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SHPO Presents 2008 Awards

The Oklahoma Historical Society's State Historic Preservation Office presented its 2008 Citations of Merit during an awards banquet in Ponca City on June 5, a highlight of Artfully Done: Oklahoma's 20th Annual Statewide Preservation Conference. The recipients have contributed to the preservation of Oklahoma's significant archeological and historic properties through research, public programming, restoration/rehabilitation, and other activities. The recipients included:

1. Rogers State University Public Television

Miami's Coleman Theatre is a 1929 vaudeville and movie palace and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Owned by the City of Miami, the historic theatre's rehabilitation was completed by the Miami Downtown Redevelopment Authority and Friends of the Coleman. Rogers State University Public Television selected the story of the Coleman's rehabilitation and dedication of the community as the subject of an exceptional documentary produced last spring titled, "The Coleman Theatre Beautiful." The production shares the history of the theatre and the story of the people involved in the preservation project. Rogers State University Public television's outstanding effort serves as an educational tool and as a record of a highly significant local preservation initiative. Congratulations to the officials and staff of RSU Public Television.

2. Donna Broyles

The Citation of Merit is presented to Ms. Broyles for her adaptive reuse of Newkirk's historic Masonic Building. Ms. Broyles and her business partner, Sue McAnnich, leased space in the 1925 building for the location of their quilt shop. Kay County owned the building and used most of it for storage. Ms. Broyles finally convinced the County to sell her the property. With no major changes, she converted the community/dining room to a sewing room for quilting classes. In the temple room, she added 10 small sleeping quarters for retreats. These were constructed so that they could be easily removed without altering or damaging the original space. The parlor serves as just that, complete with television, couch, recliner and one of the original gas fireplaces. The upper floor was completely rewired, new heat and air system installed, pressed metal ceilings restored, walls repainted, the woodwork cleaned, and an elevator installed for accessibility.

3. City of Durant and Durant Main Street

The SHPO is pleased to recognize the City of Durant and Durant Main Street for their highly successful Market Square Streetscape Project. It centered on the rehabilitation of the Historic Market Square Café. A stage was erected within the project for community performances, and during the past year, people crowded into the new public gathering space for 47 special events that featured music and other entertainment. The impact on downtown revitalization is most evident in the five newly rehabilitated buildings near Market Square with a new business set to occupy the spaces. Congratulations on your exemplary teamwork.

4. Rand & Jeanette Elliott and Elliott+ Associates

We are pleased to recognize Rand and Jeanette Elliott and Elliott + Associates for the certified rehabilitation of Oklahoma City's Buick Building. Constructed in the Classical Revival style in 1911, the building is the oldest car dealership in the Automobile Alley Historic District. The Buick Building retains all of its original exterior cast stone masonry and upper floor wood windows and is a contributing resource to the National Register-listed district. Rehabilitation work consisted of rebuilding the lost entrance canopy and first floor storefronts. The interior features a unique use of neon to provide great atmosphere for Red Prime, one of the City's finest new steakhouses. Automobile Alley is a vibrant restaurant and entertainment area, and the federal and state rehabilitation tax credits are contributing to its continued redevelopment as the Buick Building project certainly demonstrates.

5. Steven & Elizabeth Harshman

Steve and Liz Harshman purchased the historic Farmers National Bank building in 2005 and converted the upper floor into a residence for their family of six. Their objective was to preserve the historic windows and the pressed metal ceiling. The space consists of approximately 2,400 square feet and contains four bedrooms, two baths, living room, dining room, kitchen and laundry room. By not using standard floor to ceiling partitions in the areas that retained the pressed metal ceiling, important historic fabric was retained. "The Spot" a recreation center for students, now occupies the 1906 building's first floor. Mr. Harshman is the pastor of Newkirk's Christ's Church and saw the need for young people in the community to have a place to call their own. Every effort was made to retain the historic character of this space, too. Congratulations to the Harshmans on this special preservation project.

6. Edinborough Point LLC

The Kivlehen House, located in Edmond, is a Colonial Revival style house built in 1910 from Plan Number 582 of the Keith Company Architects Minneapolis. The SHPO congratulates Edinborough Point LLC, directed by Mariana Lloyd, on the certified rehabilitation of the house for office space. Working closely with the SHPO and the National Park Service, Ms. Lloyd 's project adapted the 3,000 square feet, three-story house into the Edmond headquarters for Keller Williams Realty Offices. The rehabilitation work included installation of an automatic fire sprinkler system to meet code requirements for the new use, and the work qualifies the owners for the federal and state rehabilitation tax credits.

