Bike Tulsa.

Posted on: June 23rd, 2008 by Lori Feinman

 

This picture does not do this house’s garden justice. Think pink. At least, think pink long enough to bike Tulsa. Tulsa has a public bike sharing program (and the bikes are pink) - just swipe your credit card and take a bike and you've got a full 24 hours to explore the city. Of course, you won't have to mess around with the credit card part of it when you bike with the Trust - the Parks department will bring us the bikes, but you'll see how it works at the starting point. Once there, the path follows the river, then veers off into town and into some wonderful residential neighborhoods. Amanda, your cruise director, tells stories and history of the different areas you'll encounter - Maple Ridge, Tracy Park, Riverside, Carson Park, Downtown. For the most part the trail is flat, there are one or two slight hills, but nothing difficult. All in all, a really nice overview of the city with some behind-the-scenes house gossip, AND you burn some calories to assuage any guilt from chicken fried steak or what have you.

bike pathClick here to see all my photos from the trip, and be sure to register and choose this session soon - there are only two opportunities to Bike Tulsa, and the bike tours always fill up early.

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.

Sharing Places That Matter

Posted on: June 20th, 2008 by Sarah Heffern

 

Back in May, in celebration of Preservation Month, we launched a campaign called This Place Matters, and asked preservationists around the country to share photos and stories of the places that matter to them. We've gotten more than 200 to date, but are still accepting submissions, so if you happen to visit a great place this weekend, make sure to take a picture and post it on the This Place Matters site.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, however, is not the only organization talking about places that matter. In fact, we got the idea for our initiative from two groups in New York: City Lore and the Municipal Art Society. Earlier this month, they celebrated the 10th anniversary of their Place Matters program by honoring 10 places selected from a list of nearly 650 places nominated by New Yorkers as part of their census.

They've produced a great YouTube video of their honorees. I've visited New York City countless times, and I have to say each of them was new to me -- and each seems to be a special, local gem.

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.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

Find out why we love Tulsa!

Posted on: June 20th, 2008 by Farin Salahuddin

 

img_3844.jpgLooking at downtown Tulsa today, you might liken her to someone preparing to go out on a first date. She's all in a frenzy getting her sidewalks ready, smoothing her roads, and just doing about everything she can to make herself look all pretty before meeting her significant other....the BOK arena. September 1 is the date of this romantic interlude when the first game of the season is played and the city plays host to thousands of adoring fans.

img_3839.jpgHowever, if you want to remember what Tulsa looked like when she was just a young lass, take the Downtown Walking Tour and admire many parts of her youth. The walking tour is an approximately two and a half mile brisk walk around the downtown area, going in and out of some of Tulsa's most significant buildings. These structures not only let you peek at what she looked like in her glory days...but also gives you clues as to what this city plans to look like when she's all grown up.

But don't go just by her pretty new looks. Tulsa's beauty lies more than skin deep. Come on this tour and find out all that Tulsa has to offer.

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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.

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. 

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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.