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December 10, 2018, 06:43:54 am
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Author Topic: Route 66 Museum on Riverside  (Read 8741 times)
Tulsasaurus Rex
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« on: May 20, 2015, 10:06:30 am »

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Seven years ago, when Tulsa dedicated the Cyrus Avery Plaza on old Route 66, the plan was to build a state-of-the-art museum nearby, creating a major tourist attraction at the point where the Mother Road crosses the Arkansas River.

When? “Eventually,” officials said, and left it at that.

Until now.

Tulsa will announce definite plans Wednesday to build a $19.5 million Route 66 Experience, aspiring to become one of the most popular destinations along the iconic highway.

If all goes well, a year of fundraising will lead to a ground-breaking next summer, with the museum opening in 2018, officials told the Tulsa World.

Planning actually did start in 2008, when the Cyrus Avery Plaza opened on the east side of the historic 11th Street bridge, where the “Father of Route 66” brought the highway through Tulsa to take advantage of the existing river crossing.

A feasibility study, commissioned by the city of Tulsa in 2011, estimated that the museum would attract more than 40,000 visitors a year. But little noticeable progress was made until last fall, when the Route 66 Alliance lured Ken Busby away from the Tulsa Arts and Humanities Council.

An experienced fundraiser who led the effort to build downtown’s $18 million AHHA arts center, Busby has been quietly working behind the scenes since October to build support for the Route 66 project.

“This will be almost like a visitors center for Tulsa,” said Busby, now director of the Route 66 Alliance. “People will stop for this, then we can send them to the ballet, to the opera, to the museums. The hotel industry talks about ‘heads in beds.’ We’re going to send them a lot of business.”

With 42,000 square feet, the museum will resemble a bridge, stretching across Riverside Drive with views of the river and the downtown skyline. Route 66 landmarks, from a giant Blue Whale near Catoosa to the “Cadillac Ranch” near Amarillo, aren’t exactly known for subtlety. So the new museum will use a bright red color scheme to compete for attention.

Inside, $4 million worth of interactive exhibits will tell the history of Route 66 and let tourists take a virtual drive from Chicago to Santa Monica.

“Tulsa is the only capital of Route 66, where east meets west,” Busby said. “We’re really the only city that could do something like this, and Tulsa is going to become known for it.”

The museum’s location, just minutes away from the BOK Center, will also help create the much talked-about link between downtown and the river, creating an anchor for further development along the waterfront, Busby said. The historic 11th Street bridge itself, however, has been closed for 25 years and is badly in need of repairs.

Completed in 1916, it was the first automobile bridge across the Arkansas River. If fixed up to serve as a pedestrian bridge, it could become an outdoor extension of the museum, perhaps hosting food trucks or a marketplace, Busby said.

When? “Eventually,” he said.

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/downtown/million-route-museum-for-tulsa-is-announced/article_fb8e3a26-9aa5-5f2a-a26c-7e0a4d590581.html

Hmm.. that much talked-about link between downtown and the river.  Will they walk down Southwest Blvd? Or maybe 12th Street is more pedestrian friendly?
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 10:10:16 am by gratherton » Logged
swake
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2015, 10:40:03 am »

Very cool
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sgrizzle
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2015, 12:23:05 pm »

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PonderInc
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2015, 02:08:25 pm »

Too bad they didn't wait until the Oklahoma House was done voting on OKPOP before announcing this....

Word from OKC today is that many state legislators are now saying: "Well, if Tulsa can afford this new Rt 66 museum, why do they need state money for OKPOP?"

While I don't agree with this logic, it's certainly a concern.  I'll be bummed if this gets used as an excuse to screw Tulsa (again).
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rdj
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« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2015, 02:21:24 pm »

Too bad they didn't wait until the Oklahoma House was done voting on OKPOP before announcing this....

Word from OKC today is that many state legislators are now saying: "Well, if Tulsa can afford this new Rt 66 museum, why do they need state money for OKPOP?"

While I don't agree with this logic, it's certainly a concern.  I'll be bummed if this gets used as an excuse to screw Tulsa (again).

