The National Preservation Conference is this week in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Staff members from around the National Trust for Historic Preservation will be blogging from the conference and sharing their experiences. James H. Schwartz, editor of Preservation magazine and Matt Ringelstetter, web team coordinator, provide this look at a field session.
Ever heard of Charles Stevens Dilbeck? Neither had I, but after a tour of more than 20 Tulsa homes designed by this accomplished residential architect, I know what I've been missing.
Dilbeck, who grew up in Oklahoma, is responsible for some of the warmest, most welcoming, and charming homes and cottages in this city.
After admiring just a few Dilbeck houses, the hallmarks of his style become clear: bold chimneys, textured clinker brick facades, eye-catching leaded windows, and romantic facades that seem part Old Europe and part Hansel and Gretel.
Dilbeck houses from the 1920s, '30s, '40s, and '50s look grand inside as well, with finely carved doorways and ceiling beams -- plus some fabulous fireplaces with carved stone hearths.
It's easy to understand why those fortunate enough to live in Dilbeck residences cherish them so. As one homeowner told me, "I think of my house as a grand old gal... after nearly 100 years she's standing strong, and I feel as if she enhances my life every single time I walk through the door."
-- James Schwartz