Preserving the real places and the real stories of Texas.

REAL PLACES 2019: Houston, We Have A Problem

Restoring The Apollo Mission Control Center

Breakout 4E

Day/Time: Thursday, January 17, 4–5:15 p.m.
Location: Capitol Salon FGH, 3rd Floor
Speakers: Sandra Tetley, NASA; David Bucek, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, Stern and Bucek; Dr. Adam Graves, GRAVitate, LLC

How do you restore one of the world’s most iconic landmarks when it’s a lower priority for management due to dwindling budgets and existing turf wars? Although it landed the first man on the moon, the Apollo Mission Control Center is a threatened National Historic Landmark. As the pressure to reduce the federal footprint mounts and NASA’s budget is reduced, the protection and restoration of the Apollo Mission Control Center is an ongoing battle. This session will show the conflicts between the restoration of an iconic landmark and the push to create an exciting visitor experience for a younger audience and VIPs. It will also show how the creation of an expert team with a strong, vocal advocate can push an important restoration forward.

Members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) can earn continuing education credits for this activity (or many activities at this event). Texas Society of Architects (TxA) is the provider of record. When Learning Units (LU) and health, safety, and welfare (HSW) credits are available for AIA-approved courses, they are noted at the end of an activity description. More information about AIA’s continuing education program can be found at and



Sandra Tetley has worked at Johnson Space Center (JSC) for 29 years and has served as the JSC historic preservation officer and real property officer since 2009. She is responsible for all JSC buildings and real estate, as well as over 80 historic facilities, including two National Historic Landmarks and a historic district. She worked on the retirement of the Space Shuttle Program, including negotiation of the mitigation for the Shuttle Carrier Aircrafts, the Solid Rocket Booster retrieval ships, the White Flight Control Room, and nine buildings eligible for listing in the National Register under the Shuttle Program. After receiving a grant from the National Park Service for a complete Historic Furnishings Survey of the Apollo Mission Control Room, she initiated its complete historic restoration and serves on the team planning its restoration. She has a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Houston–Clear Lake and a bachelor’s degree in International Business from the University of Texas at Austin.


David Bucek is a principal with Stern and Bucek Architects who specializes in new construction, adaptive reuse, renovation, and historic preservation. His preservation expertise includes the restoration of traditional historic buildings and the preservation of modern, post-war landmarks. Bucek has a master’s degree in Architecture from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Houston. He has taught architectural design at the University of Houston and the University of Texas at Austin. He currently serves on the board of the Texas Architecture Foundation, Architecture Center Houston Foundation, Houston Mod, and Wharton County Courthouse Restoration/Preservation. Bucek also serves on the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission and the Advisory Council at the Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park. He was formerly on the board of Preservation Texas and was president of AIA Houston in 2016. His work has garnered awards from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Texas Society of Architects, Texas Historical Commission, Preservation Texas, and AIA Houston.


Adam Graves is a nationally recognized subject-matter expert for a wide range of environmental topics including archeology, history, preservation, tribal consultation, and National Register nominations. He has authored several archeological works, is a former adjunct professor of Anthropology at Sheridan College in Wyoming, and is currently co-owner of the consulting firm, GRAVitate, LLC. Graves has nearly 20 years of experience, completing over 1,000 environmental permitting projects in compliance with federal historic preservation regulations across the U.S. He is the lead preservationist and technical project manager for the restoration of the historic Apollo Mission Control.