Tulsa Foundation for Architecture champions the art of good design and celebrates Oklahoma’s architectural heritage through education, advocacy and archives.
We are Tulsa’s voice for architecture and design.
OUR CORE VALUES
OUR EIGHT STRATEGIC GOALS
President: James E. Turner, AIA, Cyntergy
Vice-President: Kayla Lee, Lee Simon Design
Secretary: Maggie Brown, Animal Aid of Tulsa
Treasurer: LouAnn Smith, Stava Building Corporation
Patty Atherton, Elite Title Services
David Atkinson, One Property Management
Ken Brune, The Brune Law Firm
Ken Busby, The Route 66 Alliance
Katie Faulkner, Wallace Design Collective
Shannon Fortenberry, TRIO Resources
Juana Gomez, CEC Engineering
Shane D. Hood, W Design
Kimberly Honea, Sharp Development
Eric King, GH2 Architects, LLCTony Lenox, ONE Gas
Sean Nanny, BAM Properties
Scott Pohlenz, Pohlenz Architects
Kate Wallace Helm, Wallace Helm Design
Roger Coffey, AIA, Olsen Coffey Architects (retired)
Megan Farley, Dewberry Architects
Nancy Hermann, Tulsa Performing Arts Center (retired)
Matt King, AIA, King Architectural Solutions
Kristen LaBass, LaBass Design
Kip Leikam, Leikam Investments
John Mabrey, Mabrey Bank
Lanny McIntosh, FAIA, The McIntosh Group, LLC (retired)
Leisa McNulty, AIA, LMMA Design
Julie Miner, INCOG
Martin L.J. Newman, Walter & Associates (retired)
Ted Reeds, Ted Reeds Architecture LLC/ University of Oklahoma
Christy Craig Thames, OwnTulsa® Real Estate
Mary Lee Torbert, ASID
Tom Wallace, Wallace Design Collective (retired)
Michael Wallis, Author
Without Herb Fritz, AIA, TFA would not be here today.
TFA will always be grateful to the late George R. Kravis II for his enduring inspiration and support.
We deeply miss our friend, graphics guru, and advisor, Kerry Walsh.
Amber Litwack, PhD
Amber Litwack, PhD joins the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture from ahha Tulsa (formerly the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa), where she most recently served as Director of Education and Exhibitions. As part of ahha’s Executive Leadership Team, she developed and oversaw key organizational initiatives, including THE EXPERIENCE, a large-scale immersive exhibition, THE STUDIO, a fine arts focused maker space, and Any Given Child-Tulsa, a national partnership among the John F. Kennedy Center in D.C., The City of Tulsa, Tulsa Public Schools, and 14 Tulsa arts and cultural institutions. Litwack brings to this role over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector and has extensive experience in program development and evaluation, community partnerships, fundraising, strategic planning, and public presentation. Additionally, Litwack serves as an Adjunct Professor in The Graduate School of Museum Studies at The University of Tulsa.
Litwack is an active member of the Tulsa community. She has served on a variety of nonprofit boards and committees and has held various volunteer jobs. Recently she served on the Downtown Coordinating Council’s Community Engagement Committee, where she helped to bring the largest augmented reality mural in the world to downtown Tulsa. At the state level, Litwack served on the Oklahoma Arts and Education Task Force and has acted as a grant review panelist for The Oklahoma Arts Council for the past six years.
Litwack has been recognized extensively for her work. Highlights include being named as a “Woman of Distinction” by Tulsa Business and Legal News, being named a “Change Maker” by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, and being recognized by Oklahoma Magazine as a “Top 40 Under 40” young professional in Oklahoma. Additionally, two Programs directed by Litwack have won Oklahoma Governor’s Arts Awards.
Litwack holds a BFA in Graphic Design and a BA in Art History from The University of Tulsa, a MA in Arts Education from The University of Tulsa and a PhD in Educational Leadership from Oklahoma State University. In 2015, she completed a Project Zero Fellowship at The Harvard Graduate School of Education. A lifelong learner, Litwack recently completed Oklahoma Center for Community Justice’s Inclusive Leadership Institute, and Nonprofit Management Certification through the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits.
