LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The Holy City of the Wichita’s is one step closer to being placed on the National Register of Historic Places after a vote by the Oklahoma Historical Preservation Office.
After 18 months of work, the Historical Society passed a vote yesterday, making The Holy City a historical landmark in Oklahoma.
One board member said with the states approval, The Holy City will be nationally recognized within a few weeks.
The Holy City was constructed in 1936, and one board member said those years have not been great on the structures, and he said this national recognition will open doors to potential new funding.
“Recognition of The Holy City as a National Historic Site offers an opportunity to receive grants, or apply for grants to help improve the site. Of course, it’s aging now so it’s going to take some money in the years to come to keep it up kept," said Ron Jarvis, a Holy City Board Member.
“It needs a lot of work done, a lot of the mortar is crumbling, the buildings are deteriorating so it’s a great thing we are with the Historical Society," said Deena Dolch, the caretaker.
Dolch said the Holy City runs primarily off donations, and they have struggled with finances recently.
While the national landmark doesn’t ensure more funding, she said it’s a step in the right direction.
“We were going through some really hard times, we still are going through hard times, but this is definitely a positive step, and it’s going to help the holy City tremendously,” said Dolch.
Jarvis said he pushed for “landmark” status because that’s something donors are interested in when they choose wait site to help renovate.
“They want to look at organizations that have longevity, and they want to see they have secured their future. By having a historical designation, the future for The Holy City is pretty much set," said Jarvis.
To be eligible, an organization must be open for more than 50 years.
Jarvis said that even though Holy City is more than qualified, the work it took to get this landmark secured will show how seriously they take maintaining the landmark.
“The recognition is something that says we have something that we want to preserve,we want preserve the history of this part of the state, and show it off to other people," said Jarvis.
When The Holy City is officially placed on the National Register of Historic Places, Dolch said it will provide security now, and will help improve the Holy City for many generations to come.