Preservation is Golden: Oklahoma's 28th Annual Statewide Preservation Conference

The Oklahoma Historical Society, State Historic Preservation Office, and its partners presented Preservation is Golden: Oklahoma's 28th Annual Statewide Preservation Conference, June 1-3, 2016, in downtown Enid. The conference is one of the ways Oklahoma's preservation partners are joining the Preservation50 celebration.

Conference sessions highlighted the many accomplishments in the preservation of the Nation's and Oklahoma's heritage that are direct results of the NHPA. Also, we took a look ahead to the challenges and opportunities for historic preservation in the coming decades. Two plenary speakers shared their national perspectives on these topics.

Erik M. Hein presented "The NHPA at 50: Click Here to Save" in the opening plenary session. He is Executive Director of the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, the national membership organization representing "SHPOs" before elected officials, federal agencies, non-governmental organizations and the public. He discussed the many preservation successes that are linked to the NHPA and talked about the national preservation community's goals for the future.

The second plenary speaker was Norma Ramirez de Miess. She is Senior Program Officer and Director of Leadership Development for the National Main Street Center, located in Chicago. She closed the conference with her presentation, "The Changing Face of Preservation and Main Street," which explored the impacts of increasingly changing demographics on local economies and community revitalization efforts nationwide.

Additionally, three concurrent tracks of sessions included:

TRACK A: Preservation50, focusing on the NHPA's impacts on historic preservation in Oklahoma;

TRACK B: Gold Medal Preservation Performances, featuring case studies on the identification, evaluation, restoration, rehabilitation, stabilization, and reconstruction of historic properties;

TRACK C: Golden Opportunities, highlighting the economic and social benefits of historic preservation, the need for a new generation of preservation leaders, and effective preservation organizations.

For more information about Oklahoma's preservation conference history or for details about this year's conference, please go to http://www.okhistory.org/shpo/conference.htm.