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Author Topic: (PROJECT) A Gathering Place For Tulsa  (Read 142644 times)
sgrizzle
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« on: February 21, 2012, 10:36:58 am »

New/expansion to east riverparks near 31st St. Public input sessions in March, full plan revealed in the fall:
http://agatheringplacefortulsa.com


http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=334&articleid=20120221_11_A1_CUTLIN46753

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Tulsans' ideas sought for George Kaiser Family Foundation's proposed park

Quote
The George Kaiser Family Foundation wants public input into the creation of a new gathering space on two large tracts of land along the east side of Riverside Drive.

"Because this will be space for all of Tulsa to enjoy, we want the entire community to give us their ideas on what they want to see in their new park," said Jeff Stava, project manager for the foundation's proposal.

The project, estimated to cost between $100 million and $150 million, would stretch from 26th Street to just south of 31st Street.

The land includes the 33.6 acres of the Blair Mansion property at 26th Place and the 21.5-acre tract where the Crow Creek Apartments sit just south of 31st Street. Both properties are owned by the foundation.

As part of the planning process, public meetings will be held at 6 p.m. on March 6 and March 7 at the Center for Creativity on Tulsa Community College's downtown campus.

The public-input sessions will be open-house style for people to engage with members of the project team about the "potential for the site to deliver a unique experience to the community," Stava said.

He said the foundation is soliciting ideas for low-impact activities such as splash pads, tree forts, zip lines, sculpture gardens and nature trails through the wooded area there.

"Great parks in cities have all sorts of these type of activities, many of which we don't have here in our parks," Stava said.

He noted that parks draw people "for all different kinds of reasons, whether it's activities or enjoying the atmosphere of the park itself."

A small parking lot that takes up 4.2 acres sits between the two Kaiser Foundation tracts. Mayor Dewey Bartlett said it has not yet been determined whether that land is owned by the city or jointly by the city and county.

"No matter, from the city's perspective, we need to be very flexible when somebody has made a commitment to embark upon a very visionary development that is beneficial to the public," he said.

Bartlett said that while he will be supportive, the role of the public land will be determined by the foundation's final plans.

Stava said the biggest challenge for the project is unifying the sites not only with each other but also to River Parks on the west side of Riverside Drive.

"You have to be able to get people back and forth fluidly and effortlessly," he said.

He noted that the Midland Valley Trail, formerly a railroad track, sits atop a berm and is a barrier between the Blair property and the publicly owned land. Then 31st Street is a barrier between the public land and the Crow Creek Apartments site.

The most obvious barrier, he said, is Riverside Drive between River Parks and the new gathering spaces.

"This is a big creative challenge," he said. "We're asking the public for its thoughts and ideas on how to unify the sites and what the activities should be on the sites."

The foundation is using Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, a landscape architecture firm based in Brooklyn, N.Y., to design the project based on the public input.

Stava said the firm specializes in riverfront projects, and he pointed out how it transformed the Hudson River Park, a former industrial waterfront, into a community landscape featuring a boardwalk, a carousel and expansive views of the river.

The firm's staff, Stava said, "are true park builders and focus on the essence of a site."

The foundation selected the firm after narrowing the field from 35 companies that submitted qualification packets. The firm also competed with three others in a competition process, Stava said.

"The Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates have a way of looking at things in a super-creative way. They keep the green green and make it better by weaving together landscaping and trails and all of the activities," he said

Stava said the firm has proven experience in designing "amazing parks in numerous metropolitan areas around the country, and their dedication to creating landscapes that reflect the community in which they're based made them the clear choice for this project."

« Last Edit: March 06, 2012, 09:26:18 am by sgrizzle » Logged
YoungTulsan
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2012, 10:59:55 am »

I want to know what the 600 or so units of apartment living will be replaced with.  Uprooting over a thousand people isn't the greatest plan for density, unless more is going to be packed in to whatever new development is put in.

