Review by Scott Cherry Photos by Stephen Pingry.
Vista is the latest addition to the 66-acre Gathering Place public park. We expected it to be impressive, and it was. The views from the 80-seat dining room were awesome, from the 60-seat rock patio and downtown Tulsa skyline to Peggy’s Pond and the Great Lawn concert area...
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Gathering Place is among the world’s 19 finalists for the Urban Land Institute’s 2019 Global Awards for Excellence competition, which is widely recognized as one of the real estate industry’s most prestigious award programs...
Theme parks are most certainly at the top of every family’s summer to-do list. But, even a single day visit to parks like Disney World and Universal can be an expensive proposition for a small family. There is, however, one more option out there for park-lovers, and best of all, it’s completely free. Tucked away in Tulsa, Oklahoma, theme park aficionados can find the destination of their dreams known as The Gathering Place...
Most of us think public parks are the sort of place parents and grandparents take children.
But on a recent visit to our daughter, Tricia, and her family in Tulsa, Oklahoma, they were eager to take us ol’ folks to a super-deluxe, ultimate public park. It’s called the Gathering Place. Even after checking it out online beforehand, I was stunned to see such an elaborate place and enticing playground for young and old...
Gathering Place was chosen the nation’s best new attraction of 2018 in a USA Today Readers’ Choice poll.
In gratitude, Gathering Place is teaming up with the Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts & Culture for a Tribute to Tulsa celebrating local music artists. The event is scheduled from 2-9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4, at Gathering Place...
TULSA, Oklahoma - Music will soon fill parks, sidewalks and other public spaces all over the city of Tulsa. Saied Music Company is partnering with Tulsa Mayfest to present "Play Me, Tulsa."
The public piano project combines art and music. Local school districts are also getting involved.
Twelve public school art departments from Tulsa to Broken Arrow are designing and painting pianos donated by Saied Music Company...
The long-awaited Gathering Place is open. Have questions about parking, food, pets? You have questions, we have answers...
"...These hidden gems offer all kinds of kid-friendly fun, from imaginative play spaces and hands-on animal encounters to unique festivals and offbeat roadside attractions. Consider these under-the-radar cities the next time you’re looking for a new long weekend or vacation destination..."
There is such a thing as being so caught up with the process that you completely miss the joy of the experience, or otherwise stated, “be sure to stop and smell the roses.” Well, for me, it’s just that. Since the opening of Gathering Place on Sept. 8, it’s been a wild and exciting ride. I frequently have to discipline myself to step away mentally and emotionally to acknowledge the successes we have achieved as a park and as a city. 2018 was truly a significant year for Gathering Place, and we are excited about the impact the park will continue to have in 2019...
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“We initially had the idea to create the Gather Round Crew as ambassadors for the park, to go out into the community primarily to engage kids in a fun way,” says Gathering Place director Tony Moore of the park’s eight-member hip-hop dance troupe.
The crew has performed all over the city, including a halftime show during a Thunder game at the BOK Center. The park released a popular music video of their song “Gather Round” this fall. Along with the Tulsa dancers, it features a cameo from Fik-Shun (Dushaunt Stegall), an internationally touring competitive dancer. The video has had more than 100,000 views...
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...This year, ULI Oklahoma selected 19 finalists in six categories for the 5th Annual Impact Awards. The winners will be announced at the event Friday evening at the Tower Theatre. In addition, ULI Oklahoma will honor the Gathering Place in Tulsa for the Distinguished Merit Award and will recognize retired Oklahoma City manager Jim Couch for the Distinguished Service Award.
Have you heard of the Cabinet of Wonders in the Gathering Place Boathouse? Well, we did, and we wanted to know more about it.
"The Cabinet of Wonder" is an art installation by artist Mark Dion.
Kirsten Hein is the Vice President of Programming. She says the artist has assembled a wonderful collection of random things. They're on shelves, on the walls and in drawers.
It's all about curiosity and wonder...
Tulsa's Gathering Place created an amazing memory for members of a Texas family who lost a precious stuffed animal while visiting the park over the holidays.
Jadah Queen told FOX23 she brought her family of eight to Tulsa from Lewisville, Texas, for a Christmas vacation. Her friend told her that if there was anything she needed to do while in town, it was to take her six kids for a day at the Gathering Place.
Gathering Place is adding “Best New Attraction” to its list of accolades after winning the USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice 2018 Best New Attraction award. On Friday, Jan. 18, Executive Park Director Tony Moore was joined by Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum in the Williams Lodge to announce the Park receiving the national honor at the same time USA Today announced it to their 2.6 million readers.
