Tulsa's new downtown arena design to be unveiled Wednesday

Tuesday, September 28th 2004, 11:15 am

By: News On 6

The Tulsa arena design committee plans to release what they're calling a "concept" for the building Wednesday.

In this Vision 2025 watch report, News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan has some details on what's coming.

Tulsa Mayor Bill LaFortune has seen the design for the new arena. "You're going to see something progressive, something that indicates a city moving upward and onward."

Other sources told the News on 6, Cesar Pelli's design is futuristic and floral - something resembling the open blossom of a flower - with layered, curving glass walls that appear to unfolding. The design to be unveiled Wednesday is the product of noted architect Cesar Pelli.

He hinted at an organic design - in an exclusive News on 6 interview back in May. "The best symbolic qualities of a building are not something I cook up in my head and impose on the building. They need to grow out of the soil of Tulsa."

The design is only in cardboard now - similar to models Pelli created for his latest building. The $200-million "Overture Center for the Arts" opened this month in Madison, Wisconsin.

The location for Tulsa's arena is a four block square of downtown, just on the north side of the post office. It's an unappealing area now frequented by homeless people. Most of the businesses have already made deals to move, anticipating a groundbreaking by the end of the year.

So far there is a drawing[pictured], the city used to sell the idea to the public. But it's only a vague idea of what an arena could look like on the site. It had none of the architectural flourish that city leaders are hoping Cesar Pelli can deliver.

Just this week Architect Cesar Pelli won a design competition for the $100-million Connecticut Center for Science and Exploration.

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