The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

January 18, 2014

Letter: ‘Why do you care?’


Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — I was surprised by the Jan. 14 editorial “Historic doubts” about Cherokee Terrace Apartments being named to the National Register of Historic places.

Everyone should be pleased that an out-of-state owner is taking pride in their property here in Enid.

So many of our older buildings are being razed in the pursuit of progress.

That someone actually is willing to spend thousands of dollars on an 80-year-old apartment complex east of downtown should be praised, not the subject of a negative article in the local paper.

While the architecture may not be impressive, the fact that it is a Public Works Administration construction gives it historic credentials. It is one of only two PWA housing complexes in the state of Oklahoma.

The Garfield County Court House is a Works Progress Administration (WPA) construction, and now our community will have buildings on the National Register representing both of these New Deal agencies.

My biggest question is why do you care? It meets the requirements to be placed on the National Registry, the owners took the time and money to get it placed on the National Registry and they will soon begin their remodel, giving pride to tenants and a neighborhood that hasn’t seen a lot of money going into existing construction.

Yes, the placement does make the owners eligible for federal tax credits, but it also places a greater burden on the materials used to receive these tax credits. The extra work created by the National Registry listing can easily exceed any benefit received in tax credits. No local tax money is saved and no public money will be spent.

Lastly, I would like to say thank you to the owners of the Cherokee Terrace Apartments. You are keeping alive an apartment complex vital to Enid’s housing needs, and you are remodeling an apartment complex where people can be proud to live. I see no reason to question their logic.

Thank you.

Tom Andrew

Enid

Andrew, who has a BA in history from Oklahoma State University, is chairman of Enid’s Historic Preservation Commission.