Well-known advocate for Oklahoma City’s historic buildings passes away

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Community members across Oklahoma City are mourning the loss of a woman who was an advocate for the city’s historic buildings.

On Friday, officials announced that Lynne Rostochil, the founder of Okie Mod Squad, passed away after battling with health issues.

For more than 10 years, Rostochil worked to preserve historic buildings across Oklahoma City.

In 2017, Rostochil started a petition to save the Donnay building after community members learned that Braum’s planned to tear down the 1948 structure.

“Braum’s is a vital part of this community too. So I would hope that the powers that be at Braum’s would see the petition, they would see how much people love this building, and that they might think twice about tearing it down,” Rostochil told News 4 in 2017.

Ultimately, Braum’s decided to scrap those plans.

Two years later, Rostochil worked to save the iconic First Christian Church from being torn down after it was put on the market in early 2019.

“This building is definitely one of the architectural icons of Oklahoma City. It gives us the distinctive architectural look that we have,” she said.

Rostochil was the granddaughter of R. Duane Conner, one of the architects who designed the First Christian Church in 1956. Her love for historic buildings fueled her passion to preserve the unique structures for future generations.

While trying to save the ‘egg church,’ Rostochil also worked to save the Central National Motor Bank from demolition.

“That’s one thing that Oklahoma is well-known for and we have, used to [have] an abundance of but we’re seeing more and more of these iconic and unusual buildings come down every year,” she said. “That roofline, I mean it looks like ocean waves. Where else are you going to see anything like that? Once that building’s gone, that unique roof design is gone as well, and it’s a treasure I think we should try to keep.”

Earlier this week, the City of Oklahoma City dedicated Nov. 5, 2019 as ‘Lynne Rostochil Historic Preservation Day’

“It is with a very heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of our dear friend and Board Member, Lynne Rostochil. Lynne was a passionate advocate for preservation and always shared her message with grace and a smile. She will be missed by so many. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family,” a statement by the Oklahoma City Foundation for Architecture read.

“Today is an extremely sad day for Ashley and me personally, our staff, the Okie Mod Squad group, and the mid century modern community of Oklahoma with the passing of Lynne Rostochil. We’ve lost a true friend, leader in the community, and a bright light for our state. I know how sad I am, I can only imagine how her boys and husband Chuck feel. Lynne, we know you aren’t suffering anymore, but we will truly miss you,” ReModernOK posted.

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