American Indian School, Black Town Among Those On Endangered List

Friday, February 1st 2008, 7:45 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ An historically black town and an American Indian school are among Preservation Oklahoma's most endangered historic places in the state.

The 15th-annual Most Endangered Historic Places list, released on Thursday, contains 12 sites, ranging from archaeological sites and cemeteries to Route 66 motels from Sayre to Miami.

Other sites on the list include the Art Deco Four-Plex in Oklahoma City, the Boley Historic District in Okfuskee County, the Chilocco Indian School in Kay County, the Santa Fe Depot in Tonkawa and Wheelock Academy near Millerton.

Lustron Homes, post-World War II manufactured steel houses with porcelain-enamel-coated panels, also are endangered, Preservation Oklahoma officials said.

The list is just a sample of thousands of landmarks across the state that have been neglected and need of attention, Preservation Oklahoma spokesman Mark Beutler said in a prepared statement.

The list does not ensure the protection of a site or guarantee funding, but the designation has been a positive tool for raising awareness and rallying resources to save endangered places, Beutler said.

``It is important for Oklahomans to understand that preserving historic architecture is not a mere exercise in appreciation or nostalgia for `old things,''' John Feaver, the preservation group's president, said.

``It is, rather, a powerful development tool for promoting sustainable communities and economies and for controlling the rising costs and environmental disruptions or urban sprawl.''

Preservation Oklahoma is a statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging the preservation of Oklahoma's historic places.

The State Historic Preservation Office, a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society, administers the federal historic preservation programs in Oklahoma.