7. Hardie & Younghee Higgins

According to the nomination form submitted to the SHPO, the First National Bank building sits on the northwest corner of Main and 7th Street, the crossroads of the community and home of Newkirk's only stoplight. Constructed in 1899, the building housed numerous businesses through the years and finally sat vacant. Then Hardie Higgins, a retired Army chaplain, and his wife, Youngee, decided to move to Newkirk and began the search for office space and a place to live. Seeing the great potential in the 3,000 square feet historic building, the Higgins purchased it in 2005 and adapted it for both of their needs. They opened up all the upper windows, completely rehabilitated both floors of the building, had the building cleaned, tuckpointed, installed new electric and plumbing, added central heat and air, and had the trim painted. Rev. Higgins has his office on the first floor and the family has a beautiful home on the second floor. Congratulations to the Higgins on an outstanding project that is an important part of Newkirk's impressive downtown revitalization efforts.

8. City of Enid and Waverley Historic District Neighborhood Association

The SHPO recognizes the important partnership and many accomplishments of the City of Enid and the Waverley Historic District Neighborhood Association to raise public awareness about and protect the Waverley Historic District. The district is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and designated under the local preservation zoning ordinance. Recently, the City and the Association partnered to purchase and install a marker telling the story of the neighborhood. The Association shares information about the City's designation and the design guidelines with new home owners. Additionally, the Association publishes a bimonthly newsletter, hosts an annual homes tour, and now publishes a calendar featuring photographs of houses throughout the neighborhood.

9. Gardner Tanenbaum Group and BDR Architects

The Citation of Merit is presented to Gardner Tanenbaum Group and BDR Architects for the certified rehabilitation of the Citizens Bank Tower. Located immediately south of the Gold Dome at N.W. 23rd and Classen, the building is Mid-century Modern at its best in Oklahoma City. The building stands apart from all other tall, post-war era buildings in the community. It remains a distinct reminder of the end of the period of custom-built, architecturally distinctive construction in speculative building in the city. At the same time, its unique geometry and construction method pay homage to Frank Lloyd Wright and his Price Tower. The original office use was seamlessly converted to luxury mid-rise residences on floors above ground level. Sixty-six units share the interior space which totals over 140,000 Square Feet. We appreciate the reuse of this building and the project's contribution to redevelopment efforts at this key Oklahoma City intersection.

10. Caryl Morgan

Ms. Morgan, a rural Newkirk resident and retired art teacher at Arkansas City, Kansas, public schools, had a dream of opening her own art studio in downtown Newkirk. The Newkirk Community Historical Society owned a historic building in downtown Newkirk with a second floor that they wanted to convert into a more useful space than storage for old records and Christmas ornaments. Ms. Morgan and the Society formed a partnership to fulfill both objectives. With a $10,000 centennial grant and plans drawn by the State Main Street architect to utilize this space as a bed and breakfast, Caryl modified the design to fit her specific needs. In her plans, she also left space for two storage closets for the Society. The Society installed a chair lift making the second floor handicapped accessible. The SHPO commends Ms. Morgan for this excellent local project and thanks the Newkirk Community Historical Society for nominating their partner.

11. MCLI, LLC and Elliott + Associates

Located at the edge of Oklahoma City's Heritage Hills and Mesta Park Historic districts, the Midcontinent Building was individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. The architecturally significant building was headquarters for the Midcontinent Life Insurance Company. However, the building now serves another purpose. Its more than 41,000 square feet on four floors was recently rehabilitated to house the Oklahoma Heritage Association. The Project was completed in December 2006 by MCLI, LLC, and Elliott + Associates designed the certified rehabilitation. The project is an excellent example of how modern design can be incorporated into projects that must meet the Secretary of the Interior's Standards and how federal and state tax credits can benefit rehabilitation of buildings being adapted for a wide range of uses. Congratulations to the Citation of Merit recipients, and we hope everyone will plan to visit the center soon.

12. Newkirk Main Street Board and Volunteers

Since 1992, Newkirk Main Street Board and volunteers have worked tirelessly to revitalize their National Register listed commercial district. One hundred percent of the district's buildings have undergone some rehabilitation work, and private reinvestment in the buildings now totals $5,330,160. With proceeds from fundraisers, the design committee offers seven separate grant categories including facade, upper window, interior, back door, structural, energy, and guttering/downspouts. While the grants are certainly making a difference, the volunteers also invest their own sweat equity. Over the years they have wielded paintbrushes and spent countless hours on ladders and lifts changing the face of Newkirk one building at a time. These are but a few of their accomplishments, and if you have a reservation for the tour tomorrow, you will see the results for yourself. The SHPO commends the Newkirk Main Street Program with the Citation of Merit.

