Emerson Elementary Part Of Tulsa Neighborhood Improvements
TULSA, Oklahoma - A dozen new homes, a few businesses and a new school are all part of the resurgence of one of Tulsa's oldest neighborhoods - Brady Heights. The improvements continue in the Legacy neighborhood, around Emerson Elementary.
A new sidewalk project started this week, at the corner of John Hope Franklin and Main and though it's just a few blocks of new concrete, it's an indicator of better times ahead for an area long overlooked.
"It used to be bad in this neighborhood. I'm talking about dirt bad" said Joe Vann, a Brady Heights on and off since childhood. "But the police cleaned the neighborhood up, man, so it's coming. And we're getting our neighborhood back."
The biggest project lately was the expansion and renovation of Emerson Elementary. It reopened last fall with room for more students who are moving in the area.
In Brady Heights, historical protections require new most work to fit in with the old neighborhood. That's led to major remodels that maintain the look of existing homes - and it hasn't stopped new construction.
Capital Homes plans to build a dozen homes in Brady Heights before the end of the year. Eight of them are already under construction. There are only a handful of businesses in the mostly residential area, but a few new shops are being opened in old buildings now under renovation.
Larry White moved to Brady Heights three years ago. He believes the proximity to downtown is driving change. "I think the spark is what's happening downtown with the Woody Guthrie Center and Guthrie Green, the Bob Dylan archives and the OK Pop Museum and Cain's Ballroom is thriving."
While the neighborhood rebuilds, Joe Vann watches and likes what he's seeing. "They're coming back in this neighborhood and they're cleaning it up and I'm proud of that."