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Author Topic: Chapman Centenniel Green  (Read 5959 times)
Bamboo World
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« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2016, 09:59:08 am »


I think it's a good place for a park...  However, it is not very inviting for actual use...
 

Generally, I agree.  But it depends on the type of use, time of day (or night), weather conditions, time of the year, etc.

The current park, even with its shortcomings, is better than the surface parking lot it replaced.

I remember a proposal for an office tower on that site, announced around 1984.  It was to have been a sculptural skyscraper with faceted corners; twin pyramidal roofs; and setbacks from 6th, Main and Boston.  Fourth National Bank was to have been the anchor tenant.  The rendering showed trees planted in a landscaped plaza at the base of the tower (which would have been atop a 350-car, five-level underground parking structure).

In my opinion, the site would work better by being more enclosed (with beautiful buildings and trees surrounding it).  It's too open for my taste.  See "The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces" by William H. Whyte.
  
« Last Edit: July 22, 2016, 09:41:08 am by Bamboo World » Logged
PonderInc
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« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2016, 10:17:10 am »

But the original discussions of the park were not around shade. The original donors talked about a pastoral setting for white collar workers. It was a vision of sun and grass and quiet. Downtown areas can be dark and shady and open was the hope.

But we all see urban green space differently. People with children always want to add a playground. People out of shape like me always want more places to sit. I am a tree guy (and the current president of the board of Up with Trees) but I have spoke to people in downtown think that the new trees block the beautiful architecture.  
Pastoral my a$$.  I think you can go with the empirical evidence that nobody will use this space in the summer time as long as it's roasting in the sun.  That's the beauty of deciduous trees: you get shade in the summer (and cooler air temperatures), and living sculptures in the winter. I would NOT recommend trying to plant "large" trees.  Instead, I would plant appropriate trees that will grow large as they mature.  As I'm sure RM knows, if you try to transplant trees that are too big, they struggle to adapt/survive after the stress of being dug up and moved.

By the way, here's a nifty guide from the EPA about best practices and tree well designs for urban street trees that will allow them to thrive while capturing stormwater runoff: http://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPDF.cgi/P100H2RQ.PDF?Dockey=P100H2RQ.PDF

I'm amused about the notion of trees blocking the architecture.  In Tulsa, everyone can see our architecture (what's left of it) because so much is surrounded by surface parking lots.  In this case, when the park is separated from buildings by streets, this argument does not apply.

(There is some validity to the argument when trees are located right next to buildings--for example: the art deco architecture of the Pavillion at the fairgrounds, which is obscured by bradford pear trees, of all hideous things.)

However, in hot climates, if you want people to utilize outdoor spaces, you need shade.  This means awnings or trees or arbors.  (Go to Guthrie Green at lunch time and feel the difference in temperature when you stand under the arbor, compared to out in the middle of the field.)  

Centennial Green has tremendous potential.  But right now, that's all it's got.  I'll be excited to see critical improvements that will help the park reach its potential in the future.

For ideas, be sure to check out the Project for Public Spaces website.  Here's a nifty graphic that explains the four necessities for successful places: http://www.pps.org/reference/grplacefeat/

And a quick reference for Placemaking 101: http://www.pps.org/reference/reference-categories/placemaking-tools/

« Last Edit: July 21, 2016, 10:18:41 am by PonderInc » Logged
Bamboo World
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« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2016, 10:25:40 am »


Thanks for the link!

« Last Edit: July 22, 2016, 09:41:32 am by Bamboo World » Logged
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« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2016, 10:43:59 am »

Thanks for the link!  I checked it out ... there are two photos of people sitting in the full sun (in Paris, France and in New Orleans, LA).



In fairness, Jackson Square has a bit more going for it. Trees aren't a necessity, which it does have plenty of, just not directly in front of the cathedral. St. Peter and St. Ann are basically in the shade all day.
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Bamboo World
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« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2016, 10:50:24 am »


... it is not very inviting for actual use ...


No, it's not very inviting.  The Walton Family Lawn oval is elevated three steps up from the sidewalk along Sixth Street.  That's a barrier and hinders use of The Walton Family Lawn.  The wheelchair route is out of the way, on the other side of the elevated Walton Family Lawn oval.  That's not inviting, either.

