The first impression of A Gathering Place for Tulsa will be a grand one.
Visitors to the $400 million park will be greeted by Williams Lodge, a 25,000-square-foot fusion of glass, sandstone and steel.
“They (designers) wanted the landscape stone to look like it was peeled away and the building was set inside it,” Jeff Stava, executive director and trustee of Tulsa’s Gathering Place LLC, said Friday while conducting a tour of the under-construction facility. “They wanted it to look natural. That’s why the stones are so big.”
Sandstone boulders used to build the lodge weigh from a half-ton to 3½ tons and must be hoisted into place, he said.
“It’s a special vein that the architects found that has the rust color, the maroon and what they call a tawny beige,” Stava said.
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TULSA, Oklahoma – In just over 11 weeks, the playground at the Gathering Place opens for its first field trips while construction wraps up on the rest of the park.
The Williams Lodge is one of the largest buildings at the Gathering Place, but it’s designed to look like it’s part of the landscape — surrounded by and built with Oklahoma native stone.
The outside of the lodge is still a heavy construction site as stone masons place a semi load of rock each day.
Each piece was precision cut at the quarry and labeled for a specific spot.
“All these stones come preconditioned for each location on the wall,” said Jeff Stava, project manager.
Not that she needs any extra incentive to listen to a good story, but Isabella Mar has been even more engaged lately.
“When we read a book it helps grow a leaf on the Reading Tree,” the third-grader explained Tuesday morning, as she and other Eugene Field Elementary students circled around for story time in the school library.
Isabella and her classmates — among thousands of area elementary students participating in the Reading Tree Challenge — added two more leaves to the tree on Tuesday with a little help from some special guests.
Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Deborah Gist and Tony Moore, park director of A Gathering Place for Tulsa, each read a book to the children.
TULSA, Oklahoma –
Tulsa’s Gathering Place isn’t open yet, but it’s already working to help Green Country children.
Gathering Place director Tony Moore and Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Deborah Gist read to children at Eugene Fields Elementary this morning.
It’s part of the Reading Tree Challenge, which asks Tulsa County children to read 2-million books before the park opens next year.
“We know kids will come to the park and play and have a blast and they’ll play and enjoy all the attractions, but education is such a major part as we invest back in their communities,” Moore said.
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) – A Gathering Place for Tulsa for making a lot of progress despite delays caused by months of wet weather.
They believe they can have the park open to the public under an adjusted construction schedule by late next spring or early next summer.
Executive director Jeff Stava said it isn’t like working on the building that to protects you from the weather once it has walls and a roof.
Almost everything they do is outdoors and subject to the whims of nature.
Imagine a project that includes planting an urban forest of 4,500 trees.
In all, the park will have more than a million different plants.
In less than a year, the Gathering Place will be filled with visitors, and the entrance for many will be just off 31st Street.
The large change in topography created a challenge to make an entrance that gets people in and then up to one of the high points of the park.
As you walk into the Four Seasons Garden today, it’s not as apparent as it will be that it’s the gateway to the park for many visitors.
A series of 25 stacked stone columns line a walkway into the Gathering Place.
We’re back again for another look at some of the major updates to A Gathering Place for Tulsa as the massive project inches toward completion.
Every time we take a visit to check out the construction, the shape of the park becomes more and more evident.
And this trip was no exception.
There have been some major changes since our last visit in March. In this tour we take a look at the Wetland Gardens, the Williams Lodge, and the Chapman Foundations Adventure Playground.
So join us as Jeff Stava, who is overseeing construction of A Gathering Place for Tulsa, takes Frontier Senior Staff Writer Kevin Canfield on a tour of some of the park’s biggest changes.
Summer has begun, and Tulsa’s landmark park under construction is beginning to turn green.
“We’ve seen a lot of brown,” Jeff Stava, executive director and trustee of Tulsa’s Gathering Place LLC, said of the mountains of dirt that have been moved at the site. “Now we’re planting color. It’s kind of exciting.”
Hedges are being installed in The Ramble sensory garden of the Chapman Foundation Adventure Playground, which is scheduled to open in January with scheduled visits from Tulsa-area elementary school children. Aquatic plants are being placed in the runnels and swales of the Wetland Gardens at the north end of Peggy’s Pond.
“Off the pavilion, the community deck, you’ll be able to walk right off into swing hill, which is the highest point in the park, 53 feet above the grade of the old Blair property; a big, sizable hill is built up around this building,” Stava said.
But it’s the view, looking at the building, with the pavilion on top, a suspended staircase around it; and then the same view at night, with the lighting on the roof. The view from the south also distinguishes the boathouse.
Tulsa mayor G.T. Bynum kicked off the Tulsa City-County Library summer reading program with story time in Central Library’s new Tandy Children’s Garden.
“In the light of the moon, a little egg laid on a leaf,” he read.
In 2017, A Gathering Place is extending the reading challenge into the school year, asking Tulsa County students to read two million books before the park opens next spring or summer.
Miles Bonilla is aiming to read 1 million books by the opening date of A Gathering Place for Tulsa.
He challenged other children Tuesday to meet him at that goal, though he may have embellished a bit. Miles, nearly 6 years old, signed up to make his contribution to the Tulsa City-County Library’s Summer Reading Program and A Gathering Place’s goal of reading 2 million books before the park opens.
“I have fun books — it’s a lot,” Miles said. “I do have the one the Mayor read.”
During the early kick-off to the summer reading program, Mayor G.T. Bynum read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” to more than a dozen children and several dozen adults.