Well preserved

Twenty years ago,
Preservation Oklahoma, Inc., made its debut as the state’s only private
nonprofit dedicated to promoting historic places and buildings.

Founded in 1992, the group since has played key roles in the preservation of the Skirvin Hilton Hotel, the Journal Record Building, Centre Theater and the Gold Dome.

Those
success stories and others will be told during a daylong symposium
hosted by Preservation Oklahoma Thursday, as part of the group’s 20th
anniversary celebration.

“This
is an opportunity for the public from across the state to learn about
issues that impact historic preservation,” said David Pettyjohn,
executive director of Preservation Oklahoma. “They will learn about
restoring historic downtowns and the importance of their history as told
through their buildings.”

There are, of course, obstacles for any preservation project, as funding isn’t always available.

“As
the economic and political climate continues to present challenges to
historic preservation, it is vital that the importance of protecting our
state’s cultural heritage be emphasized,” said Barrett Williamson,
president of the board of directors for Preservation Oklahoma.

Later
on Thursday, the group will host a party to commemorate its two decades
of preservation work while also offering a vision for the future. The
celebration will be at The Caliber, in a restored loft in Automobile
Alley, an example of historic preservation.

“We
hope to show people a different side of historic preservation — one
that demonstrates that modern living does not have to be sacrificed to
honor the historical integrity of a structure,” Williamson said.

The
party will feature the premiere of a video that chronicles the
existence of Preservation Oklahoma, a presentation by best-selling
author and Route 66 expert Michael Wallis, and the recognition of
Preservation Oklahoma’s founding board members. In addition, the
organization will inaugurate the Preservation Oklahoma Young Leadership
Award honoring Kristen Vails, executive director of the Plaza District
Association.

The celebration, which kicks off with drinks and hors d’oeuvres, will feature music from Beau Jennings and the Tigers.

Tim Farley

This material falls under the archives category because it was imported from our previous website. It will eventually be filtered into the proper category as time allows.

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