Near the 6th & Boston corner, there's a retaining wall surrounding The Walton Family Lawn, instead of steps up to it.  The retaining wall is too high to be comfortably "sittable" -- another barrier.

If the park gets a make-over, lowering The Walton Family Lawn to sidewalk level (or lowering it to slightly below the sidewalk grade at 6th & Boston) would be an improvement and would greatly increase accessibility.

I avoid the area during the day, if possible (too much sun for me!), but even at night, in the shade of planet Earth, the elevated Walton Family Lawn can be very uninviting.


Photo by:  Jeff Lautenberger  jefflphoto.com

« Last Edit: July 21, 2016, 12:37:29 pm by Bamboo World » Logged
Bamboo World
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« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2016, 01:24:04 pm »

Links to some Tulsa World articles about the design, funding, and construction of the H.A. Chapman Centennial Green...

October 29, 2002:  "Speakers pitch ideas for revitalizing the city" by Randy Krehbiel (proposals included a "Centennial Walk" through downtown and establishing as many as 25 "pocket parks" -- small downtown green spaces)
  
November 17, 2004:  "19 centennial projects slated" by Michael Overall (includes a 2003 rendering by Sarah Schmitz)
  
December 25, 2005:  "Walk to tie city's projects together" by Brian Barber

October 23, 2006:  "Downtown trees to be removed, replaced" by Brian Barber (new tree species to be planted along the Centennial Walk in structural soil, including a cluster of 35 Zelkova trees to be planted in the park by Up With Trees)

November 5, 2006:  "Downtown master plan proposed" by Kevin Canfield (map accompanying the article shows a proposed trolley shelter in the park near 6th & Main)

April 19, 2007:  "Postponed Vision projects scheduled to start this year" by Kevin Canfield

May 30, 2007:  "Arena costs place hold on Oxley renovations" by Sara Plummer (the Centennial Green project will be completed, but the rest of the two-mile Centennial Walk through downtown will be on hold)

July 9, 2007:  "Room for Enthusiasm"
  
September 18, 2007:  "Construction Begins on Centennial Walk Phase II"

September 20, 2007:  "Construction starts on downtown park" by Brian Barber

September 21, 2007 editorial:  "Urban green"

December 22, 2007:  "No down time downtown" by Brian Barber (about construction during the night after the big ice storm)

March 12, 2008:  "183 days and counting" (Editorial Writer Wayne Greene's cranky blog posting about the on-going construction)

April 30, 2008:  "231 days and counting" (another cranky blog update from Wayne Greene)

May 4, 2008:  "Downtown park delayed" by Brian Barber

June 9, 2008:  "H.A. Chapman Centennial Park -- still not done" by Wayne Greene

August 29, 2008:  "Downtown Emerging From Construction" (H.A. Chapman Centennial Green open)

November 8, 2008:  "Downtown parking lot now a paradise" by Brian Barber

November 10, 2008:  "H.A. Chapman Centennial Green Dedicated"  

November 10, 2008 editorial:  "Downtown park"

November 11, 2008:  "Park With No Place to Sit" (complaint from Kent Morlan)

--------

November 13, 2007:  "Only in Oklahoma:  Oilman gave money away -- secretly" by Gene Curtis (related article about the James A. Chapman family and their philanthropy)

« Last Edit: July 24, 2016, 04:41:14 pm by Bamboo World » Logged
heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2016, 04:43:11 pm »

Links to a few Tulsa World articles about the design, funding, and construction of the H.A. Chapman Centennial Green...

September 18, 2007:  "Construction Begins on Centennial Walk Phase II"

September 20, 2007:  "Construction starts on downtown park" by Brian Barber

September 21, 2007 editorial:  "Urban green"

December 22, 2007:  "No down time downtown" by Brian Barber (about construction during the night after the big ice storm)

March 12, 2008:  "183 days and counting" (Editorial Writer Wayne Greene's cranky blog posting about the on-going construction)

April 30, 2008:  "231 days and counting" (another cranky blog update from Wayne Greene)

May 4, 2008:  "Downtown park delayed" by Brian Barber

June 9, 2008:  "H.A. Chapman Centennial Park -- still not done" by Wayne Greene

August 29, 2008:  "Downtown Emerging From Construction" (H.A. Chapman Centennial Green open)

November 8, 2008:  "Downtown parking lot now a paradise" by Brian Barber

November 10, 2008:  "H.A. Chapman Centennial Green Dedicated" 

November 10, 2008 editorial:  "Downtown park"

November 11, 2008:  "Park With No Place to Sit" (complaint from Kent Morlan)

--------

November 13, 2007:  "Only in Oklahoma:  Oilman gave money away -- secretly" by Gene Curtis





2016 -  Still not done.

