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Preservation of Roadside Architecture & Attractions Symposium

April 10 - April 12, 2018

Tulsa, OK

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April 10-12, 2018
Tulsa, Oklahoma

The National Center for Register NowPreservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) and the Friends of NCPTT will host a  three-day symposium on the preservation of  roadside architecture and attractions that are uniquely American.  The symposium will focus on the preservation of these buildings and features that catered to tourists who traveled 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, such as:

  • Unusual and oversized structures and sculptures
  • Roadside attractions and themed parks
  • Unique restaurants and gas stations
  • Iconic roadside motels
  • Neon signs

The symposium is organized by NCPTT, the Friends of NCPTT and the NPS Route 66 Corridor Program.

Keynote Speaker: Michael Wallis

Michael Wallis

It has been said, “Reading a Michael Wallis book is like dancing to a romantic ballad. He offers his hand and gently guides you across the floor, swaying to the song of the American West.”

A storyteller who likes nothing better than transporting audiences across time and space, Michael has published nineteen books, including the award winning Route 66: The Mother Road, the book credited with sparking the resurgence of interest in the highway. He also wrote The Lincoln Highway: Coast to Coast from Times to the Golden Gate. Michael’s latest book is the critically acclaimed best-seller The Best Land Under Heaven: The Donner Party in the Age of Manifest Destiny — was published in June 2017.

A best-selling author and award-winning reporter, Michael is a historian and biographer of the American West who also has gained international notoriety as a speaker and voice talent. In 2006 Michael’s distinctive voice was heard in CARS, an animated feature film from Pixar Studios. Michael also is featured in CARS 2, and CARS 3.  Michael is a co-founder of the non-profit preservation organization the Route 66 Alliance, and remains an advocate for all historic roads and trails.

His work has appeared in hundreds of national and international magazines and newspapers, including Time, Life, People, Smithsonian, The New Yorker, and The New York Times.

Michael and his wife, Suzanne Fitzgerald Wallis, have lived in Tulsa since 1982.


The conference will include more than twenty invited and solicited papers, posters, and a half day tour exploring local roadside attractions and issues related to their preservation.

Presentation topics will cover a wide range of issues such as:

  • Documentation
  • Materials conservation
  • Preservation treatments
  • Grassroot preservation
  • Adaptive reuse
  • Site interpretation
  • Social, cultural, and historical influences
  • Gas stations and brownfield issues

Opening Reception

Details to follow.


Blue Whale of Catoosa, Oklahoma

Meadow Gold neon sign

A half-day tour of Tulsa area roadside architecture and attractions is included in conference registration.  Details to follow.

There will also be an optional ticketed night-time tour of Tulsa’s restored neon signs.

Call for Papers and Posters

Deadline for submitting Presentation abstracts: December 22, 2017
Deadline for submitting Poster abstracts: January 3, 2018

click here for more details


Register Now


$299 Registration
$199 NPS Employee Registration
$199 Speaker/Poster Presenter Registration
$ 99 Student Registration(Limited seats are available.  Students must email a photocopy of current student ID and a letter of interest to debbie_smith@nps.gov)

Click here to register.

Friends of NCPTT Events Cancellation Policy

Since workshops and symposia fill quickly, please sign up as early as possible. If you need to withdraw from a Friends of NCPTT event, you must inform us in writing via email or fax at (318) 356-9119. Cancellations more than 30 days prior to an event will be fully refunded less a $30 administrative fee. No refunds will be available for cancellations within 30 days of the event, so please take this into account when you sign up for the symposium.
In the unlikely event that the Friends of NCPTT must cancel an event, you may choose to receive a full refund of the registration fee or a credit for a future Friends of NCPTT event.

Conference Location

Tulsa City-County Library
400 Civic Center, Tulsa, OK 74103

Conference Lodging

Aloft Tulsa Downtown
200 Civic Center, Tulsa, OK 74103

A block of rooms is available at the conference lodging for a rate of $93 per night plus tax. Rooms at the discounted rate are available from Saturday, April 7 to Friday, April 13.

The Group Number is AD07AA.

Here is the link for reservations at the Aloft:


The cut-off date for reserving rooms is 5:00 PM on February 25. Please let Mary Striegel at NCPTT know if you have any issues reserving rooms.


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April 10, 2018 @ 8:00 AM
April 12, 2018 @ 6:00 PM
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Tulsa City-County Library
400 Civic Center, Tulsa, OK 74103 United States
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National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119