Kaiser Foundation Has Big Plans For 'A Gathering Place' In Tulsa
TULSA, Oklahoma - The George Kaiser Family Foundation plans to build a new park along Riverside Drive, and they'll reveal how it's going to look Tuesday night.
We don't know the details, but imagine the highlights: a park so heavily landscaped you won't see the cars on Riverside, with pedestrian bridges over the road and a new one over the river, ponds, playgrounds, and trails covering 55 acres in the middle of town.
The river and River Parks is already one of Tulsa's most popular spots for recreation.
"It's nice place to bring the kids to play," said Tina Resenvez.
But what's coming alongside a mile-long section of River Parks will be a massive transformation.
"It will seamlessly connect," said Jeff Stava, of the George Kaiser Family Foundation.
They plan to tear out a couple of apartment complexes to open up more green space, dig up part of a massive yard and remove the Blair Mansion to create a lake and trails around it, and connect it all over Riverside Drive to River Parks, in a way that hides the traffic. And the progress continues across a new pedestrian bridge.
"One of the concepts we've looked at is double-decking the pedestrian bridge, so you have bikes on top and pedestrians on the bottom, with more out-cropping, so people can stop and have a panoramic view of the downtown and river area," Stava said.
River Parks will be affected, as it has already been through major funding for improvements by the foundation. They did all of the lighting and divided trails, so whatever comes is expected to be world-class.
"Whatever the Kaiser Foundation has done in the way of development has been done with excellence and we look forward to it," said Matt Meyer, of River Parks.
The plans include a total re-design of how the park land meets the river, and promises to give families plenty of options to enjoy the river.
The plans will come out Tuesday.
"It will give you all the renderings of the land bridges and how the connections will work between the park and River Parks, how the buildings will relate, all the water features and playgrounds--how everything interrelates," Stava said.
The full plans come out Tuesday at 6 p.m., in a public meeting downtown at TCC's Center for Creativity.
Also that morning, 6 In The Morning will have details.
The foundation says it hopes to break ground on the new park next spring, and construction will go in phases, but take several years to complete.