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« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2016, 05:16:08 pm »

Pastoral my a$$.  I think you can go with the empirical evidence that nobody will use this space in the summer time as long as it's roasting in the sun.  That's the beauty of deciduous trees: you get shade in the summer (and cooler air temperatures), and living sculptures in the winter. I would NOT recommend trying to plant "large" trees.  Instead, I would plant appropriate trees that will grow large as they mature.  As I'm sure RM knows, if you try to transplant trees that are too big, they struggle to adapt/survive after the stress of being dug up and moved.

By the way, here's a nifty guide from the EPA about best practices and tree well designs for urban street trees that will allow them to thrive while capturing stormwater runoff: http://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPDF.cgi/P100H2RQ.PDF?Dockey=P100H2RQ.PDF

I'm amused about the notion of trees blocking the architecture.  In Tulsa, everyone can see our architecture (what's left of it) because so much is surrounded by surface parking lots.  In this case, when the park is separated from buildings by streets, this argument does not apply.

(There is some validity to the argument when trees are located right next to buildings--for example: the art deco architecture of the Pavillion at the fairgrounds, which is obscured by bradford pear trees, of all hideous things.)

However, in hot climates, if you want people to utilize outdoor spaces, you need shade.  This means awnings or trees or arbors.  (Go to Guthrie Green at lunch time and feel the difference in temperature when you stand under the arbor, compared to out in the middle of the field.)  

Centennial Green has tremendous potential.  But right now, that's all it's got.  I'll be excited to see critical improvements that will help the park reach its potential in the future.

For ideas, be sure to check out the Project for Public Spaces website.  Here's a nifty graphic that explains the four necessities for successful places: http://www.pps.org/reference/grplacefeat/

And a quick reference for Placemaking 101: http://www.pps.org/reference/reference-categories/placemaking-tools/




Nice reference.  Glad you put that here!


There appear to be a few small trees on the south side - surrounded by concrete.  Anyone know if the sidewalk there is permeable to allow water to flow into the root zone?  Otherwise, those will be just the standard tortured trees that have no room for roots to grow, nor means for water to get to those roots in any reasonable way.

The open grassy area would be great for some trees, but given the apparent obsession with surrounding trees with concrete (not just here, but most towns), it might be counterproductive - would lose all that grassy area!   Yeah, that's sarcasm in case anyone didn't notice.

There are some great trees that would really enhance that area, are slow growing enough to develop nicely over a long time.

Autumn Purple Ash would be a great tree to have there - 3 or 4.  
A Burr Oak or two along one side (away from the street) would be pretty, provide a visual 'anchor' to the park, but may put off some people due to the LARGE acorns!  Size of golf balls!!  

And one of my "pet projects"....

Something I am getting ready to do is a bit of an experiment and it might be something interesting for the city to do also.  Get involved in the effort to re-introduce the American Chestnut back into American life!  At this point in time, it would likely need to be a two step process - here is what I am going to do, and it follows some of the recommendations of the American Chestnut Foundation.  First, there is adequate seed available of intermediate attempts of breeding a blight resistant tree.  They sadly, are not resistant.  They will grow, reproduce, and make beautiful trees for some period of time.  Then they will 'die' due to blight.  The roots survive and will send out new growth, but each incarnation has probably less than 10 years life expectancy.  What this step does is provide "proof of concept" as to whether the Chestnut will survive in Oklahoma.  

In the meantime, and in parallel, there are quantities of Restoration Chestnut 1.0 available.  For an entry level membership (costing $300), you get to be annual member and receive seed.  4 seeds.  This is what I am doing.  And it may not happen in 2017, but later.  Depends on how many members and how much seed they get.

