Historic Preservation Expo in Oklahoma City

Historic preservation, the granddaddy of “green,” can fall through old cracks.

But anyone wondering whether Oklahoma City has suppliers and contractors to handle the specialized work shouldn’t doubt it, according to people in the business — and maybe they won’t after this weekend’s Historic Preservation Expo at Cox Convention Center.

About 40 companies ranging from architecture firms to window specialists will show their wares and explain their services, and several specialists will make presentations at the expo from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The event was organized by the city’s Office of Sustainability and the State Historic Preservation Office. Cost is $7 per day

It’s this generation’s version of the “Old House Fair” held here occasionally in the 1970s, said Melvena Heisch, deputy state historic preservation officer. She said the return was inspired by preservationists hearing property owners and others say things such as, “There’s nobody that can repair these old wood windows.”

There are companies that can repair windows and other features of historic buildings and still meet historic preservation standards, she said.

And the expo’s wider aim, she said, is to get the word out that “preservation is green — it was green before green was cool.”

Thomas Small of The Small Group, an Edmond architecture-engineering firm, said his firm is one of the major business sponsors for “the opportunity to exhibit our talents” and to garner more attention for preservation work in general. The Small Group’s booth will include big-screen videos of the firm’s work, Small said.

Another major corporate sponsor and exhibitor is The Womble Co., 537 E Britton Road, statewide Pella window and door distributor. Andy Crum, retail manager, said Womble aims to show its support for historic neighborhoods and “keeping those historic homes looking as good as they do.”

Heisch said the expo is billed as the “first annual” in hopes it will become a regular event.

It’s “already a success” in one way because it has “elevated preservation in the consciousness of Oklahoma City and the area,” said Catherine Montgomery, historic preservation architect with the city.

Presentations will be every half-hour, “classroom style” followed by “demo style,” Montgomery said, with a mix of topics for people who work in preservation as well as property owners and people just interested in it.

Topics range from “Economics of Sustainable Preservation” at 9 a.m. Friday by Donovan Rypkema, principal of PlaceEconomics in Washington, D.C., to “Passive Wood Floor Restoration” at 3:30 p.m. Saturday by Bob Yapp, president of Preservation Resources Inc., South Bend, Ind.

Source: The Oklahoman

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors


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