Litwack proudly resides in an historic home in Tulsa’s oldest neighborhood, Owen Park, with her husband, Zach, an Emmy Award winning filmmaker, and her rescue French Bulldog, Lola. In her free time, Litwack enjoys traveling, creating art in a variety of mediums, reading, and searching vintage stores for one-of-a-kind treasures from decades past.
Email Amber at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lindsey Neal Kuykendall
Curator of Public Engagement
With a background in events, fine art, film, and music, Lindsey Neal Kuykendall joined the staff of TFA full-time in January 2023 as the organization’s Curator of Public Engagement. Lindsey began serving TFA as an Independent Contractor in 2022 to help manage TFA’s programs and events and is thrilled to expand her work for TFA as a full-time employee.
Having over fifteen years experience, including most recently leading the Events department at Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma, her work can be seen in Vogue, Martha Stewart Weddings, Tulsa People Magazine and more.
As co-founder of Wild Mountain Studios, an artist retreat style recording studio in Osage County, her breadth of offerings range from high end event design to film and music production and curating exhibitions.
As a writer and investigative journalist, she found her community voice with a special focus on Tulsa’s music history.
Lindsey has overseen more than 120 weddings and countless events & projects including major fundraisers, concerts, festivals, workshops, exhibition openings, tour and educational programming, television and film productions, music and album productions and more.
In her free time, she enjoys playing the violin and oil painting.
Email Lindsey at: email@example.com
Independent Contractor, Archives
Malinda Blank is a Tulsa native who has devoted fifteen years to the nonprofit, arts management, and museum worlds. She earned her Masters of Fine Art from California State University, Chico and her BA in Fine Art from the University of Southern California.
After returning to Tulsa, she held the position of Chief Registrar for Gilcrease Museum where she oversaw the collection including acquisitions, loans, and inventory management. She curated the exhibit “Silver and Graphite: Selections from the Gilcrease Photography Collection” and oversaw the acquisition of the substantial Charles M. Russell (Britzman) Collection. She also worked as an Account Specialist at the Tulsa Area United Way and as the Business Manager for FireThief Productions.
From a young age, Malinda has been passionate about serving her community.Malinda was selected for and completed the Emerging Leaders Society Philanthropy Forum and NeXtulsa programs and dedicates her time to serving on numerous Boards of Directors for local nonprofits. Currently, she is the Secretary of Kendall Whittier Main Street, the PR committee Chair of the Booker T. Washington High School Distinguished Hall of Fame and Co-Chair of the Tulsa Area United Way Community Investment Panel.
Malinda’s love for working with collections led her to TFA. She relishes being deep in the archives, surrounded by documents, photographs, and blueprints. She enjoys a well-organized spreadsheet, 1970s game shows, and a lively round of dominos.
As a practicing artist, Malinda’s work focuses on textiles and heritage art through her business Blank Canvas Craft.
Email Malinda at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tulsa Foundation for Architecture was created in the 1990s to change the way Tulsa sees itself and treats its built environment.
It was at a time when downtown Tulsa was being abandoned, historic buildings leveled for parking, street improvements failed the pedestrian, zoning codes favored the automobile and there was a lack of overall vision.
Tulsa’s success with the federal Urban Renewal program in the second half of the 20th century far outpaced many of its competitors. Tulsa forever altered the architectural landscape of downtown, as wide swaths of smaller-scale buildings dating to the turn of the 20th century fell to the wrecking ball to make way for new development. In Tulsa’s case, Urban Renewal left a legacy of significant midcentury structures in its wake, such as the Yamasaki-designed Williams Tower – so whether one considers Urban Renewal a raging success or a disaster is a matter of perspective.
