July 2, 1960 - February 17, 2022
Catherine Dwen Montgomery, AIA was born and raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Catherine attended the University of Kansas and went on to earn a B.A. in Architecture and a B.A. in Environmental Design in 1983. She worked as an architect in Maryland and Washington D.C. and held several positions over 13 years at the University of Maryland, College Park.
In 1999, Catherine moved to Oklahoma and became a preservation architect with the State Historic Preservation Office. While working at SHPO, she was instrumental in helping John Weeman in the restoration of the Skirvin Hotel. She would later become the Director of Construction and Maintenance for the Oklahoma Historical Society’s Outreach Division, where she oversaw protecting, preserving, and improving historic structures in Oklahoma. She was responsible for the upkeep of thirty-one museums, military sites, historic homes, and affiliate sites across Oklahoma.
In 2009, Catherine started her own firm – Preservation and Design Studio. During her time there she accomplished a remarkable portfolio of tax credit projects and preservation projects. Her more recent projects included adding Black Wall Street in Tulsa to the National Register of Historic Places, the redevelopment of the former Villa Teresa school in Midtown into a hotel, and helping lead battles to save the original Oklahoma City police headquarters and the Brockway Center, a Black civil rights landmark east of downtown.
Plaques can be noted on numerous historic buildings downtown marking her accomplishments and chances are you've most likely dined in, resided in or visited one of the landmarks she's worked on throughout the state.
As Steve Lackmeyer of the Oklahoman noted, "Oklahoma City preservation community has lost its leading guide and champion" and for that matter the state of Oklahoma has lost a valuable resource.
Catherine was an active member of the American Institute of Architects and served on multiple boards for architectural organizations in Oklahoma, including the Gibbs College Architecture Professional Advisory Board at the University of Oklahoma.