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June 29, 2014

Preservation efforts honored

NORMAN — The Oklahoma Historical Society’s State Historic Preservation Office presented the Shirk Memorial Award for Historic Preservation and the 2014 Citations of Merit as a highlight of the annual statewide preservation conference held in Norman this month.

The SHPO’s Citation of Merit is presented annually to those who have had positive impacts on the preservation of Oklahoma’s significant archaeological and historic properties. The 2014 recipients included Michael Brinkley and Lynda Donley of Norman for rehabilitation of their Chautauqua Historic District residence, Brent Swift for leadership efforts to encourage rehabilitation of Norman’s historic properties and the University of Oklahoma and Bockus Payne Associates Architects for rehabilitation of the McCasland Field House and the Beatrice Carr Wallace Old Science Hall.

The awards were presented during the conference banquet in the Molly Shi Boren Ballroom at the Oklahoma Memorial Union on the University of Oklahoma campus.

The Shirk Memorial Award for Historic Preservation is presented to individuals, organizations and agencies that have had statewide impact on the preservation of Oklahoma’s heritage through leadership, public programming, publications, research, restoration and other contributions. This year’s recipient was Preservation Oklahoma Inc. 

Because there was a real and growing interest in preservation statewide in the 1980s, people realized that government agencies could and should only do so much. Local leaders and preservation professionals came together to form a statewide nonprofit preservation organization, POK.

POK’s mission is increasing the public’s awareness of important historic places and serving as an advocate for their preservation. This mission is accomplished through the annual Most Endangered Historic Places program, participation in “This Place Matters,” the PlanFirst grants, presentation of workshops and issue-based advocacy, as well as a partnership with the SHPO.

With the SHPO, POK cosponsors the annual statewide preservation conference, publishes “Preservation Oklahoma News,” produces nominations for the National Register of Historic Places, and carries out special training programs such as the Historic Route 66 community workshops.

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