- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 8, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - 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 on 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 400,000-square-foot state 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 - the structural faults that are there - only continue to get worse,” said Preservation Oklahoma executive director David Pettyjohn.

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 budget and policy 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.

Two places in Muskogee also made the endangered places list: the home of Alice Robertson, the first woman Congresswoman from Oklahoma, and the Blakemore Home.

Route 66 was added to a watch list, meaning, Pettyjohn said, that it’s worth keeping a close eye on.

“When we look at Route 66, it’s not just the road. It’s the structures along the road. It’s the restaurants, neon signs, and, obviously, the original road as well. It’s more the Route 66 experience,” he said.

Preservation Oklahoma solicits nominations from the public before a panel made up archaeologists, architects and historians from across the state select the final structures on its annual list.


AP reporter Sean Murphy contributed to this report.


Follow Kristi Eaton on Twitter at https://twitter.com/kristieaton.



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