The Overholser Mansion is a chateau-style structure that's showing its 105 years with crumbling plaster, faded and chipped paint, as well as cracks running along the walls. It was once the opulent home of Henry Overholser, the "father of Oklahoma City," but now the mansion is declining into disrepair.
To offset the damage of time, Preservation Oklahoma is raising funds to renovate the Overholser. Devon Energy ponied up $250,000 to help kick-start the first phase, restoring the entire exterior. Next comes restoring the interior and ultimately producing a fund for:
" education programs and
Why all the fuss for just one house among many in Heritage Hills?
"Henry Overholser epitomizes the story of leadership in Oklahoma City," said Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society. "He came just a couple of days after the Land Run of 1889; he came with a little bit of capital, with a vision that he wanted to build something new."
Devon had been looking for some positive projects toward which to donate, and was informed of the dilapidating condition of the Overholser Mansion. What made the project appeal to Devon and other contributors is that helping the mansion is a unique opportunity.
"There are projects that you can see, while driving around town, that leap out at you," Nichols said. "This, quite frankly, is not one of them. It's in the middle of a neighborhood. If a project like this doesn't have someone to champion it, it simply doesn't get done." "Charles Martin