“The Gathering Place being named the country’s Best New Attraction is a monumental moment for the Park, our employees and all guests that have joined us since the grand opening in September,” says Moore. “It has been exciting to see the community and country come together to vote for our inclusive space as a top destination in the nation...”
Every year, I tap into experts and influencers to find out their picks for cheap travel in the upcoming year. For 2019, I convinced a group of travel wizards to open their little black books and recommend their favorite places to travel on a budget. They also shared the smartest ways to see these places (affordable hotels, bargain restaurants), and they zeroed in on some money-saving ways to visit otherwise expensive locations...
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Gathering Place, a new riverfront park in Tulsa, was designed as an inclusive green space where residents and visitors alike can relax and engage with one another. The expansive park makes use of more than 6 million...
It's barely December, and already Joss and I have helped select a cut-your-own Christmas Tree at Prairie Pines Christmas Tree Farm (in Wichita), attended both Tulsa Botanic Garden's Garden of Lights and Philbrook Festival, run into Santa waiting for a photo shoot at Ida Red downtown, browsed the annual Kendall-Whittier Pop-Up Shops as well as the ultimate Christmas shop, Adorn Tulsa (thanks for the tip, Jen Kerckhoff!) and---our latest adventure--Gathering Place's inaugural Winter Wonderland!
Located across the Arkansas River from Gathering Place, HollyFrontier had a front row seat to the park’s construction.
Now, the company is helping secure its future.
The petroleum refiner and marketer announced Saturday that it is donating $5 million to the park and toward the beautification of the west bank of the riverfront north of the pedestrian bridge. It is the largest gift of the year to the $465 million Gathering Place, whose 66.5-acre first phase opened Sept. 8...
Tulsa has a host of outstanding events and festive places that make the holidays special, said Tony Moore, executive director of Gathering Place.
But this year, they’ll have another destination — filled with all of the spectacle and nostalgia of the season — to visit with family and friends...
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The Cabinet of Wonder, a Mark Dion project done in collaboration with Mark Scogin and Merrill Elam-Architects, opened to the public at the Gathering Place ONEOK Boat House on Saturday, Nov. 3. The first-of-its-kind installation is the inaugural piece of a program in which various recognized artists will travel to Gathering Place to leave their mark on Tulsa by creating public art installations throughout the park...
I've been hearing about it for months, Tulsa's new park near downtown called The Gathering Place.
So, when we were in Tulsa for the day this past weekend we had to go see if it lives up to all of the hype.
In a word, YES! This park cost more than $400 million to build, most of it privately funded, and a good chunk of that from Tulsa billionaire George Kaiser. And it is amazing.
I think the best way to describe it is to compare it to the Oklahoma City Zoo.
I shot the shaky video above on my cell phone...
The phrase “Cabinet of Wonder” could easily apply to most of the work artist Mark Dion has created throughout his career.
Dion’s site-specific installations create unique worlds out of hundreds of found objects, all carefully arranged so that the familiar and the exotic are juxtaposed in ways to spark the viewer’s imagination.
On Saturday, Dion’s most recent work, titled “Cabinet of Wonder,” will open to the public in the ONEOK Boathouse at Gathering Place. It is the first art exhibit to be installed in the park...
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Sarah Ingle is exactly the kind of person Gathering Place Executive Director Tony Moore has been hearing from all the time this past month.
Ingle and her daughters, Janna, 5, and Abigail, 2, made their third visit to the park on Friday. According to Moore, they’re not alone in making multiple trips to the $400 million attraction in its first month of operation.
“I run into people in the park that say, ‘Look, this is my fifth time this week’, or, ‘Since you’ve opened, I’ve been there 20 times,’ ” said Moore. “It’s a little mind boggling.”...
American Way-American Airlines Magazine
Against the red brick wall of a disused building on New York’s Governors Island, a small crowd of children has built a shantytown out of wooden pallets and old couches. A ravaged boat hull juts out of the debris, as does a tangle of mannequin torsos. A boy, perhaps 8 years old, climbs a ladder atop a wooden fort, triumphantly raising a golf putter above his head. From where he stands, it’s a 12-foot drop to the ground, and for a wobbly moment it looks as if he might fall. But then he grins, king of the castle, and clambers down to join his playmates below...
It's your first destination on a beautiful Saturday morning, your go-to for an after-school playdate, and one of the most reliable resources when you're fresh out of parenting inspiration—the playground. The exciting world of playground design is something you can't replicate in the isolation of your own backyard or even in the school parking lot...
