City Of Tulsa Asks For Public Input For Route 66 Project

There are a lot of ideas for the space- some of those include an observation tower, a giant statue, or a vintage diner.

Tuesday, December 5th 2023, 10:14 pm



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The City of Tulsa is asking for ideas to develop the piece of land at the intersection of Route 66 and Riverside Drive.

Previous plans included a hotel and tower with vintage cars on display inside, but those ideas fell apart.

There are a lot of ideas for the space- some of those include an observation tower, a giant statue, or a vintage diner.

The city hopes to develop this space on Route 66 before the Mother Road’s centennial in 2026.

Dozens of people came to Tuesday’s meeting tell the city their thoughts on what should go in on the area known as “Cry Baby Hill.”

Hoss Thomas says he hopes what goes in there will represent the history of the route.

"It would be a tribute to the fact that it was a main mode of transportation, representing the horse, the common man, the cowboy, representing the Native Americans there,” said Thomas.

The city hopes these meetings encourage people to speak up about the ideas they like and the ones they don’t.

Some people want the area to fit in with the local neighborhood, while others want the space to draw in more tourists.

"There's really a lot on the table and with so many different opinions, we just want to make sure that we're talking to all the stakeholders and all the public to see what will most make sense in the site,” said Ellen Ray, the Managing Director for City Design Studio with the City of Tulsa.

Ray says the goal is to make something that will cause people to pull off the road and stay for a while.

"We want Tulsa to be one of the main places that people stop along Route 66,” said Ray. “In the same way that people would stop at a major roadside attraction somewhere else, we want them to think about what Tulsa has here as one of the key destinations for a road trip."

Over the years, there have been projects that were supposed to go into this site, but fell through.

Ray is confident this time will be different.

"This time around, we're saying, 'we know it's challenging given the topography of the site, the size of it, here are some general parameters, but y'all come up with a vision that's feasible for this site and that's reflective of the community input that we heard early on through these meetings,”’ said Ray.

There will be another public information meeting on Thursday starting at 5:30 at the Centennial Center in Veterans Park.

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