Tulsa to Carthage - Trip Day #21

On Friday I gave myself a tour of Tulsa. I love all the art deco architecture and also the commemorative Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza and love to photograph it in different light. The oil boom and the art deco craze flourished at the same time here, coming together in a huge array of types and sizes of buildings in the various nuances of art deco style. If you'd like to know more - http://www.tulsapreservationcommission.org/artdeco/

I had stayed in Oklahoma City the night before and woke up feeling a bit lazy. The morning disappeared with some writing and some shopping and then I made up some time on the interstate for awhile. From Sapulpa I took 66 right on up into Tulsa to the Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza. There were lots of heavy dark clouds to give things a moody look. In 2004, the old 11th Street Route 66 bridge was renamed in honor of national highway advocate and "father of Route 66" Cyrus Avery and closed off with a memorial gate. The "East Meets West" statues depict a horse-drawn wagon narrowly averting a collision with a Ford Model T driven by Avery himself. These bronze figures by artist Robert Summers stand at 135% of actual size.

After the bridge and plaza, 66 turns sharply east (well, if you're eastbound it does) and skirts the downtown. Nearby is the amazing Boston Avenue Church, completed in 1929. The church's website states that it's "considered to be one of the finest examples of ecclesiastical art deco architecture in the United States and has been designated by the Department of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark as well as listed on the National Register of Historic Places." Every time I've posted a photo of it, someone says it looks like that ghostbusters building! Well, same style!

Another terrific example of art deco is the Warehouse Market Building, just a few blocks away. This building served as a farmer's market and then the home of a grocery chain which is still family-owned and operated, but no longer at this location. This gem is getting great re-use with several retail businesses in the rebuilt structure - the tower and facade are original.

A bit north on the earlier alignment is the Blue Dome gas station. Just love this building - it was purchased a year ago by the owners of the adjacent Arnie's Bar for $1.52 million, according to Tulsa World and Ron Warnick's Route 66 News. It stands sentinel as a landmark of the Blue Dome Entertainment District. 

I found this nice streamline building near the Blue Dome and am painfully ignorant of what it once was, although it looks like a car dealership building. If someone reading this knows its history, please fill me in. I didn't take time to research it, but wanted to share the photo.

Farther east (and back on the later alignment) at 11th Street and Quaker Avenue is the Meadow Gold sign. Last time I photographed this beauty it was at dusk, and it photographed beautifully. Still looks cool in the daylight! It was saved from the wrecking ball in 2004 at its original location about a mile away and due to preservation efforts was restored and mounted here.

Back on the road, I made a quick stop at everyone's favorite cheerful whale - the Blue Whale at the Port of Catoosa.

After dark I still had some miles to go into Carthage and got a little neon fix stopping in "Miam-uh" for a sandwich and of course going by the Coleman Theatre for a couple night shots.

And then it was the rest of the way into Carthage, eagerly anticipating the welcoming glow of the pretty Boots Courts sign for my last night on the road.


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