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Author Topic: Bartlesville - That town to the north.  (Read 49179 times)
erfalf
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« on: April 12, 2011, 10:14:35 am »

Since there are no forums about Bartlesville, I am going to start a thread here.

I always follow what is going on in Tulsa, and it is definitely very exciting. However, just to the north, Bartlesville is making some good strides (despite a less than cooperative government) to redefine its downtown.

For a town of roughly 35k, Bartlesville has an amazing downtown area. Helped mostly by being home to a Fortune 100 company for most of 80 years or so, the town has recently diversified its employment base to further spur the community on. While growth in population has been stagnant, the town still makes strides, especially downtown. For example, in the last year Bartlesville saw a brand new 100 room hotel open downtown (while the design could have been somewhat more inspiring, it is progress none the same), a high end retail clothing and art store open, a top notch Pub in addition to some other new businesses. Currently the two major projects are the renovation of “The Johnstone” which was severely damaged in a fire in 2009. Thankfully, new ownership has taken over and saved this amazing piece of history. I hope the Tulsa Club has a future as bright as this one. Down the street is the former Bartlesville Office Supply. I am unsure of the future tenant, but major renovations are taking place and at least 2 new loft spaces will be available upstairs. Plus I see Ben Afflek frequent the building (or at least my wife does).

Speaking of lofts, conversions have also been done recently in at least three other buildings (The Buford Hotel, Curtis Sports, and a private residence in the 2nd floor of a building on Frank Phillips Blvd. The total number of rentable lofts in the CBD now sits around 22. Plus the periphery of downtown is very well connected with many multi-tenant buildings within walking distance (or less than 10 blocks).

Like Tulsa, Bartlesville’s downtown was a 9 to 5 area. While there are many good restaurants, most all were only open during the day. The first all night destination to open was Frank & Lola’s (2007 I think). Then in ’09 Two Sister’s Pub & Grille, and last year Ms. B Haven’s Uptown Oasis. F&L & Haven’s both offer live music several nights a week. While it’s only three, it is a start, and I believe more are in the works currently. In addition to dining options, there are several services open in the evening as well, including a new yoga studio and several hair salons. While services are never glamorous, it is a start, and necessary for a livable downtown.

Retail options, like every downtown, are tough to come by. Recently, Hopestone Studio (a local high end clothing designer and art gallery) has opened. Again, it is a start. Outside of this it is the standard fare for town’s this size: furniture store, home repair store, art/framing store, jewelry store, and gift store.

Another huge catalyst is the addition of Rogers State University to downtown. Thankfully, they have taken over and continue to restore the former Reda Pump/Citi Services building on 4th & Dewey. While they currently only occupy a few floors of the historic building, the plans are to continue growing and offering more programs every year. They recently began offering several business degrees that students are able to complete 100% in Bartlesville. This in my opinion will be a huge catalyst in the future. Not so much right now, but it will be.

While Bartlesville is not the glamorous downtown that I believe Tulsa has the opportunity to become, it has an amazing foundation to become a very family oriented, livable, exciting downtown. It’s greatest asset is the large inventory of original buildings from the early 1900’s. While Phillips did it’s fair share of devastation, it for the most part has replaced the old treasures with extremely beneficial buildings. These large office buildings provide downtown businesses with many customers and provide the town with a fantastic image/skyline for a town its size. Plus the other benefits that the town has reaped because of the Phillips Company is immeasurable. They are responsible for a world class Community Center that host one of only two classical music festivals in the country (OK Mozart). They also owned the Price Tower at one point before donating it to a local foundation to preserve. The Price Tower is currently in contention to be placed on the World Heritage Site list, one of only 20 U.S. sites that also includes The Grand Canyon, The Great Smoky Mountains, The Statue of Liberty, Independence Hall and Monticello. Even if it does not receive the designation, it is mentioned in pretty exclusive company.

This is just a start. I would like to see this first post as a stepping stone for comments on Bartlesville’s downtown. Surely there are more people on this message board interested in the Ville besides just me.
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RecycleMichael
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2011, 10:22:31 am »

Murphy's Steakhouse has fed me many of the finest steaks and hamburgers I have ever eaten.

There is a forum on Bartlesville.net
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2011, 11:33:37 am »

+Kiddie Park
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Conan71
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2011, 12:12:47 pm »

+Kiddie Park

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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2011, 12:19:17 pm »



http://www.fox23.com/news/local/story/Pedobear-The-New-Pedophile/jcdOrr1dzU2Pbv12JE4qZw.cspx
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erfalf
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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2011, 07:49:09 am »

+Kiddie Park

You're right, I failed to mention the already existing amenities that already exist around downtown. Kiddie Park in my opinion is a HUGE asset to the community and the people responsible for running it are a God send. This is the type of development that Bartlesville should embrace because it is plus for families which I think should be the target. I get that Bartlesville is not going to be a huge draw for young hipster types (no offense, used to be one). But even my family has moved back from Dallas (Uptown) to “settle down”. Bartlesville offers virtually everything we desire all within a 5 minute commute. This is a perfect family town.

Bartlesville also has a downtown ballpark. A fine one at that. Constructed in 1932 and tastefully renovated between 1998 and 2003 in time to host two American Legion World Series, it’s one of the finest ballparks in the state for sure. I’ve been to a couple of games and it is the most pleasant stadium to attend a game that I have ever been to, (including Arlington, Yankee, Shae, Bricktown, Frisco). Scoff all you want, but I can go to a game in August and not break a sweat.

