Author Archive

Charles Stevens Dilbeck: The Tulsa Homes (exposed!)

Posted on: June 24th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 1 Comment

 

Dilbeck designed homeDon’t miss this opportunity to discover the delightful works of Charles Stevens Dilbeck. Led by John Brooks Walton, a local architect, artist, and author, we traveled through a number of Tulsa’s residential neighborhoods. It seems as though Tulsa is peppered with the cozy, playful works of Dilbeck. By the end of the day I was pointing out homes I thought were “Dilbecks” in the hopes of being let into this fan club.

Dilbeck residential detailDilbeck moved to Tulsa as a child and some would say the he was a child prodigy of the architectural kind. By the age of 10 he was assisting his father by drafting plans for building projects. Incredibly by 11 Dilbeck had designed the Baptist Church and supervised its building. By the age of 15 Dilbeck was hired by a local lumber yard where he drew plans and made alterations to client’s projects and at 16 he was recruited by a competitor to head the architectural department. Already quite established (this is where I kind of started having a complex!)

Dilbeck decided to study architecture and attended Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Oklahoma State University). After 2 years he dropped out to start his own practice. Who can blame him? It seems as though he was already on a brilliant path. During the next three or fours years Dilbeck was busy designing homes for some of Tulsa’s wealthiest. The crash of ’29 impacted his business here in Tulsa, so Dilbeck moved on to Dallas where he spent the remainder of his career.

Dilbeck - one my favorites!John has great stories and anecdotes to share about Dilbeck and his works. Be sure to ask about the “tented house” and the "free" crinkle brick. I will let you in on a little secret – John lives in a Dilbeck and is graciously opening it up for this session. So be sure you sign up for this session. By the end I am sure that you will have picked a favorite one, or two, or maybe three… I have!

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

Ponca City: Where the '20s still Roar

Posted on: June 19th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

After a wicked rain storm that blew in from the prairie and thinking that maybe just maybe I should pull off the road until I could see, I finally made it out to Ponca City yesterday morning. Once I turned off the turnpike, I ended up on a country road driving through bucolic farmland with the occasional oil derrick pumping lazily in the distance.

Along the way, just before heading into Ponca City I passed what I think is the coolest barn I have ever laid eyes on, but I digress, which when you come to Oklahoma you will see is easy to do. 

stone-barn-ponca-city-ok-9.JPG

Route 177 magically turned into Grand Avenue, taking me right into the heart of downtown Ponca City. Brett Carter and David Keathly are the field session managers and are local preservationists extraordinaire. David has the added distinction of being the Executive Director of the Marland Mansion. Ponca City pulls you in as you drive down Grand Avenue. As the name reveals there are some rather grand homes leading into town along Grand Avenue. Our first stop was City Hall, a Spanish Mission revival building which is still used as City Hall.  The art deco high school sits adjacent to City Hall with the library across the street. Brett and David will share the stories about the clear public  commitment to preserve public buildings in Ponca City. Grand Avenue serves as Ponca City’s Main Street and is dotted with businesses, restaurants and the Poncan Theater. A gem on the prairie, the Poncan Theater houses one of the largest collections of hand painted lobby art in the country, some of which is featured throughout the theater. The Poncan Theater operates as a cinema, theater and a local church. 

Settled during the Land Run of 1889, Ponca City is definitely a pioneer city. The history and planning of the city are really fascinating and I will elaborate in a later blog about how this city came to be. There is a lot to take in along the way, how Ponca City was established, the neighborhoods Marland was instrumental in creating, the polo fields, lakes, golf course, and of course the stories, from the Native Americans to the oilmen. I will be back with the stories, the intrigue, and that famous mansion. You have heard of the Vanderbilts, the Hearsts, the Rockefellers, and the Kennedys, well prepare yourself for the Marlands. It is better than a "telenovela".

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

Notes from the Field: Demolition of the Seneca County Courthouse in Tiffin, Ohio

Posted on: June 18th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Members of Heritage Ohio gathered at the courthouse in Tiffin, Ohio to tell county commissioners “This Place Matters!”