Urban Renewal was designed to bring people back downtown in an era of rapid suburbanization. Shoppers abandoned the city center for the mall, and new highways cut downtowns off from residential neighborhoods. This period also gave rise to a rash of demolitions by downtown property owners for surface parking lots. Highways rammed through close-in historic neighborhoods. By the late 1980s, much of Tulsa’s beautiful urban fabric had become a sea of asphalt. Something had to change.
In 1995, a group of architects and preservationists formed a new nonprofit to provide a credible voice and expertise in the area of historic preservation. Tulsa Foundation for Architecture was born out of AIA Eastern Oklahoma, the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects. AIA needed a repository for collections of original architectural drawings. The community needed a nonprofit organization to provide expertise and leadership in historic preservation, urban design and to educate the community about Tulsa’s diverse architecture.
Elaine Bergman, who was then director of AIA Eastern Oklahoma, brought together local architects Ted Reeds, Lanny McIntosh, Herb Fritz, and Leisa Marshall McNulty along with engineer Tom Wallace and realtor Marty Newman. This group of dedicated stewards of our built environment founded Tulsa Foundation for Architecture (TFA). Elaine Bergman ultimately became TFA’s first executive director and instituted many programs.
Our first ambitious effort was to deliver city design conferences that were patterned after the “Mayors Institute on City Design” (MICD). In partnership with Tulsa’s Mayor, an MICD alumni, AIA Eastern Oklahoma and Tulsa Foundation for Architecture created dynamic day-long events in order to bring our Mayor’s national experience home. In the following years we observed transformative change from the almost two thousand attendees. Participants included city managers, city planners, key staffers representing streets and parks, architects, realtors, real estate owners, neighborhood representatives, educators and the press. These events, held over a period of several years, proved to be highly influential and led to a new vision in our community – a vision where design matters.
Today, TFA continues to build on its original mission to serve as a resource that recognizes, records and preserves the built environment, and advocates quality future development that enhances Tulsa’s livability. Creating a culture that embraces the value of our architectural history is central to TFA’s purpose. Please sign up for our email list to stay in the know about our events and tours.
TFA believes that architecture is not only one of the fine arts, but that it is the most complex and vital art form to mankind. Our buildings are cultural mirrors; they reflect the technology, social trends, economic history, value systems and aesthetic movements of the time of their creation in a manner that other art forms rarely evoke. To preserve historic buildings from every period is a way of traveling back in time, allowing us a glimpse into the mind of people who lived hundreds of years ago. We can learn tremendous amounts about other art forms, technology and ways of life by looking at the smallest of details: nails, bricks, locks, hinges, lighting and plumbing fixtures and on and on. And, like the other great art forms, the best buildings display exemplary craftsmanship. One of TFA’s greatest passions is to share the history and artistic progression of Tulsa’s diverse architecture with our community through tours and other programming.
TFA also owns an extensive collection of original architectural drawings of many significant Tulsa buildings and residences, such as the Medical Arts Building, Warehouse Market, Southern Hills Country Club, the Tulsa Assembly Center, The Mabee Residence, and the Otis McClintock Residence. TFA’s Archives also hold architectural periodicals (Pencil Points, Progressive Architecture, Architectural Forum, and Architectural Record) dating from 1920 to 1980, newspaper clippings, a technical library, photographs, project specifications and artifacts. No other institution in Tulsa gathers this material.
Photo Credit: Boston Ave 1978- Beryl Ford Collection. Boston Ave 2005- Ed Sharrer.
Tulsa Foundation for Architecture makes its home in the Ponca City Savings & Loan building, a striking 1956 landmark designed by Tulsa architect Robert Buchner. The building houses TFA’s offices and Archives, a library, conference room and exhibit space. TFA shares the space with AIA Eastern Oklahoma.
Tulsa Foundation for Architecture recognizes that ability, culture, ethnicity, gender, opinion, race, religion, sexual orientation, and other aspects of diversity have a profound impact on shaping individuals and communities. We are actively committed to creating inclusive spaces and programming.
Download TFA’s 2022 Annual Report HERE.