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Gathering Place Captures Global Attention, Accolades as It Celebrates First Anniversary

"In its first year, Tulsa’s Riverfront Park achieves fanfare and recognition, including USA Today’s Best New Attraction, TIME Magazine’s World’s Greatest Places, Urban Land Institute’s Global Excellence Award, American Planning Association’s Great Places and one of National Geographic’s 12 Mind-Bending Playgrounds Around the World..."

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at Wednesday, September 25, 2019

APA Great Places in America

"...Although it was primarily privately funded, the planning and development of Gathering Place included significant public input and collaboration. The planning process included a nine-month period of public meetings and online public comment solicitation starting in 2012. More than 2,000 public comments were gathered, and the project team from the Kaiser Foundation and landscape architecture firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates built relationships in the community to gain additional insight and input."

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at Wednesday, September 25, 2019

TIME MAGAZINE: World's Greatest Places 2019

"When the philanthropist George B. Kaiser spearheaded the creation of this $465 million green space on Tulsa’s waterfront, he hoped to help unite the city, which has struggled with inequality. The 66-acre park, which is open to the public for free, includes playgrounds, gardens, a skate park, a BMX track, a concert venue and a number of restaurants. It also hosts a variety of public programming, from Zumba classes to family nature walks, furnished by a $100 million endowment. Designers also prioritized accessibility: the park is built to be ADA-­compliant, and there are desensitization areas for individuals on the autism spectrum." —Wilder Davies

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at Thursday, August 22, 2019

12 mind-bending playgrounds around the world

"From Tulsa to Tokyo, imaginative spaces for all ages!

FOR TRAVELING FAMILIES with a full itinerary, a stop at the playground can feel like more work than fun. Sometimes the swing sets and twisty slides begin to blend together whether they’re in Buffalo or Budapest. Unless you’ve happened to stumble upon one of the world’s greatest playgrounds. Thanks to the playful imaginations of innovative architects, the days of squeaky seesaws and drab jungle gyms are giving way to outrageous designs and accessible environments that spark young imaginations. Here are 12 standout playgrounds that will delight the whole family..."

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at Wednesday, August 7, 2019

ENR Texas & Louisiana Announces 2019 Best Projects Winners

"Gathering Place, Tulsa. Riverside Drive, one of Tulsa’s most accessed thoroughfares that connects the downtown area with the rest of the city, ran through the park’s overall acreage. This aerial view showcases the answer to accommodating vehicle traffic and simultaneously connecting the park’s landscape. The Boathouse is also visible in the background."

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at Tuesday, July 30, 2019

No. 1 New Attraction In America Is Tulsa's Gathering Place

Tulsa's Gathering Place hasn't even been open for a year, and it snagged the number one new attraction in America according to USA Today...

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at Thursday, June 27, 2019

We Had a Blast in Tulsa: A $465 Million Park, Art Deco Buildings and Even Folk Tunes Helped.

"...When planning our spring break trip, I drew a circle around our home city of St. Louis. I didn’t want to drive more than six hours. I wanted family fun, something different and full of surprises.

Tulsa, about 400 miles from St. Louis, sat on the southwest edge of that circle. In the fall, the city had just opened a 66-acre, $465 million jewel of a park along the Arkansas River called Gathering Place, a name that literally beckoned me. The park’s landscape architect, Michael Van Valkenburgh, led recent changes to the Gateway Arch grounds back home.

We had to go..."

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at Sunday, June 23, 2019

Food Bank Opens Summer Feeding Sites For Children In Tulsa

Some kids struggle to get enough to eat over the summer when school isn't in session.

The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and Gathering Place are teaming up to fight this problem.

"We sometimes really see that food is a barrier to people being able to enjoy places like the gathering place," Community Food Bank of Eastern OK Community Initiative Manager Shiraya Proffitt said...

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at Saturday, June 22, 2019

The 22 Best Summer Cocktails in Tulsa 

The Guthrie Green cocktail at Vista at the Boathouse, the new Gathering Place restaurant, is a nod to one of the city’s other major park facilities. It’s a mix of vodka, cucumber juice, mint, lime, syrup and black pepper...

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at Friday, June 21, 2019

Gathering Place Announces 2019 Signature Event Calendar

Gathering Place announced its 2019 Signature Event Calendar. From cultural celebrations and food festivals to sports tournaments and seasonal events, it includes 11 free events from June to December.

“The one-of-a-kind signature events are designed to be world class by distinction and diverse in content to appeal to all demographics and provide unique engagements for guests,” said Executive Director Tony Moore. “We are proud to share this calendar of events and we look forward to welcoming Tulsans and visitors into the Park for experiences like none other...”