And I really hope whatever is decided on incorporates a get-sh*t-done construction contractor, because I would hate to see 31st & Riverside be a construction wasteland for the majority of the next decade.
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AquaMan
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2012, 11:09:00 am »

My first impression was that this is pr. They have been soliciting bids for some time now so they must have some plan in mind. So, perhaps this is a chance to do some fine tuning.

I have confidence that this is going to end up the one bright spot in River Development in my remaining years. V-2025 showed me the plans for the nearby Whitewater rafting park and if they take out the Crow Creek apartments, this one area will kick. My suggestion is to place parking on part of the land where the apartments now reside. Then utilize Crow Creek to funnel watercraft into the Whitewater park.  Direct a somewhat elevated canal across 31st, through the current parking lot to the Blair property where it empties into a centrally located shallow pond surrounded by landscaped areas. Horse rides would snake through the wooded area that backs up to the path. Get real creative and buy the path from the Parks dept and run a canal along its edge up to 21st street.

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carltonplace
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2012, 11:17:36 am »

I want to see a new Bike crossing at the railroad bridge that is separate from the pedestrian crossing. I use the bridge both as a runner and on my bike and this old configuration is an accident begging to happen. The Midland Valley trail could use a new surface too...its getting a little weather worn.
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AquaMan
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2012, 11:31:21 am »

Why couldn't they use the upper level of the rail road bridge for bikes? It could be surfaced with decking and have side rails attached.

About a year ago there were crews drilling into the MV trail bed pulling up core samples. They were pretty tight lipped about it. Maybe in preparation for a resurfacing.
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Conan71
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2012, 11:40:21 am »

Wait?  What's that?  The KFF is entertaining the idea of dropping $150 million on Riverparks development without a public tax grab?

Where's all those whiners now?  Grin
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sgrizzle
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2012, 11:50:43 am »

I want to know what the 600 or so units of apartment living will be replaced with.  Uprooting over a thousand people isn't the greatest plan for density, unless more is going to be packed in to whatever new development is put in.

And I really hope whatever is decided on incorporates a get-sh*t-done construction contractor, because I would hate to see 31st & Riverside be a construction wasteland for the majority of the next decade.

See also: Every other GKFF construction project. On time and well done.
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TheArtist
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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2012, 11:57:41 am »

  Just some general thoughts.

Variety of spaces.  Some open and grassy, some wooded, some flat, some "hilly", some more natural, some very structured.  Several unique looking and feeling spaces to walk/bike etc. through to make even a simple stroll as interesting as possible.

Somewhere, likely in the center of a large open area, have a high point from which people can look down upon and see the rest of the park from a "birds eye" view.  Over here see kids playing in a playground, over there Kayakers, off to the other side people running along trails or playing frisbee, walking through other trails and park/garden type areas, etc.   People love a view and they like going up to a high place.  Think the Castle in NYC central park or a "folly" in some old traditional European park, the "steps" in Rome and Paris, but it can be a contemporary stone type structure or monument type thing. At the base of this hill/structure/monument/ sculpture or whatever type high point they choose, have stairs all the way around, and that are still high enough so that people can sit and face some view of the park or river.   People gravitate to those types of places even when nobody else is around.  Acts as a central meeting place, etc.   Also a lot of these parks today look good from the "above view" with the way the parks and trails curve and have patterns that can only be appreciated from above.  So put something somewhere that people can go out on top of to look down and see all of that.  

Somewhere within the larger property bring in some water features like a small stream, or something like AquaMan mentioned, or ponds, fountain, etc.  Something to bring the river aka water into the park itself more.  It's the River Parks and the Blair Property is large, so to keep the water/river aspect in the feel and mix of the place, pull some water feature back up into the property.

Build it quality.  Would rather have a good solid foundation with only a few nice things that can be added to later, and that will last for generations than too much fluffery that will fall into disrepair and need expensive redoing in 20 or 30 years.  
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 11:59:55 am by TheArtist » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2012, 12:07:17 pm »

Why couldn't they use the upper level of the rail road bridge for bikes? It could be surfaced with decking and have side rails attached.

