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Frank Phillips Foundation Assumes Ownership Oklahoma Historical Society Completes Successful

Posted: December 07, 2017

The Oklahoma Historical Society along with the City of Bartlesville and The Frank Phillips Foundation, announced today the completed conveyance of the historic Frank Phillips Home in Bartlesville, Oklahoma from the State to the City to the Foundation.   Due to ongoing budget cutbacks at the State level, the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS) had to make the hard decision last year that they could no longer fund the operations of this Bartlesville landmark.  The Frank Phillips Foundation, which owns and operates the magnificent Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve west of Bartlesville, reached out to the OHS to see if they could be of assistance.

Frank and Jane Phillips left the home to their granddaughter who lived in the home until the early 70’s.  At that time, she conveyed the home to the State with the provision that it was to be operated as a historical home.  If the time came that the State could no longer do that, the property was to be transferred to the City of Bartlesville and the City could either operate it as a historical home or have the home demolished and made into a community park.  Rather than take that drastic measure, the State and the City worked with the Foundation to come up with a solution that benefited all.

“This successful transition would not have been possible without the help of Bob Blackburn who leads the Oklahoma Historical Society and Ed Gordon, City Manager of Bartlesville. These two in particular worked with our board to help make this possible.  Our Foundation felt that it was a perfect mission-match for us and at the end of the day the question remained, if not us, who?   Just as we have worked to preserve the legacy and mission of Frank and Jane Phillips at Woolaroc, it seemed natural for us to help,” stated Foundation CEO Bob Fraser. 

Robert Kane, Chairman of the Foundation stated, “our first priority was to be able to put the Home into a sound financial position and we set out to create an endowment that would insure that this historic home would be taken care of and enjoyed.  We have received wonderful support and encouragement from many sources.  With the communities continued support, I am convinced the Frank Phillips Home will be on firm financial footing for generations to come.”  

“The Home which was built in 1909 is a gorgeous landmark in the heart of our community and we look forward to creating ways that will allow this classic home to return to its vibrancy of the 1920’s and 30’s.  We will be hosting weddings on the grounds along with art classes, community events and much more,” said Fraser.




Frank Phillips Foundation Assumes Ownership Oklahoma Historical Society Completes Successful News Photo - Bartlesville, Oklahoma