Preservation is Alive and Well in Oklahoma

By: Conrad Neuf , Contributing Writer
In: Old Houses, Old House Musings, In The News, Old House History
Fogg-Lassen Home from Preservation Oklahoma

Fogg-Lassen Home from Preservation Oklahoma

I was reading a story about the efforts to move an old house in Enid, Oklahoma, to an historic neighborhood. Plans are to convert it to a museum housing memorabilia belonging to an international opera star, a former native of Enid.

This story reminds me of so many similar preservation articles I have read over the past several years, but it occurred to me that this one was different. While I’ve read articles about preservation efforts concerning old houses in many states, for some reason I’ve never read about historic homes being saved or restored in Oklahoma.

This kind of surprised me, as I lived in Oklahoma for a very brief time many years ago, and I recall cities such as Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Norman were full of beautiful old houses. That was during the ’70s, and even then there seemed to be an effort to maintain and preserve the historically significant buildings and homes of the state. I wondered how it could be that I was constantly reading about diligent preservation efforts in California, Pennsylvania, and New York, but never even saw a blurb about Oklahoma. The answer is very easy; I just haven’t looked hard enough.

Oklahoma Preservation

Preservation is alive and well in Oklahoma and seems to be moving along nicely. Preservation Oklahoma is a private non-profit organization that has been working since 1992 to save Oklahoma’s historic treasures such as the Quanah Parker Star house, the Fogg-Lassen home, and the Nickel-McClure mansion. All of these old houses have unique architectural styling, and as someone who is interested in Native-American history, I found the theories concerning the stars on the Quanah Parker house to be fascinating.

Preservation Oklahoma often works together with the Oklahoma Historical Society, a state organization, on preservation projects. They are even working to save over 250 old family cemeteries scattered around the state, so I guess old family cemeteries are just as prevalent in the western states as they are here in Virginia.

Old House Moving in Seattle

I just wanted to include a quick mention of a great article about an old house that was moved in Seattle. The move took place a couple of years ago, but the pictures that are included with the article are timeless. I think they really express the hard work and effort that can go into moving an old house for even a short distance. If you click on the center photo in the article, you can go through the entire thirty-two-picture slide show. The photography is excellent, particularly the expressions captured on the workers’ faces, and the view at night looking down the steep hill up which they had to move the old house.