In Oklahoma, a young state where the built environment is not as old as in many regions of the country, there is not the long tradition of respecting historic resources often seen in areas with properties dating from the beginning of our country. This, coupled with the demands of contemporary life, makes it all too easy to destroy or compromise the integrity of historic buildings still in existence to provide services for current societal needs. However, there continue to be those who seek out historic properties for both personal and professional reasons. The purpose of this study is to gather information from property owners in nationally registered historic districts across the state about the experience of owning this type of property so that appropriate resources can be developed and supported to facilitate the survival of the state's historic resources. The exploratory nature of this study lends itself to a phenomenological approach to data collection combined with an interpretivist approach to data analysis to investigate the meaning behind the experience of owning property in Oklahoma historic districts.
A sample of 13 historic districts was selected; this sample included residential and commercial districts in both rural and urban areas. For the first phase of data collection, a short demographic survey was mailed to each property owner in the selected districts; the survey provided the opportunity for respondents to participate in a second phase of data collection—focus groups held within each district. The researcher conducted 18 focus groups with 51 participants; data analysis included line-by-line coding of each transcript, with individual comments applied within 30 identified themes.
Seven key findings resulted from analysis and interpretation, and were further organized according to the study's research questions: (a) potential return on investment, (b) place attachment to community and state, (c) appreciation of architectural features, (d) appreciation of historic character, (e) participation in community's history, (f) impact of maintenance and repair, and (g) difficulties with the preservation system. Recommendations address the resulting implications for educators, the interior design and architecture professions, preservation partners, and for community governance.
|Commitee:||Bryans, Bill, Drab, Theodore, Mix, Tamara|
|School:||Oklahoma State University|
|Department:||Design, Housing, and Merchandising|
|School Location:||United States -- Oklahoma|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||American studies, Regional Studies|
|Keywords:||Historic districts, Historic preservation, Oklahoma, Property ownership|
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