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TU student finds north Tulsa neighborhood could be historic

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Reported by: Price McKeon
Updated: 11/25/2013 10:46 pm Published: 11/25/2013 4:19 pm

University of Tulsa students are saving taxpayers’ dollars while trying to save Tulsa neighborhoods from being forgotten.

TU graduate students spent months researching the history of north Tulsa neighborhoods and found one that could be historical.

“Well, I think this neighborhood is getting a little bit of the short end of the stick. The streets are atrocious,” said Lee Bassett, a Maplewood resident.

“Sadly, it’s very run down now and it’s something that we need to look at protecting,” said Colleen Bell, a TU student.

That's exactly what Bell did, “It’s sad it’s really sad that this part of our history is being overlooked and isn't being valued the way it should,” she said.

Bell spent months researching the history of the Maplewood neighborhood and found the area may be considered historic.

“Just because something is grand and it’s big doesn't mean it’s historical,” she said.

Historic home prices typically rise, but Bell said these prices are doing the exact opposite.

“It hasn't been registered as historical as of yet,” she said.

Bell turned a packet of research into her professor for a grade and into the state to start the process of naming Maplewood neighborhood historic.

Neighbhors said being called historic is just a title. What they say they are focused on is having their neighborhood remembered.

“We are the last survivors on the block of the original purchasers and we’re still here,” said Frank Fisk, a Maplewood resident.

Fisk and his wife bought their house in 1951 and still have the original cabinets.

“It’s interesting to me and possibly to my children and grandchildren but whether it’s of enough importance to be interesting to other people I don't know,” he said.

The past is the past.

“Things change, attitudes change, customs change that is part of living,” he said.

But Bell said change won't happen in the neighborhood until the past, the history is recognized.

“Well, it’s sadly out of my hands at that point but it’s something that they can then investigate further and see if they can process this to get it registered as a historical neighborhood,” she said.

“It really comes down to what you thought and what you believe and what you did is now gone,” said Fisk.

“I don't know if funds would be allocated because of that and then I would think it would just be forgotten,” said Bassett.

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