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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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...
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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.
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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.
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — As we near the final stretch before the opening of the Gathering Place there are still gems that few have really seen yet. You're getting a first look at Mist Mountain and what you can expect expect before fall.
Executive director Jeff Stava told us,"Mist Mountain is designed by the same company that designed the fountains inside the Bellagio Hotel"
Mist Mountain is still under construction and in the testing phase but soon it will be a whimsical part of park. Guests walking through what will be flowering trees and plants with walls on either side may notice new friends.
"You have flying fish, little 9- to 10-inch jets of water that are kind of going next to you and over the top of you," said Stava.
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — A Gathering Place for Tulsa is months away from their grand opening along the Arkansas River.
Tulsa's newest park is planning to have an entirely new venue option to showcase the community's artwork.
Designers are asking the public for help in putting together the final touches. They are looking for submissions from both local visual and performing artists to feature at the Gathering Place.
The park's goal is to use the art to bring people together in a way nothing else can, while also giving an inside look at what Oklahoma has to offer.
"We really want to showcase all aspects of what Oklahomans have and can bring to the park, and art is one of the ways we can do that," said Kirsten Hein, vice president of programming at the Gathering Place.
If you are interested in having your work featured at the Gathering Place, you can email submissions to [email protected] or [email protected]
It has been more than 100 years since a group of visionary Tulsans set in motion a plan that has elevated the city to among the world’s most progressive areas for urban green spaces.
The summer opening of A Gathering Place for Tulsa, considered by many to be among the world’s most spectacular urban parks, will push Tulsa onto an elite level among urban park systems.
“I think what is happening in our city, especially with A Gathering Place for Tulsa, exceeds the hype,” said Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum. “For generations of Tulsans, parks have been considered a priority.”
TULSA, Oklahoma -
We are now getting a new view of what Tulsa's Riverside Drive will look like when Tulsa's Gathering Place fully opens.
Our News On 6 drone shows the land bridge and tunnels that will be part of the park going over Riverside.
The highest point of Tulsa’s Gathering Place is going up this week. The roof for the boathouse will be visible from all around.
It's not just any roof – it’s a new design that looks like origami but goes together like a puzzle.
It was one of the great engineering challenges at Gathering Place, according to project manager Jeff Stava. It was designed several times over to handle high wind, and now putting it together is proving to be challenging too.
For the first time, children are getting a look inside the Gathering Place.
34,000 Tulsa kids will get to go on field trips to the park and the first one was Friday.
The road isn't open and won't be until all of the Gathering Place opens, but the first group of children got on the playground Friday afternoon.
The sounds of children playing briefly drowned out the noise of construction at Gathering Place.
Halliburton, a company founded in Duncan in 1919, has maintained a strong presence in Oklahoma since its formation. In that time, it has kept strong ties with Tulsa. Those ties became tighter last week, when Halliburton made a $10 million donation to Gathering Place.
Halliburton’s generous gift will sponsor the King Post Bridge in the 66.5-acre Phase I of the park. The gift is among the most generous from Gathering Place’s private benefactors.
The park, along Riverside Drive, is a project of the George Kaiser Family Foundation. A second phase is also scheduled to bring the park to a total of about 100 acres. GKFF has given $200 million in land and money to the park. At least 70 donors have made significant donations to the construction of the park.
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.
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.