About a year ago there were crews drilling into the MV trail bed pulling up core samples. They were pretty tight lipped about it. Maybe in preparation for a resurfacing.

That would be a nice improvement.  Bike on top of the pedestrian bridge (with tall railings on each side) and joggers/walkers/fishermen on the bottom.  A new coat of paint on the bridge and LED lighting would be pretty awesome too. 

I'd like to see the Crow Creek apartments rebuilt into a denser development that better utilizes Crow Creek which needs a trail connecting Brookside to the river.  Maybe 4-5 stories in some places closer to Riverside and stepping down to 2-3 stories closer to the surrounding neighborhood.

For the Blair property I would almost be in favor of keeping the eastern half natural (with the trees and horse farm) but developing the western half along the river into townhouses and extending the existing Maple Ridge grid south in front of the Blair Mansion (Boston extended south, Hazel crossing the MV trail, etc)


Besides the whitewater park and improvements to the low water dam I wouldn't do anything else to the river there or Riverside Dr
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2012, 12:29:27 pm »

Wait?  What's that?  The KFF is entertaining the idea of dropping $150 million on Riverparks development without a public tax grab?

Where's all those whiners now?  Grin

You haven't been to the Tulsa World story I see. It's brutal over there.
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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2012, 01:02:12 pm »

I'll just say it.  If we don't incorporate a world-class Children's Museum into this site and pull in families (something that's been missing in our River Parks for awhile), it will be a colossal mistake.

Tulsa is a family city...this space should not just be "kid-friendly", it should draw kids and families in like flies to honey.  We need more families back in Tulsa and we need to show our visitors that Tulsa is commited to future generations.
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sgrizzle
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2012, 01:13:14 pm »

I'll just say it.  If we don't incorporate a world-class Children's Museum into this site and pull in families (something that's been missing in our River Parks for awhile), it will be a colossal mistake.

Tulsa is a family city...this space should not just be "kid-friendly", it should draw kids and families in like flies to honey.  We need more families back in Tulsa and we need to show our visitors that Tulsa is commited to future generations.

I like what you said.

I would like to see the Children's museum there. I think it definitely needs:
Farmer's market style marketplace
Residential (preferably over retail)
Playgrounds/play areas
iconic landscaping features
strong tie to brookside making brookside/riverside a combined destination

Riverside should be a place to go to, not just a place to have things at.
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erfalf
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2012, 01:19:19 pm »

I'll just say it.  If we don't incorporate a world-class Children's Museum into this site and pull in families (something that's been missing in our River Parks for awhile), it will be a colossal mistake.

Tulsa is a family city...this space should not just be "kid-friendly", it should draw kids and families in like flies to honey.  We need more families back in Tulsa and we need to show our visitors that Tulsa is commited to future generations.

AMEN!!!

Tulsa needs to at least put forth the effort in creating a more family friendly city.
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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2012, 04:22:27 pm »

I'll just say it.  If we don't incorporate a world-class Children's Museum into this site and pull in families (something that's been missing in our River Parks for awhile), it will be a colossal mistake.

Tulsa is a family city...this space should not just be "kid-friendly", it should draw kids and families in like flies to honey.  We need more families back in Tulsa and we need to show our visitors that Tulsa is commited to future generations.

Last time owns at QT Park, there were two birthday parties and many families, including mine.

Also, while I would love to see a Children's museum built in Tulsa, I would hate to see it built here.
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Conan71
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« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2012, 04:27:53 pm »

I'll just say it.  If we don't incorporate a world-class Children's Museum into this site and pull in families (something that's been missing in our River Parks for awhile), it will be a colossal mistake.

Tulsa is a family city...this space should not just be "kid-friendly", it should draw kids and families in like flies to honey.  We need more families back in Tulsa and we need to show our visitors that Tulsa is commited to future generations.

Cue the commercial with the little children threatening to leave Tulsa if they don't get their museum.

I kid! I kid!

I like your idea and what Grizzle did with it as well. 
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