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at Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Unifying force: A place where a million Tulsans can connect, one by one

Gathering Place is the first project of its kind to win a Platinum Award in the 22-year history of Building Design+Construction’s Building Team Awards. All previous Platinum winners have been, as the program’s name would imply, buildings. And while Gathering Place does have two worthy structures—an impressive lodge and a wonderful boathouse, both designed by Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects—it is, at its core, a 66½-acre public park and playground serving the nearly one million residents of greater Tulsa, Okla...

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at Friday, June 7, 2019

Review: Cuisine Matches Views, Ambience at Vista at the Boathouse

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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at Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Gathering Place Named Finalist in Urban Land Institute's 2019 Global Awards for Excellence Competition

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...

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at Thursday, May 16, 2019

Tulsa Has the Best Summer Theme Park– and It’s Free

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...

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at Friday, May 3, 2019

Americana: Finding 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...

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at Sunday, April 28, 2019

Local Music Artists Teaming for Tribute to Tulsa at Gathering Place

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...

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at Thursday, April 25, 2019

'Play Me, Tulsa' To Bring Music To The Streets This Summer

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...

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at Thursday, April 11, 2019

Everything you need to know about Gathering Place

The long-awaited Gathering Place is open. Have questions about parking, food, pets? You have questions, we have answers...

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at Wednesday, March 20, 2019

12 U.S. Cities You Probably Never Thought to Visit with Kids—But Should

"...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..."

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at Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Outlook 2019: Tony Moore: Gathering Place Sets Exciting 2019 Schedule with Food and Wine Festival, Gospel Explosion, More

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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at Sunday, March 3, 2019

Get Hyped Up with the Gather Round Crew

“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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at Friday, March 1, 2019

ULI Impact Awards Showcase Development

...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.

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at Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Gathering Place Cabinet Of Wonders Inspires Curiosity

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...

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at Thursday, February 7, 2019

Lost Toy Goes on Gathering Place Adventure Before Returning to Texas Family 

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.


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at Thursday, January 24, 2019

Voters Choose Gathering Place as USA Today’s Best New Attraction

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...”

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at Monday, January 21, 2019

The 38 Cheapest Places To Travel In 2019 

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 Named USA Today's Best New Attraction

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... 

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Gathering Place's Winter Wonderland is Holiday Magic

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!

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at Wednesday, December 5, 2018

HollyFrontier Gives $5 Million to Gathering Place, Park's Largest Gift of 2018

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...

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at Saturday, December 1, 2018

First Winter Wonderland at Gathering Place to Bring Something New to Tulsa Holidays

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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at Friday, November 30, 2018

Gathering Place Unveils World Premiere of ‘Cabinet of Wonder’ by World Renowned Artist Mark Dion

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...

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My 2 Cents: The Gathering Place A Sight To Behold

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...

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Curiouser and Curiouser: 'Cabinet of Wonder' Exhibit Opens at Gathering Place Boathouse

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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at Saturday, November 3, 2018

Gathering Place Attendance Exceeds 300,000 During First Month

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.”...

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at Monday, October 8, 2018

State of Play

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...

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at Monday, October 1, 2018

15 Best Playgrounds in the United States

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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at Friday, September 28, 2018

7 Ridiculously Affordable Fall Vacations for 2018

...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...

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at Thursday, September 27, 2018

A Short Guide to Tulsa’s New $465 Million Park

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...

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at Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Gathering Place becoming hot spot for birding, butterflies and more critter-watching

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...

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at Tuesday, September 18, 2018

New Leaf Clients Explore the Gathering Place

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...

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at Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Gathering Place Becomes a Reality

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.”...


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at Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Gathering Place Rainbow Lasers Wash Over Tulsa 'as a Light for Hope and Unity'

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...

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at Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Sports Courts Unveiled at Gathering Place, but Park Will Have More Sports Amenities to Offer

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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at Tuesday, August 28, 2018

On the Night Shift: Workers Push to Finish Gathering Place Construction in Still of Evening

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...

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at Monday, August 27, 2018

Gathering Place Holds Appreciation Day Preview for Construction Team

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...

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at Sunday, August 26, 2018

Security Plan in Place at Tulsa's Gathering Place

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...

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at Friday, August 24, 2018

Is This the New Central Park? 

(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...

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at Monday, August 20, 2018

Gathering Place Prepping for Opening by Assembling Staff of 150 Full-, Part-Time Staffers

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...

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at Friday, August 10, 2018

Tulsa's Gathering Place Getting National Attention

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...


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at Friday, August 10, 2018

Transforming Tulsa, Starting With a Park

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...

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at Friday, August 10, 2018