The Road Trip Continues

Preservationists work diligently to preserve neon signs like Munger Moss Motel.
Preservationists work diligently to preserve neon signs like Munger Moss Motel.

It is not every day you hear about someone maintaining a dinosaur, but that’s exactly what Jennifer Carpenter does as part of her job as a Preservation Specialist with Texas State Parks’ Historic Sites and Structures Program. Carpenter preserves two life-size ancient reptiles from Sinclair Oil’s Dinoland, an attraction at the 1964 World’s Fair, that now reside at Dinosaur Valley State Park. She will join an impressive list of twenty-four speakers at the “Are We There Yet? Preservation of Roadside Architecture and Attractions” symposium, to be held April 10-12, 2018 in Tulsa Oklahoma.

The three-day symposium will focus on the preservation of roadside architecture and attractions that catered to tourists traveling American roads during the 1920s-1970s. The symposium will bring together architects, engineers, landscape architects, site managers, conservators, facility managers, and other cultural resource professionals to discuss issues related to the preservation of roadside features, including oversized structures and sculptures, motels, gas stations, neon signs, and other unusual features.

he Sinclair Dinosaurs were first featured in the 1064 World's FAir. They are now preserved in Texas.​
he Sinclair Dinosaurs were first featured in the 1064 World’s FAir. They are now preserved in Texas.​

Michael Wallis, best-selling author of “Route 66: The Mother Road” and the voice of Sherriff in Pixar Cars movies, is the keynote speaker.  He will present on Route 66 structures and sites. Dylan Thuras, co-founder of Atlas Obscura and co-author of the New York Times Bestseller, “Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders” will open the second day of the symposium and discuss how storytelling, communications, and media can be used to garner funding for preservation.

The agenda includes an evening neon sign tour, and a guided field session to local roadside attractions including the Meadow Gold sign in Tulsa, the Blue Whale of Catoosa, and Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park, Foyil, Oklahoma.

The symposium is organized by U.S. National Park Service’s National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT), the Friends of NCPTT, the NPS Route 66 Corridor Program, City of Tulsa, and the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture.

To register or learn more, please visit https://www.ncptt.nps.gov/events/are-we-there-yet/