The Seneca County Courthouse was constructed beginning in 1884 and designed by Detroit architect Elijah E. Myers, who also designed four US state capitol buildings (Idaho, Michigan, Colorado, and Texas). The county spent $214,000 on its construction in 1884, equivalent to $44.6 million in today’s dollars. The elegant structure once featured a massive clock tower, but this was covered in 1940 with a more modern design. The Seneca County Courthouse was vacated in 2003 to allow for renovation. In August 2006, the county commissioners voted to demolish and replace the structure, claiming that renovation costs would far outweigh the price to build a new courthouse, a contention which has been continuously disputed.

The Tiffin Historic Trust, Heritage Ohio, Preservation Ohio, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and other concerned groups and citizens have been contesting the Commissioners’ short-sighted action, but unfortunately demolition is imminent and salvage work has begun. Should demolition take place, it would be the first Ohio county courthouse to be lost in 35 years, and ironically this would come at a time when other counties are investing heavily in these iconic community landmarks.

The courthouse got a reprieve on Tuesday, June 10th, when the Tiffin Design Review Board voted 5-0 to deny a certificate of appropriateness for demolition. A group of preservationists representing the state-wide interest in the issue provided testimony to the review board, and all were delighted that the board decided demolition of the building would cause an adverse effect on the downtown historic district. By no means is the courthouse “saved,” though. The denial of the certificate creates a 90 day review period where the board will meet with the county applicant to discuss possible solutions. In addition to auctioning off the contents the first week of June, the county has already advertised for demolition bids.

To call attention to the plight of the courthouse, Heritage Ohio has organized a “This Place Matters” rally on the Seneca County Courthouse lawn on June 22nd. Participants will let the county commissioners know that “This Place Matters,” following the theme of Preservation Month 2008, not just to Tiffin, but to the entire state of Ohio and across the Midwest. The award winning Courthouse Girls from Farmland Indiana will be offering their support. Please come support us, or contact Heritage Ohio for more information on how you can help.

-- Joyce Barrett and Jennifer Sandy

Joyce Barrett is the executive director of Heritage Ohio and Jennifer Sandy is a program officer in the Midwest Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

 

Belle Grove Plantation, Middletown, VA © 2008 NTHP

In June 2007, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved a Tier 1 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for widening Interstate 81 through the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, despite significant objections from the National Trust and other preservation organizations. Significantly, FHWA invoked a new optional short statute of limitations for the Tier 1 decision, which allows only 180 days from the decision to file suit – a provision added in the SAFETEA-LU transportation reauthorization legislation passed in 2005. Following an unsuccessful attempt to persuade FHWA to withdraw its shortened statute of limitations for the Tier 1 decision, the Trust opted to join a lawsuit, which was filed by the Coalition for Smarter Growth, Shenandoah Valley Network, Scenic Virginia, Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club, and others in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia in December 2007.

... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

Legal Defense Fund (LDF) Advocacy Updates

Posted on: June 9th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 1 Comment

 

Grand Central Terminal, New York, NY © 2008 NTHPThe Law Department of the National Trust for Historic Preservation is excited to begin posting National Trust Legal Defense Fund (LDF) advocacy updates to the PreservationNation blog. In the past we have published a newsletter several times per year that describes various projects we are working on in the Law Department. Our initial posts to the blog, which will begin appearing over the next few days, will come directly from our most recent May 2008 LDF Update Newsletter with the expectation that future updates will be posted as developments on existing and new advocacy issues occur.

For those who are who are unfamiliar with the LDF, it is the legal advocacy arm of the organization. Through the LDF, the National Trust carries out litigation and legal advocacy to ensure the effectiveness of preservation laws at the federal, state, and local levels. LDF staff lawyers respond on many fronts to help communities around the country protect their heritage, their homes and businesses, their neighborhoods, and their history.

The LDF’s first goal is to avoid the need to go to court at all by using advocacy to encourage better government decisions that protect historic sites, neighborhoods, and landscapes. But when it becomes necessary, the LDF is prepared to litigate to protect the nation’s historic resources.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.