This would be a very long term adventure that could give good educational opportunities in several areas - history, biology, ecology, etc.  For decades at least.  So, Tulsa, here is a quiet little backwater, niche project that could be interesting and fulfilling by helping the effort to bring back a true American Icon!

http://www.acf.org/







« Last Edit: July 21, 2016, 05:18:17 pm by heironymouspasparagus » Logged

“When you wage war on the public schools, you're attacking the mortar that holds the community together. You're not a conservative, you're a vandal.”    - Garrison Keillor

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

What you do speaks so loud, I cannot hear what you say.
davideinstein
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« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2016, 10:52:37 pm »

Yeah, let's misunderstand a post and use a dumbassed emoticon.

What part did I misunderstand again?
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Conan71
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« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2016, 08:00:14 am »

It's funny, we get rid of a heat island which all people seem to agree is a good thing, now everyone is unhappy either with the type of green space it is now or what it is proposed to be.  Sheesh.
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Bamboo World
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« Reply #25 on: July 22, 2016, 11:57:24 am »


It's funny, we get rid of a heat island which all people seem to agree is a good thing, now everyone is unhappy either with the type of green space it is now or what it is proposed to be.  Sheesh.


There's a heat island effect on the site.  "We" have not gotten rid of a heat island at that location.

Probably most people on this forum would agree that the Chapman Centennial Green is better than the surface parking lot it replaced, but except for the elevated Walton Family Lawn oval, much of the site is paved, with very few trees or anything else to provide shade or to reduce the heat island effect.

Everyone is not unhappy with the Chapman Centennial Green ... however, its design is lacking.  As cannon_fodder posted, the park is not very inviting for actual use.  

-It lacks shade.  
-It lacks a sense of enclosure by canopy trees and/or beautiful buildings.  
-The oval is elevated above the street level, and it's surrounded by a retaining wall/planter barrier along much of its perimeter.  
-Many of the walls are uncomfortable for sitting because they're too high.
-The fountain hasn't been operating recently (at least when I've walked by, which isn't very often).
-When the fountain is operating, there's over-spray onto the surrounding pavement.
-The single oak tree* PSO donated for The Walton Family Lawn is dead and gone.

from "Downtown parking lot now a paradise" by Brian Barber, published by the Tulsa World, November 8, 2008:
Quote

The park's $378,000 design, $3.8 million construction and $1.2 million land purchase was funded through the Vision 2025 sales-tax initiative.


For $5.378 million, I think "we" Vision 2025 sales tax payers could have gotten a better park.  The World article mentions other donations, and I don't know how all of the funding was divided (or the final, total cost, either).  If someone has those facts and numbers, I'd be interested in seeing them.  But, Chapman Centennial Green is a public park, and...


There are plans to make improvements and it is going to host a beautiful art exhibit in 2018.



Any place we can see these plans online? Are they being done by the City or private entities?



Now the Park department has reached out and is planning to do more trees. Big trees are difficult to find and really difficult to move and plant, but there is hope.


How many additional trees is the Parks Department planning?  What size?  What species?  Where will they be planted?  When will they be planted?  How will they be planted?  In special soil?  Does the Parks Department have the plans for improvements online?  If not, are plans available for public inspection/review anywhere?

The park needs more tables and chairs, preferably movable.  There are activities scheduled for Chapman Centennial Green, but it's not managed and utilized as well as Guthrie Green, for example.

The Walton Family Lawn is too isolated and inaccessible from the street.  Lowering the entire oval might be too expensive, but breaking through the retaining wall/planter and adding more stairs (and possibly ramps) would make the lawn much more inviting.


* according to the Tulsa World, the mature oak tree was planted in November.
 
« Last Edit: July 22, 2016, 03:05:59 pm by Bamboo World » Logged
RecycleMichael
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« Reply #26 on: July 22, 2016, 06:32:32 pm »

I suggest you contact the Parks department.

It sounds like you are the self appointed expert on what should be done.

Good luck.
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Bamboo World
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« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2016, 07:50:46 pm »


I suggest you contact the Parks department.

It sounds like you are the self appointed expert on what should be done.

Good luck.
 

Thanks for your reply, RecycleMichael.

Since it followed mine directly, I'm assuming it was a comment to me (although my post wasn't quoted in yours).

If so, let me clarify that I'm not an expert, self-appointed or otherwise, on what should be done, nor on what has been done to this point, exactly.  I wasn't involved with the programming or the design of the park.  Almost everything that I've learned about the history of it was through Tulsa World articles written by the late Brian Barber, some of the replies you have posted this month on this thread, and some other info I've found online (which isn't very much).