13. Park Harvey Apartments LLC and Merriman Associates/Architects

Historically known as the Fidelity National Building and listed in the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural significance, this International style building was designed by the noted Oklahoma architectural firm of Sorey, Hill, and Sorey, and was constructed in 1957. Today it is known as the Park Harvey Center, and this 199,000 square feet office building has been converted into 164 luxury apartments. The project further demonstrates the wealth of mid-century modern architecture in Oklahoma City and the growing interest in preserving it. The SHPO commends Park Harvey Apartments LLC and project architects, Merriman and Associates, for completing this certified rehabilitation.

14. Blue Dome LLC and Mike Kertok

The SHPO presents its Citation of Merit to Blue Dome LLC, headed by Michael Sager, and to Mike Kertok, project architect, for their certified rehabilitation of Tulsa's Vickery Service Station. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2004, the station is significant for its relationship to historic Route 66. Commuters to downtown Tulsa fueled their cars at the Vickery from 1931 to 1959. This "cottage style" station was perfectly sited and perfectly designed to serve Tulsa during these boom years. The certified rehabilitation provides a new home for Mr. Sager's Avis Rental Agency while preserving an important property along the "Mother Road." Federal tax credits and a matching grant from the National Park Service's Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program assisted this project.

15. Ponca City Historic Preservation Advisory Panel

The City of Ponca City enforces a local historic preservation zoning ordinance and participates in the SHPO's Certified Local Governments Program. One of their projects carried out under the program was an architectural survey of the Gateway Historic District, and the local historic preservation zoning designation was extended to the district. All of these accomplishments and many more, including development of a citywide preservation plan, were at the direction of the Advisory Panel. The SHPO greatly appreciates its partnership with the City through the CLG program and commends the panel for their ongoing commitment to protecting Ponca City's heritage.

16. Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Youth Group

The SHPO is especially pleased to recognize the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help youth group's work last summer in Abbevile, Louisiana, a town devastated by Hurricane Rita. The group joined others from Wisconsin and Texas and helped repair two historic houses dating from the 1880s. Getting to know the occupants of the houses and learning about their culture (with a side trip for food and music in Erath, Louisiana), these youth and adults had more than a textbook experience of connecting architecture to historic events. These volunteers gained new respect not only for this special place, but also for their own homes scattered throughout many historic Oklahoma City neighborhoods. The group's presentation was a highlight of this morning's conference program. We commend the youth and their leaders for their efforts to help rebuild the ravaged community and believe the experience will encourage the youth to assume leadership in Oklahoma's future preservation programs.

17. Sandalwood Properties, LLC

Built in 1917, this Craftsman Bungalow style house and carriage house contribute to the Brady Heights Historic District which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The SHPO recognizes the outstanding efforts of Sandalwood Properties LLC to rehabilitate the buildings under the federal tax credits program. The certified historic rehabilitation has adapted the buildings for use as three residential apartments. The project demonstrates that the rehabilitation tax credits can benefit small projects just as they do multi-million dollar developments. Be sure to note the house when you tour Brady Heights during the National Trust conference this fall. Congratulations to the Zieglers on a successful preservation effort.

18. City of Guthrie, Guthrie Historic Preservation Commission, Guthrie Chamber of Commerce/Convention & Visitors Bureau, Guthrie Arts and Humanities Council, Guthrie Centennial Commission, Guthrie Museum Complex, Logan County Historical Society, and United States Postal Service

Preservation Is a Capital Idea: Oklahoma's 19th Annual Statewide Preservation Conference was held in June 2007 in historic downtown Guthrie, the perfect location for the conference during Oklahoma's statehood centennial year. The SHPO extends its sincere appreciation to the local conference cosponsors for their hard work, generosity, and hospitality through presentation of the Citation of Merit. Without the support of local cosponsors, the statewide conference would not be possible. We know that everyone here this evening who joined us last year in Guthrie will join us in expressing our appreciation to them for sharing their community's heritage and efforts to preserve it.

19. City of Ponca City, E.W. Marland Estate Commission, and E.W. Marland Estate Foundation

The City of Ponca City, the E.W. Marland Estate Commission, and the E.W. Marland Estate Foundation are presented the Citation of Merit for their efforts to preserve and share the E.W. Marland Mansion, a National Historic Landmark, with the public. The citizens of Ponca City voted a sales tax into effect to acquire and maintain the magnificent home of E.W. Marland. The most recent efforts of the nominees resulted in a Save America's Treasures grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to restore decorative plaster ceilings. The exemplary work executed by Evergreene Studios, New York, is featured in statewide preservation conference sessions and tours this week, and we certainly appreciate the opportunity to be in the mansion this evening. Congratulations to everyone who plays a part in this important preservation initiative.