Tag Archives: urban

119 Downtown

30 Jun

The urban Tulsa lifestyle is beginning to come into focus with the introduction of development project 119 Downtown. At the corner of 6th and Cincinnati, downtown Tulsa, this urban project will combine the historic class of the renowned ARCO Building (formerly, the Service Pipeline Building), built in 1949, with modern design elements, materials and technology.

The project will include residences as well as retail spaces with the anchor charted to be a restaurant/market, possibly the first place to buy groceries downtown. The project was designed by The McIntosh Group, will be LEED certified and feature Pohlenz kitchens, extreme sound deadening between units, underground parking, workout facility, common patio with bocce court and living rooftops to name a few. The units will range from approximately 600 sq. ft. studios to 2,600 ft. penthouses. Prices start at $135k.

The demo unit is under construction currently and will be available for viewing in the next 2-3 weeks. The sales office is open daily and several units have already sold. The building is open for visitors and has a lot to see already with the beautiful stone and historic charm.

Visit their website at www.119downtown.com

119-downtown-tulsa

Below are a few photos I took while touring the property.

Tulsa Ballpark Architecture Debate

31 Dec

This is an article regarding the ONEOK Field I saw in Urban Tulsa, written by Michael Bates. Marti Newman makes some excellent points. How do you feel about it?

When History Needs to Repeat Itself
Downtown ballpark could fill an historic gap. To prevent a contrived, “iconic” modern design, how about a humanistic approach to urban architecture

Is it dishonest to build a new building that looks old? Is it cowardly?

The questions were raised and answered in the affirmative in a note I received from Tulsa preservationist Marty Newman in response to my recent column about the proposed design for the new downtown baseball stadium.

In that column, I wrote that the modern design approach proposed for the ballpark — glass and metal and not discernibly a ballpark — reflected “a lack of self-confidence. A confident city could have a baseball stadium that looks like a stadium. An embarrassed and self-conscious city has to have an iconic thingamajig.”

Instead, I urged the architects to look back to classic building styles for inspiration to “create a ballpark that looks like it has been around for 100 years and will be around for at least a 100 more.” I suggested resurrecting the style of one of downtown’s lost treasures — the Coliseum, the Dreamland Theater, or the Cimarron Ballroom, to name three.

Newman emphatically takes exception with this approach:

“I believe that new buildings should look new. Their scale, materials, design, etc., should respect the environment in which they are inserted but they should benefit from a contemporary design palette.

“An urban environment is an opportunity to visibly enjoy the physical embodiment of chronology. Re-creating historic styles interrupts this visual display of time and is, inherently, dishonest.”

He singles out the downtown Tulsa Transit station, built in 1998 in a streamline Art Deco fashion, as “a wasted design opportunity and the physical embodiment of a city so lacking in the confidence of its own ability that it was only comfortable repeating the success of the past. If Tulsans of the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s had exhibited the same cowardice we would have no art deco here!”

Later in his note, Newman writes, “I want our new buildings to insert themselves lovingly into the preexisting urban fabric but I very much do not want a brand new building to look like it has been in place for 100 years. We are not the Disney Company and Downtown Tulsa is not a theme park.”

Newman’s credentials to opine about preservation are beyond question. He is a board member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and played a major role in bringing that organization’s annual conference to Tulsa this year. He rescued the Fire Alarm Building, one of our city’s finest examples of New Deal-era Art Deco.

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Tulsa Cherry Street Loft Scene

3 Nov

What started out as a novel idea has become a widespread epidemic. The north Cherry Street area has become quite the rage for the walkable, modern lifestyle. Beginning about three years ago with a single company, today the competition is steep and selection abundant for urban lofts and condos.

tulsa cherry street loftsI hopped on my bike the other evening to get some exercise and thought I’d check in on the progress of this scene. Living across Cherry street myself (in a historic home) I am through this area often and keep in touch with the movement. It is, however, always a surprise to find numerous historical homes have fallen since my last visit to accommodate the town homes and condos moving in.

As with most urban development there is dispute as to whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. In fact it’s become a little heated in the comments section to this article on tulsa lofts.

I for one think there are some great benefits seen by the new development. Though I’m a big fan of historic preservation I am equally a fan of walkable urbanism. There is unfortunately almost always bad with good and in this case the same applies. We do have to sacrifice a few blocks worth of older homes, but in exchange we gain the opportunity to allow Cherry Street to flourish. The increase in population to the area this development creates is extremely healthy for businesses in the Cherry Street area and will likely spur additional development making this area more desirable and valuable. While this may upset a few historic preservationists it is in my opinion healthy for the district and ultimately healthy for the City of Tulsa.