The topic started with someone else's observations and complaints, not mine:

Does anyone else think the Centenniel Green downtown is pretty terrible?  It's just an empty, unprogrammed patch of grass that breaks up our premier streetwall.  There's no trees, no shade, it's hot AF, no swingset, no real public art, nothing to attract anyone to that site.

Maybe all it needs is some shade and seating.  Or throw in some engaging public art or a swingset or a waterfountain for kiddos or something.  Right now it makes Boston Ave actively worse - I'd almost rather have an empty building than what it is now.
  

I don't agree with everything johrasephoenix stated.

1.  Contrary to what johrasephoenix posted, I don't think the H.A. Chapman Centennial Green is terrible, but it needs some improvement.

2.  Contrary to what johrasephoenix posted, there are trees: twelve deciduous conifers along the old Chamber building, about twenty deciduous broadleaf trees in the southwest corner, and five deciduous oaks in the abutting public sidewalk along Boston.  However -- in my opinion -- the park needs more deciduous broadleaf trees, planted properly and then well-maintained.

3.  Contrary to what johrasephoenix posted, there is some real public art on the fountain, but the fountain itself doesn't seem to be working.  I (and rdj and perhaps others) are wondering why the fountain is not operating.  Do you know why?  July 27, 2016 edit:  The fountain was working last night and this morning.

4.  Contrary to what johrasephoenix posted, I don't think throwing in a swingset for kiddos would improve the park.  I don't think a swingset was ever programmed or intended for Chapman Centennial Green, nor do I think one should have been included, necessarily.  (Perhaps when and if more families move nearby, but not now...)

5.  Contrary to what johrasephoenix posted, there are things and activities to attract people to the park.  For example, I was invited to a Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee event there recently.  I see people at the park from time to time, although I'm not there often myself.  The place might be teeming with people most of the time, as far as I know, but there don't seem to be many people using it whenever I walk by.


I've made a few suggestions about what I think would improve the park (shade trees, more places to sit, and a few other things), as have johrasephoenix (shade trees, more places to sit, and a few other things) and PonderInc (shade trees) and erfalf (shade trees) and cannon_fodder (shade trees) and OurTulsa (shade trees and movable chairs/tables) and carltonplace (many more trees) and TheArtist (amphitheater/stage/sidewalk cafe structure and a simplified/pared down fountain sculpture) and hello (more places to sit) and pfox (more places to sit and secure bike parking/showers/lockers) and joiei (more trees) and SXSW (a corner cafe/restaurant) and Kent Morlan (places to sit) and sgrizzle (a buried time capsule) and Rico (a street vendor or two) and patric (more efficient and vision-friendly lighting) and you (a few more trees and more places to sit).

And I agree with you that moving and planting large trees right now, in the heat of summer, would not be advisable.


« Last Edit: July 27, 2016, 10:08:04 am by Bamboo World » Logged
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« Reply #28 on: July 22, 2016, 08:09:33 pm »

It's funny, we get rid of a heat island which all people seem to agree is a good thing, now everyone is unhappy either with the type of green space it is now or what it is proposed to be.  Sheesh.

Seems that's been the SOP for people in Tulsa since the 70's. People see something in another town and they go "OOOOOHHHH That's what Tulsa needs." Then Tulsa get's it and they go"Well we wanted it, but that's not the way we want it, change it and do it again but different."
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Bamboo World
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« Reply #29 on: July 22, 2016, 08:32:37 pm »


Seems that's been the SOP for people in Tulsa since the 70's. People see something in another town and they go "OOOOOHHHH That's what Tulsa needs." Then Tulsa get's it and they go"Well we wanted it, but that's not the way we want it, change it and do it again but different."


True, that may be the SOP for some or many or most people in Tulsa -- but -- not for me.  I've been here since the 1980s, and I've never thought Tulsa "needed" more open space downtown.  In my opinion, there's too much open space downtown, especially south of 6th Street.  What downtown Tulsa needs is more buildings, more housing in particular. 

There are several parks and fountains downtown.  But, in general, they are not operated or utilized very well.  The H.A. Chapman Centennial Green is not very inviting for people to use it.
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