The Norman Transcript

State/Region

April 9, 2014

Oklahoma Capitol makes endangered places list again

OKLAHOMA CITY — For the second year in a row, the nearly 100-year-old Oklahoma state Capitol made a list of the most endangered places in the state.

The nonprofit organization Preservation Oklahoma released its annual list of Oklahoma’s most endangered places Tuesday. The list recognizes historic sites across the state at risk of demolition or deterioration and raises awareness about the need to preserve them.

The Capitol building has been plagued with problems. Large chunks of limestone have been falling from the building’s facade on the south side, and barricades have been erected to keep people away. Rotting pipes and electrical issues are also wreaking havoc.

“It’s still in need of the repairs that it needed last year, and each year that passes the damage that exists ... only continue to get worse,” Preservation Oklahoma executive director David Pettyjohn said.

The Legislature this year is considering two separate proposals to repair the aging structure. A Senate-backed plan calls for a $160 million bond issue to pay for the repairs, while the House supports a more modest $120 million proposal that would first have to be approved by a vote of the people.

The two sides are expected to negotiate with the governor on a final measure that should be part of broader negotiations.

Also on this year’s list of endangered places are the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Westhope and the J. Paul Getty House, both in Tulsa. Other places on the list are the Chilocco Indian School in north-central Oklahoma, the Union Bus Station and surrounding block in Oklahoma City and the Wolverine Oil Company Drayage Barn in Avant. Rock art — or pictographs and petroglyphs from early settlers — also made the list, as did the Eastern Oklahoma Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Talihina and the Highway 77 bridge over the Canadian River.

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