Tulsa History: December 2014 Archives

There's a flat-roofed home that stands at the crest of a hill at 14th and Quaker, just east of Peoria Avenue. It's easy to spot as you pass by on the Broken Arrow Expressway heading into downtown. It sits in a narrow residential sliver between the expressway and the Cherry Street commercial district. With its strong horizontal lines, angular porch arches, and a smaller, flat-roofed second floor, it stands out from the craftsman bungalows that used to be typical of the area and the pricey modern condos that are replacing those bungalows.

Despite the similarity of the housing stock between the neighborhoods north and south of Cherry Street, the neighborhood to the north has never enjoyed historic preservation zoning protection. The distinctive home had fallen into disrepair, but I had noticed a few months ago on a walk through the neighborhood that someone was working on it.

Preservation Nation has an item today about the McGregor House, designed by Bruce Goff, and the Tulsan who undertook its restoration:

Mark Sanders had been driving by and looking at the McGregor House in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for more than 20 years. Something about the lines, he says, always appealed to him. He'd also heard rumblings that Bruce Goff -- known for being the mastermind behind some of Tulsa's most noteworthy buildings, including the Boston Avenue Methodist Church -- may have designed the home, but nobody ever had solid confirmation. So Sanders continued to drive by admiring the home's design.

But all that changed in 2013, when a For Sale By Owner sign was placed in the front yard of the home.

Sanders, who is a lawyer, decided to purchase the structure and restore it using historic tax credits.

An architect who knew Bruce Goff was able to confirm that Goff had designed it in 1919 or 1920, when he was still an intern at an architectural firm. Because of the connection to Goff, the home's local significance, and its importance to his early career, the home was accepted for the National Register of Historic Places, which in turn made it eligible for federal historic preservation tax credits, which can offset 20% of the cost of the restoration of a building's structure and mechanical systems.

It's great to know that you don't have to be a developer or an architect to restore a historic property. I'm sure it must have been a long and involved process, with setbacks and discouragements mixed in with the progress. I'd love to hear more of the story.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Tulsa History category from December 2014.

Tulsa History: September 2014 is the previous archive.

Tulsa History: October 2015 is the next archive.

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