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Author Topic: "The Pearl" an area that will go down in History as a turning point in Tulsa  (Read 50950 times)
TulsaRufnex
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« Reply #285 on: January 21, 2014, 03:18:14 am »

Yes, it would be good to see more development along 11th street.

BTW, can someone please explain to this newcomer why/ how 11th St./ historic Rte 66 ended up as such an unsightly several mile used car lot?

The original route 66 was home to reasonably priced "motor hotels," "greasy spoon" restaurants that catered to travelers, speed traps?, gas stations (naturally), and auto mechanics (naturally).
When I was a kid in the 70s at a time when Route 66 had already been effectively replaced by I-244 and I-44, we'd drive by the 11th Street automobile row to one of several nice used car dealerships.  The old 66-era motels were already starting to disappear, replaced by nicer motel chains that were being built on access roads off Skelly Drive.  Eventually, many of those older 11th Street motels (the ones that didn't go out of business altogether) evolved into "no-tell motels" and the nicer used car lots moved to other more desirable parts of town.

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It represents such a good opportunity to make it one of the most (if not the most) memorable stretch of this iconic piece of Americana.  I was sort of expecting the urban stretch in Tulsa to be a neat destination strip for residents and tourists alike to flock and enjoy.  I would have envisioned it to be more of a Peoria /Cherry Street walkable type strip but extended for several miles, teeming with diverse restaurants, coffeehouses, galleries, retail and specialty shops.  I could have also envisioned large overhead lit signs that cross the road welcoming visitors to historic rte 66.

Memorable?  Yes.  Historical?  Yes.
Iconic?  Yes, but 11th Street would lose its iconic status IMHO if it were gentrified with "diverse restaurants, coffeehouses, galleries, retail and specialty shops."
Route 66 is an icon of a post-WWII working class America who would take a rare family trip in the family automobile cross country to sunny California.

Even though I've always been in favor of an urban renaissance for that area, it's clear that Talley's and Corner Cafe are iconic Route 66 businesses in ways that Full Moon Cafe and Kilkennys could never be.  So... a dollar store or a retro barbershop like Razor's Edge (ask for Monty or Carlin) can actually make more traditional sense in that area than a high end art gallery or a gourmet cheese shop.

That said, I'd love to see at least a few blocks of 6th Street off Peoria become a "fully walkable type strip" complete with "diverse restaurants, coffeehouses, galleries, retail and specialty shops"..... gentrify away, urban pioneers!   Grin
  
« Last Edit: January 21, 2014, 03:47:33 am by TulsaRufnex » Logged

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« Reply #286 on: January 21, 2014, 10:59:48 am »

Why wouldn’t you take the loop all the way up 6th St. back to the Campus?

11th offers more mixed use opportunity than 6th which only really has the commercial strip between Peoria and Trenton, which would be served by a stop at 6th & Peoria as it heads downtown.  11th has Hillcrest, a potential TOD on the lots around the tracks near Lewis (should BA commuter rail become a reality) and future development by the TU campus with 5,000 students many of which live in that general vicinity.
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« Reply #287 on: January 26, 2014, 01:38:27 am »

The original route 66 was home to reasonably priced "motor hotels," "greasy spoon" restaurants that catered to travelers, speed traps?, gas stations (naturally), and auto mechanics (naturally).
When I was a kid in the 70s at a time when Route 66 had already been effectively replaced by I-244 and I-44, we'd drive by the 11th Street automobile row to one of several nice used car dealerships.  The old 66-era motels were already starting to disappear, replaced by nicer motel chains that were being built on access roads off Skelly Drive.  Eventually, many of those older 11th Street motels (the ones that didn't go out of business altogether) evolved into "no-tell motels" and the nicer used car lots moved to other more desirable parts of town.

Memorable?  Yes.  Historical?  Yes.
Iconic?  Yes, but 11th Street would lose its iconic status IMHO if it were gentrified with "diverse restaurants, coffeehouses, galleries, retail and specialty shops."
  
