September 19, 2023

Preserving the Threatt Filling Station on Route 66

A HOPE Crew project restores this historic site to its former glory in this Google Arts & Culture Exhibit

Along Route 66 in Oklahoma is a historic service station founded in 1915 by Allen Threatt, Sr. This historic site, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995, was the only known Black-owned and operated gas station along the Mother Road in the Jim Crow era, standing as a safe place for Black Americans. Today the station (as well as the 150-acre family farm on which it stands) is still owned by the Threatt Family.

In 2021, this site was listed as one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, later receiving a major grant from the National Trust's African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.

In the summer of 2023, a crew from the National Trust's HOPE (Hands-On Preservation Experience) Crew traveled to Luther, Oklahoma, where the Threatt Filling Station became a living laboratory for preservation. Learn more about the exterior restoration from David Gibney, the masonry trades expert on the project in this Google Arts & Culture exhibit.

Do you know of a site in need along the Route 66 corridor? The National Trust’s HOPE Crew team links preservation projects to local youth organizations and communities across the nation. It brings the potential for hundreds of participants to restore dozens of historic sites, while learning preservation trade skills. Let us know via this form.

While her day job is the associate director of content at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Priya spends other waking moments musing, writing, and learning about how the public engages and embraces history.

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