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...1. Tulsa, OK
Tulsa is a city that has come into its own in recent years, with an explosion of public art and family-friendly activities, plus low-cost dining and lodging options. This destination tops our list with the opening of the Gathering Place this fall, one of the largest parks in the U.S. Its 100 acres are filled with recreation options, such as hiking and biking trails, an interactive water maze, an enchanted fairyland, and towers linked by rope bridges — and it’s all free...
On September 8, Tulsa celebrated the grand opening of Gathering Place, a new park beside the Arkansas River near the city’s Maple Ridge neighborhood. The goal behind it, says Executive Park Director Tony Moore, is to bring together Tulsans from all walks of life so they can enjoy a shared experience. That’s not unusual—but Gathering Place is very different from the average public park in its variety of spaces and sheer scale...
With croaks and squeaks barely audible over the din of conversation, children laughing, people on bicycles and skateboards racing past, large white birds with 5-foot wingspans spiraled in to roost at Gathering Place Thursday evening.
“People roll on by and don’t even notice,” avid birder and longtime Audubon Society member Jeff Cox noted...
TULSA -- A New Leaf brought a few of their clients to the Gathering Place to check it out.
Job coaches at the nonprofit for people with disabilities take the clients on field trips to explore what Tulsa has to offer.
Tuesday, they ventured out to the new, highly-talked about park on Riverside Drive...
The official opening of the Gathering Place was held Sept. 8 with a huge thank you to the George Kaiser Family Foundation and an extraordinary dream to transform nearly 100 acres of Tulsa’s iconic waterfront along the scenic Arkansas River into a dynamic, interactive environment.
The idea for the Gathering Place came together because, according to Gathering Place literature, “Citizens of Tulsa needed a welcoming, natural space where members of our diverse communities could come together to explore, learn and play.”...
An artificial rainbow lit up the night sky Wednesday.
But fear not, fellow Tulsans. It was simply a test of the “Global Rainbow,” a temporary installation created by artist Yvette Mattern to draw people from all four directions to the Gathering Place.
The laser lights — red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet — will be aimed in a different direction over the next four days: first north, then east, then south and then west...
Ambassadors for Tulsa’s Gathering Place on Tuesday unveiled five sports courts, revealing only about a third of the park’s sports offerings.
Lee Mayberry, a Gathering Place park ambassador, shared the courts Tuesday with Tulsa media outlets. The skate park and BMX tracks were not included in the reveal...
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The sun is setting on construction at the Gathering Place.
Under the resultant glow of the moon, workers are busy putting the finishing sparkle on the $465 million riverfront park, which is scheduled to open to the public Sept. 8...
In two weeks the Gathering Place will open, giving families across Green Country a one-of-a-kind place to play.
Saturday is Construction Appreciation Day so everyone who helped make the park a reality had the chance to bring their family along to enjoy it...
TULSA, Okla. -
Officials at The Gathering Place said they have a security team and policies in place so that people can feel safe when attending the new state of the art park in Tulsa.
Park Director Tony Moore said they have looked at other security plans of large parks across the nation and have taken some ideas to use...
(10:45 am EST) -- Move over, Central Park.
The Gathering Place -- set to open in Tulsa, Oklahoma -- is a 100-acre, free-admission park designed for visitors of all ages...
Assembling a staff for the $465 million Gathering Place is a herculean task.
But it’s one Park Director Tony Moore is eager to take on.
Officials are busy hiring about 150 part- and full-time employees for the Gathering Place opening on Sept. 8. Another 50 employees could join the staff in the park’s first month, he said...
With just four weeks remaining before Tulsa’s Gathering Place officially opens, the state-of-the-art park has begun to turn heads around the country.
The latest example, a lengthy article in the New York Times, entitled “Transforming Tulsa, Starting With a Park.”
The article details the history of the park’s development, beginning with billionaire philanthropist George Kaiser and his dream of not just building a unique and wonderful playground, but something that would bring Tulsans of all races, ethnicities, backgrounds, and economic classes together...
New York Times
TULSA, Okla. — The landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh is a diviner of places, a city whisperer.
Though he had never set foot in Tulsa, he was coaxed to a flat, ho-hum stretch of land overlooking the Arkansas River by the billionaire philanthropist George B. Kaiser, who was bent on building a park...
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — The Gathering Place and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma are partnering to help in the efforts to feed hundreds of food insecure children and adults in eastern Oklahoma...
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — Every second until the Gathering Place opens is being counted down on park's official website. Wednesday marks less than one month until everyone gets to finally see the park they've been hearing about for years.
"This will be one of the great moments in the history of our city, this is the greatest public park gift in American history," said Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum.
