Preservation Oklahoma unveiled its annual Endangered Places in Oklahoma list on Tuesday night, and Route 66 was included among them.
David Pettyjohn, executive director for the group, explained why in an Enid News and Eagle report:
“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.
According to Preservation Oklahoma, endangered places are “properties and sites which have special historic or architectural significance to our state, but which are in danger of being lost, due to neglect, poor maintenance, obsolescence or other causes.”
Others that made the list:
- Oklahoma’s Capitol building, which suffers from structural, plumbing and electrical problems. It’s the second straight year it made the list, and it sits a stone’s throw from Route 66 in Oklahoma City.
- Westhope House, a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in Tulsa.
- A bunker near Tulsa International Airport where J. Paul Getty lived during World War II.
- Chilocco Indian School, Kay County.
- Union Bus Station, Oklahoma City.
- Wolverine Oil Co. Drayage Barn, Avant.
- Rock art, statewide (mainly American Indian petroglyphs and pictographs).
- Blakemore Home, Muskogee.
- Alice Robertson Home, Muskogee.
- Eastern Oklahoma Tuberculosis Sanatorium, Talihina.
- U.S. 77 bridge over the Canadian River, near Lexington and Purcell.
As an article in the Tulsa World pointed out, making the list isn’t the end of the world. A number of properties that once were on Preservation Oklahoma’s watch list have been fully restored, including the Meadow Gold neon sign on 11th Street (aka Route 66) and the Mayo Hotel, both in Tulsa.
(Image of original Portland cement Route 66 in western Oklahoma by Jim Grey via Flickr)