Route 66 is an icon of a post-WWII working class America who would take a rare family trip in the family automobile cross country to sunny California.

Even though I've always been in favor of an urban renaissance for that area, it's clear that Talley's and Corner Cafe are iconic Route 66 businesses in ways that Full Moon Cafe and Kilkennys could never be.  So... a dollar store or a retro barbershop like Razor's Edge (ask for Monty or Carlin) can actually make more traditional sense in that area than a high end art gallery or a gourmet cheese shop.

That said, I'd love to see at least a few blocks of 6th Street off Peoria become a "fully walkable type strip" complete with "diverse restaurants, coffeehouses, galleries, retail and specialty shops"..... gentrify away, urban pioneers!   Grin
  
Before moving here I had kind of this mental image of Rte 66 in the center of Tulsa as being a more complete and longer version of the evolving "Automobile Alley" strip in OKC.  Perhaps it was shaped by footage from the TV show, but I'm not really certain.

I envisioned a nice diversity of good quality restaurants, microbreweries, and shops tastefully neon lit at night.  Talley's and Corner Café, absolutely.  Gourmet cheese shop - not really, but maybe if the products were from local farms.  How about a few moderately priced newer hotel chains (maybe even designed as retro themed motor lodges) as well as other nice conveniences for travelers.  I'd see more of a local flare on the strip represented by Native American, African-American, and other cultures with indigenous ties to the state and especially to this region showcasing and selling unique art, jewelry, crafts, clothing, cool goods and wares.

I don't necessarily define all redevelopment/ repurposing of certain areas as gentrification.  To me that term infers displacing some (usually poor) folks at the expense of affluence and exclusivity.  To the contrary, I could see 11th St as becoming much more of an area for everyone as opposed to the neglected thoroughfare that most of it is today.

The street in its present state is a big embarrassment that overshadows (but doesn't eliminate) its iconic status.  Any positive changes that generate traffic (vehicle and foot) back to it with a purpose can help reclaim this key asset, perhaps making it more than it ever really was in its past.
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« Reply #288 on: January 27, 2014, 08:59:39 am »

I'd love to see a hotel on 11th Street similar to the Hotel San Jose on South Congress Ave in Austin.

http://www.sanjosehotel.com/
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« Reply #289 on: January 27, 2014, 09:51:13 am »

I'd love to see a hotel on 11th Street similar to the Hotel San Jose on South Congress Ave in Austin.

http://www.sanjosehotel.com/

Love the San Jose, and always recommend it to Austin visitors.  And don't forget the Austin Motel (http://www.austinmotel.com) just up the street, with it's wonderfully phallic sign.  But SoCo is one of the coolest areas in Austin (which is saying something) and there are tons of good bars and restaurants in walking distance from either.  11th just doesn't have the infrastructure to support either of them, and won't for years, if ever.

*Editing to fix the Austin Motel link, because you really need to see the entry page to appreciate attitude of motel...
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 09:57:08 am by rebound » Logged

 
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« Reply #290 on: January 27, 2014, 02:58:40 pm »

Compromise offered on Pearl District's 6th Street Infill Plan
Posted: Thursday, January 16, 2014 12:00 am | Updated: 7:14 am, Thu Jan 16, 2014.
By KEVIN CANFIELD World Staff Writer

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/government/compromise-offered-on-pearl-district-s-th-street-infill-plan/article_5cc0b663-0021-565c-aa01-edee9f00ae87.html

City Councilor Blake Ewing and the Pearl District Business and Property Owners Association have proposed a compromise on changes to the Pearl District 6th Street Infill Plan.


So back to the actual topic...