Do you agree? Have anything to add? This is meant to be a discussion. Please share your thoughts below.

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Downtown Tulsa Urban Lofts

25 Sep

From Urban Tulsa, written by Katie Sullivan

Downtown is once again a magnet for development and living. As the urban lifestyle becomes more accessible, hipsters are finding a place of their own around the downtown fringe.

A chain reaction has ignited the streets of downtown Tulsa and surrounding areas. You’ve seen the various stages of construction on Brookside, Cherry Street, 18th and Boston and downtown. Although enticing due to its rarity in our young city, the modern architecture sticks out like a sore thumb.

The loft industry finally made its boom. A market that is well underway in Dallas and Kansas City is now flourishing around our parts at a rate that some developers consider too much too fast. The neighborhood between Cherry Street and the Broken Arrow Expressway is hardly recognizable, with the bungalows that once lined Quincy, Rockford, St. Louis and Trenton Streets now sparse against the two and three-story, loft-style condos and townhomes.

Real estate developers are claiming land in the area like it’s the Oklahoma Land Rush. A few of the projects include the Lofts at Cherry Street, 18th and Boston Lofts, First Street Lofts, The Mayo Hotel Lofts and Metro Lofts. Most of these developers have both finished lofts and projects under construction. Downtown’s Tribune Lofts and Philtower Loft Apartments are readily available for rent. More hotel projects with residential space are becoming an option for those brave individuals looking to call downtown Tulsa home.

The idea behind much of the growth is to create a place for Tulsans to live, work and play. The problem that the city has long faced is a lack of people who want to take that first risky step. Developers from out of town have said that, while Tulsans preach for change, as soon as anyone presents an idea that can spark change, the beggars and pleaders are quick to pinpoint something wrong with every plan (think river development).

Most agree that the BOK Center and the downtown ballpark are examples of people or groups who were willing to take the plunge. Finally, it seems, the city is serious about making downtown a livable environment.

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Tulsa is 72nd Most Walkable City

27 Mar

According to the extensive survey conducted by Prevention.com Tulsa falls into the countries 100 most walkable cities, barely, at number 72. While not necessarily modern, this is relevant in my opinion in the sense that sustainability of society is very similar to the preservation of architecture. The goals are similar in my eyes and complement each other: preserve our cities architectural uniqueness and promote the walk-ability and charm of urban Tulsa. Do others agree?

100 Best Walking Cities- by the editors of prevention
tulsa walking When Prevention and the American Podiatric Medicine Association (APMA) evaluated the 100 most populous US cities for the ranking, the criterion that counted most was the percentage of people who regularly walked–either for fitness and health or to get to and from work. APMA President Dr. Harold Glickman says, “The Best Walking Cities competition recognizes those cities that don’t just ‘talk the talk’ but literally ‘walk the walk.’”

Other criteria included various walking-friendly attributes such as low crime rates, mild year-round temperatures, the number of cultural attractions, participation in recreational sports, and pet ownership.

The overall survey included more than 18,000 topics of information about the top 100 cities from sources including the Census Bureau, other government agencies, and market research surveys.

In addition to the top 10 walking cities, other major US cities ranked as follows: New York (25); San Francisco (34); San Diego (16); Los Angeles (43); Seattle (22); Boston (26); Phoenix (33); Philadelphia (31); Chicago (77); Houston (42); Minneapolis (71); Miami (79). The complete rankings are listed here.

Recent Tulsa World Article

What’s Wrong with Sprawl?

2 Mar

suburban_sprawl.jpgIt is argued that cities are the most sustainable way to live. Tulsa is growing further away from it’s core and is taking on attributes of suburban sprawl.

James M. McElfish of the Environmental Law Institute, lists ten problems with sprawl:

1. Sprawl development contributes to a loss of support for public facilities and public menities.
2. Sprawl undermines effective maintenance of existing infrastructure.
3. Sprawl increases societal costs for transportation.
4. Sprawl consumes more resources than other development patterns.
5. Sprawl separates urban poor people from jobs.
traffic.jpg 6. Sprawl imposes a tax on time.
7. Sprawl degrades water and air quality.
8. Sprawl results in the permanent alteration and destruction of habitats.
9. Sprawl creates difficulty in maintaining community.
10. Sprawl offers the promise of choice while only delivering more of the same.

Free PDF download at Environmental Law Institute