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Press Release

May 20, 2015

Contact: Melvena Heisch
State Historic Preservation Office, Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 405-522-4484

Tulsa Projects to Receive SHPO's 2015 Citation of Merit

Oklahoma City, Okla.—The Oklahoma Historical Society, State Historic Preservation Office will present its 2015 Citations of Merit during a banquet on Thursday, June 4, in Bartlesville. The banquet is a highlight of "Tradition and Transition: Oklahoma's 27th Annual Statewide Preservation Conference," scheduled for June 3–5. Details about the conference can be found at http://www.okhistory.org/shpo/conference.htm.

Twenty-two citations will be presented for accomplishments in seven Oklahoma communities. The award recognizes positive impacts on the preservation of Oklahoma's historic properties through restoration, rehabilitation, research, planning, public programming and other activities. Five citations will be presented for preservation projects in Tulsa.

Tim Williams will receive the Citation of Merit for his certified rehabilitation of a 1918 commercial building located in Tulsa's Brady Heights Historic District. The building was vacant and boarded up when he acquired the property. Then, the November 2011 earthquakes caused extensive damage to the building's masonry. Due to the deterioration, earthquake damage and subsequent emergency stabilization measures, the SHPO initially determined that the building had lost its historic integrity. However, Williams documented its original character, preserved the remaining historic fabric, rebuilt the exterior to recapture the building's integrity and rehabilitated the interior. He now operates his catering business from the 217 W. Latimer building, a contributing resource to the National Register-listed district.

Shelby Navarro and Rachel Navarro will receive the award for their certified rehabilitation of the commercial property at 1302 E. Sixth St. in Tulsa. Constructed in 1928, the building originally functioned as shops and open bay warehouse space. Today, retail businesses that cater to downtown Tulsa residents occupy the building. It contributes to the Sixth Street Commercial/Residential Historic District, located along E. Sixth from S. Peoria Avenue to the alley between Quaker and Quincy Avenues and is the first certified rehabilitation project in the National Register-listed district.

John Snyder and Tori Snyder will be recognized for a certified rehabilitation project. Oklahoma's architectural legacy is rich with mid-twentieth-century designs, and the Snyders are recognized for their adaptive reuse of two important examples. In 1968 Murray Jones Murray designed city hall and the council room as part of the new civic center campus for the City of Tulsa. Both buildings are contributing resources to the Tulsa Civic Center Historic District, listed in the National Register in January 2012. When the center no longer met the city's needs, a new city hall was constructed and the historic buildings were sold to the Snyders. They converted the buildings to the Aloft Hotel, a twenty-first-century hotel within the historic, mid-century skyscraper's interior.

On January 29, 2014, Group M Investments reopened the historic Casa Loma Hotel as the Campbell Hotel. The rehabilitated hotel features an events center and a full-service restaurant. Constructed on Route 66 in the 1920s, the Casa Loma Hotel offered lodging for visitors to Tulsa's central business district and to the University of Tulsa campus. The hotel is listed in the National Register for its association with Route 66 and as an example of Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. Group M Investments' certified rehabilitation project will ensure that another generation of travelers on the historic highway and others can experience a part of downtown Tulsa's heritage. The project is another example of the importance of the federal and state rehabilitation tax credits in community redevelopment statewide.

St. John's Episcopal Church, GH2 Architects LLC and Magnum Construction, Inc., will receive the citation for their joint preservation effort. Constructed in 1950, St. John's Episcopal Church is an architecturally significant building in midtown Tulsa. To accommodate the congregation's current needs and to protect the building's historic character, the church, with the services of GH2 Architects LLC and Magnum Construction, Inc., rehabilitated an addition to the building and added a new space for events. A new courtyard features a labyrinth, seating areas and new landscape elements. It was sited to enhance views of the existing church tower and to preserve existing trees and fences. The multiuse room was updated and historic interior features were retained. The spaces work together for activities ranging from quiet contemplation at the labyrinth to receptions, ceremonies and presentations.

For more information about the SHPO's awards programs, contact Melvena Heisch at 405-522-4484 or mheisch@okhistory.org or visit http://www.okhistory.org/shpo/shpoawards.htm.

The State Historic Preservation Office is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains 31 museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.

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