Where does this now stand?  The compromise definitely compromises the Pearl District plan.  What's next?
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« Reply #291 on: January 27, 2014, 04:32:12 pm »

Love the San Jose, and always recommend it to Austin visitors.  And don't forget the Austin Motel (http://www.austinmotel.com) just up the street, with it's wonderfully phallic sign.  But SoCo is one of the coolest areas in Austin (which is saying something) and there are tons of good bars and restaurants in walking distance from either.  11th just doesn't have the infrastructure to support either of them, and won't for years, if ever.

*Editing to fix the Austin Motel link, because you really need to see the entry page to appreciate attitude of motel...

Disagree.  The Campbell is doing quite well from what I hear.  We attended an event there this weekend and it is being maintained very nicely.  Friends raved about the rooms.  The stretch between downtown and Harvard is seeing a lot of redevelopment.
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« Reply #292 on: January 27, 2014, 11:22:30 pm »

Disagree.  The Campbell is doing quite well from what I hear.  We attended an event there this weekend and it is being maintained very nicely.  Friends raved about the rooms.  The stretch between downtown and Harvard is seeing a lot of redevelopment.

This stretch would also benefit the most from a streetcar from downtown to TU.  It is most realistic to concentrate on this corridor especially the parts that are already walkable but need more activity (like between Peoria and Utica) and the area by TU which needs a major overhaul to be a walkable 'Campus Corner' environment.  Improving the stretch from Harvard to Yale would be a long term goal.  Once you get past Yale the built environment is too auto-oriented and likely will remain that way, which is a testament to its past life as a highway corridor.

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« Reply #293 on: January 28, 2014, 02:26:23 pm »

Disagree.  The Campbell is doing quite well from what I hear.  We attended an event there this weekend and it is being maintained very nicely.  Friends raved about the rooms.  The stretch between downtown and Harvard is seeing a lot of redevelopment.

I have not been to the Campbell, but have heard good things.  I think it is a very cool hotel, and am glad to hear they are doing well.  I agree with SXBW in that I do think that the area around TU, with the Campbell on the West and Harvard on the East, is prime for development.  But to really see density, again in line with SXSW's opinion, there is going to need to be major overhaul related to walk ability.

My thoughts in my original comment relate to the density of bars and restaurants withing easy walking distance (about 1/2 mile) to the San Jose along the SOCO area in Austin.  That density is in line with what we have in Tulsa along Cherry Street or Brookside, and I can't see anything along 11th coming anywhere close to that density anytime soon.  Also, the SOCO area is just a long walk over the bridge directly into downtown Austin and all the things there as well.  This is very similar to what's going on in the Brady right now.  But again, the area out around TU isn't walking distance to downtown and so this is a logistical problem.  SXSW's streetcar idea has merit to improve this support piece.  

Don't get me wrong, I think there is definitely a lot of opportunity for development from downtown to the TU area, and in particular right around TU, but a lot needs to happen if/before it can achieve any kind of critical mass.
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« Reply #294 on: January 29, 2014, 01:30:50 pm »

There are 3 main nodes that would need to be redeveloped for 11th to reach a critical mass similar to Cherry St and Brookside, or Soco in Austin.  The streetcar proposal, funded by the City, along with sidewalk and landscaping improvements done in conjunction with laying tracks, would jump start this effort with private developers and TU actually carrying out the redevelopment.

Node 1: Peoria to Utica
- This stretch has the most intact urban fabric on 11th outside of downtown.  Many of the storefronts are empty but could easily support local businesses similar to what has happened along 6th in the Pearl and Lewis in Kendall-Whittier.  The Meadow Gold sign is a landmark and the building below should be more than just a glorified pedestal. Maybe a Dwelling Spaces-type store that specializes in Tulsa and Rt 66 stuff?  The neighborhoods on either side are ripe for gentrification and are very similar to the neighborhood by Cherry St in the late 90's, with the Pearl area to the north slated for major redevelopment since most of those houses are in bad shape.  You also have Hillcrest here which is a big employer and could help fill in its lots at Utica and Trenton with buildings that open up toward the street/sidewalk.  Unfortunately you also have the new massive QuikTrip at Utica.

