Established as one of Preservation Oklahoma’s first programs, Oklahoma’s Most Endangered Historic Places was patterned after a similar annual list produced by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Ralph McCalmont, one of the founding board members of Preservation Oklahoma, had also served on the board of the National Trust and was keenly aware of the program’s impact. Realizing the need for Preservation Oklahoma to focus public attention on the state’s historic structures, the Board of Directors agreed to publish an annual list of “properties and sites which have special historic or architectural significance to our state, but which are in danger of being lost, due to neglect, poor maintenance, obsolescence or other causes.” The purpose of producing this listed was stated by John Mabrey, then the President of Preservation Oklahoma, when he said “if we bring the problems to light of a structure familiar to people, they are more likely to do something about it.”
Over the past twenty years, people have done “something about it.” While inclusion on the list does not guarantee protection or funding, it has proven to be a key component in mobilizing support for the preservation of historic sites by raising each structure’s awareness to a statewide level. The nomination process has evolved to reflect the fact that the public is aware of the need to preserve their local structures. Today, nominations are solicited annually from the public. The nominations are compiled and the formal list is selected by a group of preservation experts, including historians, architects, and archaeologists.
On Monday, March 4, Preservation Oklahoma unveiled the 2019 list of Oklahoma’s Most Endangered Historic Places. The event took place at 5:30pm in the newly renovated Carriage House of the Overholser Mansion. The unveiling serves as the official kickoff of statewide activities focused on the 2019 list and also raises funds that allow Preservation Oklahoma to advance its mission of promoting historic preservation statewide.
ART DECO LEVEL SPONSORS
Tudor Level Sponsors
The American Institute of Architects, Central Oklahoma Chapter
Prairie Level Sponsors
Downtown OKC Partnership
Okie Mod Squad
Oklahoma City Foundation for Architecture
Oklahoma Archeological Survey workshop
+ 2019 Most Endangered Places Exhibit
This free workshop series will be presented by research faculty from the Oklahoma Archeological Survey at the University of Oklahoma. Workshops will contain activities for all ages and are open to the public. OAS will have a simulated archaeological dig, hands-on activities with Oklahoma artifacts, and a chance to try out reconstructing pottery for children. For adults, there will be a chance to identify any artifacts brought in and as well as a brief presentation on precontact Oklahoma and what someone should do if they find an archaeological site.
In addition to the workshops, Preservation Oklahoma will also be displaying its 2019 Most Endangered Places traveling exhibit. This annual list of historic properties serves to spread awareness and will travel throughout the state to continue the discussion of preserving historical buildings.
The program is funded in part by Oklahoma Humanities (OH) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed do not necessarily represent those of OH or NEH.
Save the date for workshops coming near you!
March 30 - Alva - Graceful Arts Center
July 27 – Claremore -Claremore Museum of History
September 21 – OKC -Henry Overholser Mansion | Link to Facebook Event
October 26 – Norman - The Moore-Lindsay Historic House Museum
Help Preservation Oklahoma advocate for the places where Oklahoma history lives by clicking the link below to sign our letter of support.