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State Preservation Office Looking to Update Inventory of Route 66 Structures

Matt Trotter

It’s time to take stock of Route 66.

The State Historic Preservation Office is looking to hire someone for a survey of the entire stretch of road in Tulsa and Oklahoma counties. Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Lynda Ozan says they’ll create an inventory of structures like movie theaters, gas stations and restaurants built during Route 66’s heyday, 1926–1985.

"And so, what we’re doing is looking for these historic structures that we may be able to help preserve and protect and save along Route 66, get people interested in saving resources and taking advantage of those tax credits to do so," Ozan said.

The state preservation office administers tax credits for buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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.

The commission was considering its own survey but stepped back when the state preservation office put out a request for proposals.

"A local person, a local nonprofit organization could tackle it, but it would take them quite some time, whereas I can hire a consultant to come in and do it and get it done in a very short amount of time," Ozan said.

The survey could be done by this fall.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.