In addition to the usual suspects (YMCA, newer Public Library, numerous churches), Bartlesville’s downtown has a lot going for it.
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erfalf
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« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2011, 07:52:26 am »

Just a couple of pics of the ballpark from the Bartlesville Sports Commission website.

* p_071607160006.jpg (15.12 KB - downloaded 585 times.)
* p_071607160806.jpg (18.57 KB - downloaded 589 times.)
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« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2011, 12:23:58 pm »

  I enjoy my occasional visits to Bartlesville and have noticed in recent years the slow but steady improvements in its downtown.  It does have a few streets of great old, medium/small, pedestrian friendly, building stock that I would love to have in downtown Tulsa.  Though we did have much like that at one time, we destroyed it instead.  Now its nice to see you all seeing the potential those buildings have and to see them filling up.  Those, beautiful, boarded up, buildings are an asset with a lot of potential.  I wish Bartlesville success and hope its core continues to better itself, and for its population and jobs to turn the corner and steadily increase.  I have always wished Bartlesville and Tulsa had been just a little bit closer to each other. 
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« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2011, 02:07:02 pm »

 I have always wished Bartlesville and Tulsa had been just a little bit closer to each other. 

Well, if we could get E5 high speed rail it'd be a 20 minute ride one way.
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erfalf
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« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2011, 08:59:45 am »

If Tulsa and Bartlesville were much closer I don’t believe Bartlesville would have developed the way it did. As it is, Bartlesville grew up with an economy basically independent of Tulsa. We had our own businesses and retail to support the community. With advances in transportation, Tulsa and Bartlesville have gotten closer and closer (time wise). It is no longer a day long outing to go to “The City”. I kind of think this has eroded Bartlesville’s retail base because it is no longer necessary for people to be able to purchase goods in town. And now, Bartlesville is too small to get the types of development that true suburbs of Tulsa are getting. We will never have a Target or most any new trendy chain restaurant. I’m alright with that though. I think most of it is perception, because virtually everything I NEED is available in town. Now, if you like big time concerts or going to a state school (until recently), you’d be out of luck.

Speaking of, I really hope that the continued expansion of Rogers State University in Bartlesville is a huge boost to the local and downtown economies. It has the potential to do great things, just as OSU-Tulsa has done for its area. Plus, they did the community a huge service by purchasing an amazing historic building to renovate as they expand. Since the departures of Reda Pump and Cities Services, I think this building has been under utilized. This is a huge improvement.
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« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2011, 06:09:51 pm »

Bartlesville is pretty close.  45 min. from downtown Tulsa via 75, closer to 30 min. from Owasso/Collinsville.  It's a very interesting city and I encourage visitors to Tulsa to check it out to see the Price Tower and nearby Woolaroc.
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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2011, 09:12:36 pm »

Don't forget the Tall Grass Prairie just a little further west of B'ville.  Wonderful place!

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erfalf
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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2011, 08:17:01 am »

More good news for downtown Bartlesville.

There will be a new restaurant opening downtown soon. The space left by the closure of La Pizza Nostra will now become Sweet Lou’s (at least according to the signage). Not sure of the ownership either, as it is listed as Kairos, Inc. I also don’t know what the menu will consist of but I know the previous restaurant was a brick oven style pizzeria. Hopefully they didn’t disassemble the only such oven in town. That would be unfortunate. The restaurant will have 50 seats and is also getting a $12,750 (or 17% of costs) TIF incentive from the city receivable over five years. (Hopefully it will make it that long). Restaurantering is a tough business where 50% are closed within five years, so here’s hoping. It will be located right beside 2 Sisters Pub (opened in 2009) which is doing very well. It is directly north of the block that the Plaza Office Building (ConocoPhillips) sits on and caddy corner from the new Hilton Garden Inn.

Bartlesville has been fortunate along with Tulsa to have a few locals who really are dedicated to seeing Bartlesville thrive. Coincidently they can whip up some good food too. If you can do that in this town, people will go anywhere, even the west side (Murphy’s Steakhouse for 65 years).

To sum up current downtown developments:

• Sweet Lou’s (New Restaurant)
• The Johnstone renovation (complete gut of building that suffered a major fire in 2009). To early to know new tenants. Speculation has said that the building may house 8 commercial interests on all three floors. It will definitely have a roof top deck that appears will be available to lease for events and such. This project is a huge deal in my opinion and saves the face of Frank Phillips (Main Street if you will). Clyde Sare is a huge asset to this community and has not been treated as such by our local government. A shame if you ask me.
• Renovation of old Bartlesville Office Supply that will include upstairs lofts. No tenant announced yet either.
• There is a Gorman Construction sign in the window of the old Aroma’s restaurant (Aroma’s and La Pizza Nostra were under the same ownership who had some personal financial issues that threw the restaurants under the bus with him). Doesn’t look like much has been done yet, but here’s hopin.
• The Johnstone Apartments – conversion of the old Hotel Phillips into a senior living apartment home. While not technically in the CBD it is a major historical structure and located only within blocks of most anything downtown.

Pretty good headway for a little ol’ 29 block downtown.
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erfalf
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« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2011, 07:24:49 am »

+Kiddie Park

Kiddie Park is having a season opening this Friday. My kids (well the one old enough to know) is excited to go.

It looks like there is still some work to be done on the website but here is the link anyways:

http://kiddiepark.net

25 cents a ride, can't beat that!
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Ed W
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« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2011, 04:25:18 pm »

Now I'll have to do a photowalk around Bartlesville, too!  But not this weekend.  I'm working Saturday, and Sunday I've already decided to do some old airplanes at Gundy's and that private airfield out on 21st Street - if it's still there.
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