As ironic as it may sound, often the historic resources that are touted as being the most significant are also the most endangered and the fastest to disappear. Tulsa has lost many of its notable historic structures to demolition. Historic properties large and small are reduced to rubble and hauled to the landfill for a variety of reasons — to make way for new development, to provide surface parking, or just because the current owner no longer finds a building to be useful.
“…restoring a building and adapting it for a new use creates jobs, business opportunities, neighborhood stability and encourages further restoration.”
Richard Moe & Carter Wilke
Changing Places: Rebuilding Community in the Age of Sprawl
Casual destruction of our physical past has many negative impacts.
- It denies our children and grandchildren the ability to see, touch, and experience a tangible piece of our history.
- Demolition punches holes in our urban landscape, compromising the walkability, authenticity, and vibrancy of our streets and neighborhoods.
- Smaller buildings, often cast aside as insignificant, house some of our greatest success stories as they provide the launching pad for the young entrepreneurs all cities hope to attract and retain. Nearly all of Tulsa’s arts and entertainment scene occurs within the walls of historic buildings.
- Downtown, pre-World War II buildings are our best opportunity for adaptive reuse, mixed use development, and loft conversions to inject new residents, life, and tax dollars into the heart of our city.
- Likewise, small bungalows in our historic neighborhoods provide starter housing for new families and single parents, and allow empty nesters to age in place in their own neighborhoods.