I thought the same thing.  Another example of groups in Tulsa having no real desire to coordinate things.
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2015, 02:50:10 pm »

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/downtown/million-route-museum-for-tulsa-is-announced/article_fb8e3a26-9aa5-5f2a-a26c-7e0a4d590581.html

Hmm.. that much talked-about link between downtown and the river.  Will they walk down Southwest Blvd? Or maybe 12th Street is more pedestrian friendly?

Neither are that great being next to the highway or the hospital.  Making Houston Ave from 3rd to Riverside more pedestrian and bike-friendly is doable, as well as 6th St through the CBD which connects to 7th less than block east of Houston.  3rd and 6th being the main pedestrian streets connecting the rest of downtown to Houston and the river, also Denver.
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DolfanBob
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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2015, 02:52:48 pm »

Is that an outdoor big screen?  Huh
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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2015, 02:56:56 pm »

Seems like a good use of that space. That has been an awkward ugly empty lot for a while.
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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2015, 03:33:24 pm »

Too bad they didn't wait until the Oklahoma House was done voting on OKPOP before announcing this....

Word from OKC today is that many state legislators are now saying: "Well, if Tulsa can afford this new Rt 66 museum, why do they need state money for OKPOP?"

While I don't agree with this logic, it's certainly a concern.  I'll be bummed if this gets used as an excuse to screw Tulsa (again).

If true, that is a shame considering what has already been done/donated to complete OKPop.
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sgrizzle
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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2015, 07:28:23 pm »

Too bad they didn't wait until the Oklahoma House was done voting on OKPOP before announcing this....

Word from OKC today is that many state legislators are now saying: "Well, if Tulsa can afford this new Rt 66 museum, why do they need state money for OKPOP?"

While I don't agree with this logic, it's certainly a concern.  I'll be bummed if this gets used as an excuse to screw Tulsa (again).

This announcement was already delayed for several weeks and was beholden to some other deals going on.

This project is only funded 25% so there is no justification to the idea we have money laying around. Even if someone tried, OKC is throwing around way more cash.
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LandArchPoke
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« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2015, 11:38:00 pm »

This announcement was already delayed for several weeks and was beholden to some other deals going on.

This project is only funded 25% so there is no justification to the idea we have money laying around. Even if someone tried, OKC is throwing around way more cash.

OKPOP or the Route 66 Museum is only 25% funded?

They need to get rid of that parking lot. Put some underground parking, and add on street parking along Southwest Boulevard. There is already a ton of parking along Riverside that is almost never used. You could also put 12th St./11th St. on a road diet too and add on street parking.

Use that land for a flea market, farmers market, other retail, or a hotel, or apartments/condos. Use the proceeds and taxes produced from those developments to support the museum instead of wasting valuable land.
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sgrizzle
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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2015, 06:31:54 am »

OKPOP or the Route 66 Museum is only 25% funded?

They need to get rid of that parking lot. Put some underground parking, and add on street parking along Southwest Boulevard. There is already a ton of parking along Riverside that is almost never used. You could also put 12th St./11th St. on a road diet too and add on street parking.

Use that land for a flea market, farmers market, other retail, or a hotel, or apartments/condos. Use the proceeds and taxes produced from those developments to support the museum instead of wasting valuable land.

RT 66 is only 25% funded.

There isn't enough parking on Riverside, just ask Sauerkraut.
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rdj
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2015, 09:18:07 am »

It's a bit higher than 25% but not by much.  According to Busby (via a Facebook comment from his account) they have $6.5MM in public dollars set aside for the development which is a 1/3 of the cost.  Based on his track record with AHHA it'll be interesting to see how the fundraising on construction of this "attraction" plays out.
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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2015, 09:21:10 am »

Is the white box adjacent to the red bridge part of the project or "future development"?  It's the same color as the existing townhomes on Lawton Ave.
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PonderInc
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2015, 10:12:42 am »

They need to get rid of that parking lot. Put some underground parking, and add on street parking along Southwest Boulevard. There is already a ton of parking along Riverside that is almost never used. You could also put 12th St./11th St. on a road diet too and add on street parking.

Use that land for a flea market, farmers market, other retail, or a hotel, or apartments/condos. Use the proceeds and taxes produced from those developments to support the museum instead of wasting valuable land.

Totally agree. It's on a big ol hill so it would be easy to dig a parking garage under the museum with access from Riverside.
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