Preservation Oklahoma. Photos courtesy Preservation Oklahoma.

“The Endangered Historic Places List is an effort to raise awareness about historic sites and preservation issues, but it has also been a powerful mechanism for saving significant buildings,”

Many are familiar with the plight of endangered species in Oklahoma, but what about endangered historic places? Preservation Oklahoma, a nonprofit organization based in Oklahoma City, addresses just that. The organization, now in its 21st year of helping preserve and protect historic Oklahoma structures and spaces, recently announced its 2014 list of Oklahoma’s Most Endangered Historic Places. The list includes Westhope, a 1929 home built by Frank Lloyd Wright; J. Paul Getty Bunker, a structure that served as the famed oilman’s home during World War II; the Union Bus Station and surrounding block in downtown Oklahoma City; the Oklahoma State Capitol; and the Eastern Oklahoma Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Talihina.

Preservation Oklahoma hopes that the sites on this year’s list will benefit from attention and draw focus to diverse places represented in the state’s history, says David Pettyjohn, the organization’s executive director.

Buildings that have appeared on earlier lists have gone on to be restored, he adds. The Mayo Hotel in downtown Tulsa serves as a great example of an endangered historic place that was brought back to life.

“The Endangered Historic Places List is an effort to raise awareness about historic sites and preservation issues, but it has also been a powerful mechanism for saving significant buildings,” Pettyjohn says.

For more about the list, visit www.preservationok.org.