Node 2: Utica to Lewis
- This stretch has some urban buildings but also lots of redevelopment/new building potential closer to Lewis on the old car dealership lots.  There is another landmark here in the Tulsa Monument Co building by Victor.  A unique opportunity to eventually have a stop on the commuter rail to BA and into downtown is available west of Lewis.  The area north of this location could eventually support a variety of industrial businesses and someday research facilities for TU.  The neighborhood to the south is pretty stable but the one to the north is transitional.  A larger hotel could be located on the land at the NE corner of Utica across from Hillcrest.

Node 3: Lewis to Harvard
- Keep building on the success of the Campbell Hotel in the area between Lewis and Delaware.  Between Delaware and Harvard begin a long range plan to rebuild this area with new buildings that have sidewalk facing restaurants and stores targeting the TU community.  Think Campus Corner in Norman, Berry St in Ft Worth (TCU) and Guadalupe St in Austin (UT).  TU would need to amend its master plan and general line of thinking to embrace 11th and not wall itself off.  The apartments built around the green are an example of this and eventually should be redeveloped into denser student housing that meets the edge of the surrounding streets and adds more students in this area.  Also tear down the berm seating at the south end zone and replace with an open air plaza that is also the termination point for the streetcar, and provides access to the stadium and Reynolds Center.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2014, 01:45:25 pm by SXSW » Logged

 
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« Reply #295 on: January 29, 2014, 11:46:26 pm »

There are 3 main nodes that would need to be redeveloped for 11th to reach a critical mass similar to Cherry St and Brookside, or Soco in Austin.  The streetcar proposal, funded by the City, along with sidewalk and landscaping improvements done in conjunction with laying tracks, would jump start this effort with private developers and TU actually carrying out the redevelopment.

Node 1: Peoria to Utica
- This stretch has the most intact urban fabric on 11th outside of downtown.  Many of the storefronts are empty but could easily support local businesses similar to what has happened along 6th in the Pearl and Lewis in Kendall-Whittier.  The Meadow Gold sign is a landmark and the building below should be more than just a glorified pedestal. Maybe a Dwelling Spaces-type store that specializes in Tulsa and Rt 66 stuff?  The neighborhoods on either side are ripe for gentrification and are very similar to the neighborhood by Cherry St in the late 90's, with the Pearl area to the north slated for major redevelopment since most of those houses are in bad shape.  You also have Hillcrest here which is a big employer and could help fill in its lots at Utica and Trenton with buildings that open up toward the street/sidewalk.  Unfortunately you also have the new massive QuikTrip at Utica.

Node 2: Utica to Lewis
- This stretch has some urban buildings but also lots of redevelopment/new building potential closer to Lewis on the old car dealership lots.  There is another landmark here in the Tulsa Monument Co building by Victor.  A unique opportunity to eventually have a stop on the commuter rail to BA and into downtown is available west of Lewis.  The area north of this location could eventually support a variety of industrial businesses and someday research facilities for TU.  The neighborhood to the south is pretty stable but the one to the north is transitional.  A larger hotel could be located on the land at the NE corner of Utica across from Hillcrest.

Node 3: Lewis to Harvard
- Keep building on the success of the Campbell Hotel in the area between Lewis and Delaware.  Between Delaware and Harvard begin a long range plan to rebuild this area with new buildings that have sidewalk facing restaurants and stores targeting the TU community.  Think Campus Corner in Norman, Berry St in Ft Worth (TCU) and Guadalupe St in Austin (UT).  TU would need to amend its master plan and general line of thinking to embrace 11th and not wall itself off.  The apartments built around the green are an example of this and eventually should be redeveloped into denser student housing that meets the edge of the surrounding streets and adds more students in this area.  Also tear down the berm seating at the south end zone and replace with an open air plaza that is also the termination point for the streetcar, and provides access to the stadium and Reynolds Center.
SXSW, I appreciate you breaking down the strip like this and describing the facets that distinguish each of these sections.  This really shows the great potential of 11th street (if developed to its potential) to exhibit different character/ flare as one traverses through these separate nodes.  I'm familiar with some of these types of extended streets with different but still cool vibes to be found anywhere along a couple of walkable miles...Columbus, Louisville, & Pittsburgh offer a few good examples.  Brookside and Cherry St. are both nice but much shorter and a bit more homogenous than the examples in these cities, and would represent perhaps what SXSW references as a node or distinct portion on one of the streets such as Bardstown in L'ville or Main in Columbus (a large portion edges up against OSU but there are also large sections on both sides that extend very far away from the campus).   

