Oklahoma seeks updates on its inventory of Route 66 structures in two counties

The Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Office is asking for proposals to survey historic properties along Route 66 in Tulsa and Oklahoma counties.

Tulsa County includes the city of Tulsa along with the communities of Oakhurst and Red Fork along Route 66. Oklahoma County includes Oklahoma City, Bethany, Edmond, Arcadia and Luther along Route 66.

The office put out this notice on social media Jan. 9:

The SHPO, OK Historical Society, requests proposals for two Route 66 survey projects. Funding is from the US Department of the Interior’s Historic Preservation Fund. $50,000 has been budgeted for these activities. No match will be required. Successful applicants will be the SHPO’s subgrantees. Project work must conform to the Sec. of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation and must be completed no later than September 30, 2020. Contract start date is expected to be February 15, 2020. To receive the RFP, contact Lynda Ozan at [email protected] or 405/522-4484 or send a written request to Lynda Ozan, SHPO, OK Historical Society, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105. Proposals are due by 5:00 p.m., January 29, 2020.
Project Titles: Thematic Survey of Route 66 Resources in Oklahoma County; Thematic Survey of Route 66 Resources in Tulsa County.

Public Radio Tulsa was the first to take notice of the proposals. It reported:

Rhys Martin with the Tulsa Route 66 Commission said the update is due.
“The current survey that was done through the National Park Service and the Route 66 Corridor Preservation program was approaching 20 years old, and as you can imagine, a lot of changes have happened in the last few decades,” Martin said.

KTUL-TV in Tulsa talked to Amanda DeCort, also of the Tulsa Route 66 Commission:

The State Historic Preservation Office is wanting to survey gas stations, restaurants, and any hotels that were built during the Route 66 heyday.
“The last time they did a statewide look at Route 66 wouldn’t have been old enough to be considered,” said DeCort. “A lot of them are over 50 or 60 right now, so I’m thinking they’re going to find a lot more.”

Martin the surveys might give some business owners a chance to be added to the National Register of Historic Places and give the public a better understanding of why some buildings should be preserved.

(Image of an Oklahoma Route 66 sign by Infinite Ache via Flickr)

4 thoughts on “Oklahoma seeks updates on its inventory of Route 66 structures in two counties

  1. This new inventory cannot be a complete accounting of historical structures until the road bed survey, which documented all verifiable Rt66 alignments, has been updated and corrected.
    The last road bed survey, conducted in 2002, arbitrarily excluded 19 alignments as part of Rt66 due to lack of documents to verify their inclusion. These were very early unpaved alignments, mostly part of the Ozark Trail, and widely presumed and accepted as original Rt66 but not officially verified or denied. Of the 19 sites I have found very sound documentation that at least 9 (so far) in Oklahoma, Lincoln, and creek counties were mistakenly excluded along with any and all historical structures on the routes. I am currently in contact with ODOT to reinstate these very important Ozark Trail alignments and to prevent the same mistakes made 17 years ago in reporting their historic structures. If you’d like more information on this project let me know, I’d be glad to go over the documents and evidence found so far.

    1. Jimmy, you and Jim Ross have hashed this out online over the omission of these alleged alignments.

      Let’s just say I’m a bit skeptical of your claims and will await to see what the state finds with its new inventory of Route 66 alignments.

  2. I’ve got two briefcases of documents and evidence I’ll show you if you’d like. The things I say are verifiable. If you take the time to look and listen, then you could make your own decisions as to what is fact or not. It would take about a half hour. These mistakes are very obvious when explained, and I’ve made a few allies that will back my findings. If you have me a chance I think I could change your mind.

  3. And as I understand it, this is a buildings and properties survey only. They will use the old roadbed survey, which means if I’m right about the excluded alignments, a lot of historic structures will be left unprotected again, and maybe just importantly, unrecognized. It’s worth your time to check it out, isn’t it?

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