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A look at Tulsa’s Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza October 28, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions.
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I was able to procure handout artist’s renderings of the Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza planned near the Route 66 museum and interpretive center that’s going to be built at 11th Street and Southwest Boulevard in Tulsa. It’s all part of the Vision 2025 master plan for Route 66 in Tulsa County.

The first image is of the plaza from an overhead view. The second image is mainly of the overpass over Route 66 that leads to the plaza. The second image is of the plaza itself. These are thumbnail images that you can click on and get a better look. Note the long pedestrian walkway and overpass that links to the museum. The flags represent each of the eight states in which Route 66 goes through.

Also, the statue you see in the one image is of the old meeting the new — a horse pulling a carriage that’s startled by the horseless carriage. This essentially matches the history of early Route 66 — where dirt roads were replaced by modern highways.

centennial_plaza_overhead.jpg

centennial_plaza_west.jpg

centennial_plaza_south.jpg

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1. redforkhippie - October 29, 2006

Dennis Whitaker gave a presentation about this to our Route 66 Association board yesterday afternoon. There’s a little more to the statue: The person with the startled horses is an oilfield worker coming from Red Fork, and the people in the car that spooked the horses are Cyrus Avery and his family. Dennis says the sculpture even includes the Averys’ cat, apparently scared of the horses, freaking out in the car, and the oilfield worker’s dog, also agitated by the situation.

We also learned about some of the streetscaping plans, which include a Deco-influenced archway over 66 in Red Fork (probably at 33rd Avenue West and Southwest Boulevard) and a matching archway over 66 in east Tulsa (I forget the exact location). They’re also going to redo the intersection at Yale and 11th to include some fancy-schmancy paving, maybe with a shield embedded in the road and arrows directing people east and west, and a little mini-park at one corner. Might even extend the sidewalk in front of Tally’s a little bit to accommodate outdoor seating.

I’m still not keen on blowing so much of the Vision money on streetscaping — Route 66 travelers hit the road in search of historic properties and interesting people, not 21st-century flowerpots and tinted concrete — but the archways are kind of cool, and the Cyrus Avery plaza is fun.

I think the interpretive center that’s being built with the third-penny money will be a much bigger draw, though.

2. XonOFF - October 29, 2006

Gotta find some way to spend all that V2025 money we allocated for Route 66, 11th Street BRIDGE RENOVATION since the Bridge Committe decided to spend it all on everything BUT the bridge.

3. Ron - October 29, 2006

XonOFF, rehabilitating the 11th Street Bridge would have been prohibitively expensive. It would have wiped out Vision 2025′s Route 66 budget and then some.

It wasn’t known how structurally compromised the bridge was until after the Vision 2025 initiative passed and the money was there to do a more thorough engineering study on it.

The Vision 2025 committee wisely decided to put the 11th Street Bridge on the back burner and spread out the money to a variety of projects on Route 66, instead of just one spot.


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