As a newbie, I don't know if TU and the surrounding community have been more at odds or in step with one another but I really do like the creation or expansion of a TU college town or village area.  There are also apparently plenty of opportunities to take advantage of existing storefronts as well as incorporate some smart infill building along certain sections. 

I'll be venturing down to 11th street and taking a closer look to see what SXSW is talking about.  SXSW sounds like a true champion of that area's potential.
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« Reply #296 on: January 30, 2014, 07:07:11 am »

That is one of the frustrating things about Tulsa right now is that there isn't really an area you can go and take a good half day or full day "stroll".  So thankful we have the small spots that we do have like, Brookside, Cherry Street, Brady Arts, Deco District, Blue Dome, and now beginning to get the Pearl, and 11th having some potential.  But what could really take us up a whole new level would be if we could get one or two of those areas to expand at least to the size of one full mile worth of pedestrian friendly development.  But that is where I think you would need to switch out the auto centric zoning for some pedestrian friendly zoning. Or at the very least get rid of the auto centric zoning and make it legal to build pedestrian friendly developments.  I have heard of other developers having to navigate the City Board of Adjustments in order to put in pedestrian friendly developments and was surprised to recently learn that the Phoenix also had to "rally the troops" in order to push for an exemption to things like the minimum parking requirements.  Pedestrian friendly developments should be "by right" in those areas we want to be pedestrian friendly, not an "exception" you have to fight for.
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« Reply #297 on: January 30, 2014, 09:25:41 am »

That is one of the frustrating things about Tulsa right now is that there isn't really an area you can go and take a good half day or full day "stroll". 

Actually, if you don’t mind getting your feet dirty, Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness is a fantastic place to spend a day+ strolling.  For that matter Riverparks as well if shopping doesn’t have to be part of the requirement.
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« Reply #298 on: January 30, 2014, 01:16:23 pm »

Actually, if you don’t mind getting your feet dirty, Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness is a fantastic place to spend a day+ strolling.  For that matter Riverparks as well if shopping doesn’t have to be part of the requirement.

 Yea not so much what I am thinking about  Wink   I am thinking about a stroll with lots of people around, interesting architecture, imaginative window displays, unique shops, bookstores, clothing stores, etc. to explore, wonderful dining experiences, have an occasional snack/desert or drink at an outdoor cafe, explore a museum or bunch of galleries, historic points of interest, flea markets, food markets and stalls, the occasional live performance art, outdoor sculptures, fountains, etc.  The kind of thing you typically think of in an urban environment.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2014, 01:23:00 pm by TheArtist » Logged

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« Reply #299 on: January 30, 2014, 01:18:47 pm »

Yea not so much what I am thinking about  Wink   I am thinking about a stroll with lots of people around, interesting architecture, fun window displays, unique shops, bookstores, clothing stores, etc. to explore, wonderful dining experiences, have an occasional snack or drink at an outdoor cafe, explore a museum or bunch of galleries, historic points of interest, flea markets, food markets and stalls, the occasional live performance art, outdoor sculptures, fountains, etc.  The kind of thing you typically think of in an urban environment.

If you could get Tulsa to annex further south we could incorporate New Orleans.


...of course the mid-towners would say "Ew, South Tulsa?  Way too jazzy."
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