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TULSA - The City of Tulsa said several changes are coming to Riverside Drive near Gathering Place.
City of Tulsa's Paul Zachary said several traffic features are being incorporated into the redesign of Riverside Drive:
• Divided lanes with trees and medians
• Striping of lanes and buffer areas to make lane widths smaller
• The new sidewalk to the north of the Gathering Place has a tree lawn behind the back of the curb - was added to give a feeling of narrowing the corridor...
The Georgia-based band Larkin Poe, fronted by sister songwriters and instrumentalists Rebecca and Megan Lovell, has been added to the lineup of opening-day acts to play at the Gathering Place on Sept. 8...
Win a visit to Gathering Place before everyone else sees it with our Tulsa World Magazine contest. The staff of the park is getting in on the fun by taking photos of themselves at their favorite places in the park. All you need to do is take a photo of yourself, your kids, your cat — anyone! — wherever you're spending the summer.
Just download our button at tulsaworldmagazine.com, post it to social media with the hashtags #twm and #gathertulsa and make sure your privacy setting is set to public. The winner will be announced in the upcoming Aug. 25 issue of the magazine. But the deadline is Aug. 1, so get your entries in now...
TULSA, Oklahoma - We are less two months away from the grand opening of Tulsa's Gathering Place and park officials are looking for people who want to work there!
A hiring event is being held Saturday, July 14th from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m...
The food at Gathering Place will be tailored to meet the demands of its visitors.
Have a little one but want to enjoy a lunch date at the park?
Outside Williams Lodge will be a quick-service restaurant with typical park fare, such as burgers, pizza and sandwiches, but also drinks that include beer and wine, Park Director Tony Moore said. It will seat as many as 500.
A playground for toddlers sits just off the patio — well within eyesight.
On the lower level of the lodge, which has the main drop-off spot for the park, the Redbud Cafe will have coffee and pastries as its main draw. The shop also will have candy columns that will dispense exotic sweets.
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Gathering Place has announced plans for collaborations with renowned national and international artists Mark Dion and Jen Lewin.
Officials at the $465 million riverfront park, scheduled to open Sept. 8, will rotate these art installations as part of its programming initiatives.
“Alongside other programming initiatives, installations in the park by many talented local and internationally recognized artists will keep visitors excited to see what’s next,” Kirsten Hein, the park’s vice president of programming, said in a statement.
Dion’s work examines how dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge and the natural world. He is creating a space within the ONEOK Boathouse called the “Cabinet of Wonder,” a vast collection and arrangement of marvelous things, from the rare to the curious.
“The Park speaks to all the parts of each person by activating all the senses,” Dion said in a statement. “It appeals to both the physical nature of visitors, challenging their bodies through sport, play and rambling, as well as their intellect through the programming. That is where the art comes in. The visual art is there to stimulate thinking, motivate a sense of beauty and foster creative and critical thought.”
Gathering Place opens September 8th. The date was announced Friday, along with some of the plans for the first few months of the one-of-a-kind park's opening.
There are some big plans for opening day, including a free concert by The Roots from The Tonight Show, but that will be the kick off of a 100-day, everyday celebration of Gathering Place.
Other acts joining the celebration include A Tribe Called Red, Kirk Franklin and more.
With children watching and cheering, the date was finally revealed. The announcement came in the middle of just one of many playgrounds in the 66-acre park.
Until now, only a few children have visited the playgrounds at Gathering Place for field trips. More than 30,000 kids have been so far, but park leaders closed it again to put on the finishing touches before the grand opening.
Nicholas Benanzer reprioritized his free time to help Union’s Grove Elementary School top all other area schools in the number of books read in the Gathering Place’s Reading Tree Challenge.
“One thing I had to set to the side was TV. It distracts me from other things,” said the 7-year-old. “I also had to resist playing with my friend across the street, because I would play with him a ton.”
Nicholas alone read more than 400 of the 121,307 books logged by Grove’s 575 students.
A Gathering Place for Tulsa is on course to open this summer, and local experts anticipate an economic boost.
Some of that will come from out-of-state visitors traveling to see the 100-acre, $465 million park. City Councilor and Tulsa Community Foundation CEO Phil Lakin said a study found each those visitors leaves behind an average of somewhere around $200 in new money.
"And that’s great because all you’ve really done is use a little bit of our water and a little bit of our road," Lakin said.
Lakin said local visitors from cities like Jenks, Broken Arrow and Bixby will likely buy things in or around the Gathering Place, too, contributing to Tulsa’s sales tax revenues, but he sees the park’s greatest benefit in its potential to bring Tulsans together.