You might glance at them and then forget they were once a major part of the state’s history.
Preservation Oklahoma wants to change that with their annual Most Endangered Historic Places List.
“To inform Oklahomans about the critical importance of these buildings and what they can contribute to our unique past,” Executive Director of Preservation Oklahoma David Pettyjohn said.
Architects, historians and preservationists came up with the list.
Included are Epworth University Methodist Church in Oklahoma City, the Depression-era Bathhouses in El Reno and the largest of them all, the state Capitol.
“The front gate of the Capitol has been closed for years,” Pettyjohn said.
“There are barricades still being used because of limestone that’s falling from the exterior.”
The State Capitol made the endangered list for the third straight year, and while Pettyjohn thinks the upcoming renovations are a great start, there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done.
“The Capitol has gone through a process that we call demolition by neglect, and over the years it hasn’t had the maintenance and upkeep that’s needed to keep it going,” Project Manager for the State Capitol Trait Thompson said.
They’re hoping the new $120 million project will take them off next year’s list.
Pettyjohn has seen success with raising awareness on these run-down buildings.
“The Skirvin Hotel was on our very first list of endangered places back in 1993,” he said.
The 1911 hotel got a $50 million facelift and is now a premiere hotel for visitors.
That’s wasn’t the case for Stage Center which saw the wrecking ball last year.
“So you win some you lose some, unfortunately,” Pettyjohn said.
2015 List of Oklahoma’s Most Endangered Historic Places
Focus on Dunbar School, Atoka
Focus on Epworth University Methodist Church, Oklahoma City
Riverside Studio, Tulsa (1928)
Oklahoma State Capitol, Oklahoma City (1917)
Star House, Cache (c.1890)
Route 66, Hydro to Bridgeport (1926-1954)
Rock Art, Statewide (Prehistoric)