Cultural Preservation Committee to protect historic sites

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - The preservation of City of Lawton-owned historical sites are now under the protection of a newly approved sub-committee. Lawton City Council approved the Cultural Preservation Committee at last week's meeting. It will operate under Lawton Enhancement Trust Authority.

This committee started out as an independent one that was made up of citizens concerned about saving Lawton's history. Once the Central Fire Station in Lawton was put on the national register of historic places this year that put the number of city-owned historic property to four.

That's when efforts to become a LETA committee started.

City Hall, Lawton Central Fire Station, Carnegie Library and the Lawton National Guard Armory all have the title of a national historic site. And now they have the protection of the Cultural Preservation committee. Being part of LETA allows the committee to apply for grants that could help with restoring and repairing Lawton's historical sites.

Sharon Cheatwood with Lawton's Arts and Humanities division said they have been looking at how other Oklahoma cities preserve their historical sites.

"We discovered that they were utilizing even more citizens that had expertise in history and local history," Cheatwood said. "The Museum of the Great Plains has been such a wonderful resource for what we do with some of our programming."

Along with a museum representative the committee is made up of a city council member... two city of Lawton employees, and a representative from Lawton Heritage Association, Southwest Oklahoma Historical Society and the Lawton High School Archive Group.

Cheatwood said the committee will recommend to city council the proper ways to repair or improve a city-owned historical site.

"There is some differences between a wall that was done by hand with plaster, lath and wire versus sheetrock," Cheatwood said. "So there are special things to be aware of."

Cheatwood said the committee will be making sure these buildings will be around for many years to come.

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