Route 66

The route for Tulsa’s second bus rapid transit line is starting to shape up.

A study INCOG presented last week to the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission showed the Route 66 BRT would include segments on 11th Street from downtown to Harvard Avenue and on 21st Street from Garnett Road to Eastgate Metroplex.

Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commissioner Ted Reeds said that presents a good opportunity for commuters near the city’s eastern edge.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Months after the Tulsa Route 66 Commission said it was time for the Brookshire Motel to be torn down, it’s being done.

The city started demolishing the 1940s landmark on Monday.

There were four fires in the span of two years at the motel. Two this year ended with firefighters finding a dead man. The Tulsa Route 66 Commission had toyed with the idea of preserving the motel but abandoned those plans in May.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Preservation should be a main goal as the City of Tulsa considers Route 66 projects, according to a recently completed survey for a new master plan.

Nearly three in four responses picked incentives for neon signs, facade improvements and building rehab assistance as a top priority for revitalizing Tulsa’s stretches of the historic highway.

Roughly the same proportion of respondents said 11th Street from Peoria to Yale should be the top target area.

City of Tulsa

The Tulsa Route 66 Commission showed interest Tuesday in a proposal to revitalize west Tulsa’s Howard Park by opening an RV park there.

Tulsa County Deputy Treasurer John Fothergill made the pitch for putting out a request for proposals to build an RV park with up to 70 spaces. Fothergill said a set of Vision-funded limestone monoliths installed at Howard Park in 2017 hasn’t done enough to boost tourism.

Public Radio Tulsa, Pre-Pandemic

Public Radio Tulsa bids farewell today to Steve Clem. Steve is retiring after 11 years as our Operations Director, and a lifetime of work in this crazy, wonderful world of radio. We didn't let him leave without peppering him with questions, of course.

Public Radio Tulsa:  Steve, you're retiring from Public Radio Tulsa after more than 10 years as our Operations Director.  But you've worked in radio your whole life.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

The Tulsa Route 66 Commission may proceed with an asset survey even though the state historic preservation office is doing one statewide.

The state is taking an inventory of structures like movie theaters, gas stations and restaurants built during the Mother Road’s heyday that may be eligible for preservation tax credits. Tulsa Route 66 Commission member Amanda De Cort said that work is not looking at an alternate alignment of Route 66 on Admiral Boulevard from Lewis Avenue to downtown.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

It appears to be the end of an era on Route 66 in east Tulsa.

After a third fire in 18 months and the death of a man in it last week, the Route 66 Commission is abandoning its efforts to have the Brookshire Motel at 11th Street and Garnett Road redeveloped with its existing buildings.

"We are not going to try to save the buildings anymore. We’ve now had too many fires and loss of life. But we would very much like to pursue saving the neon sign," said commission member Amanda DeCort.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in January.) Our guest is Terrence Moore, an acclaimed photographer who's been shooting images along Route 66 for 40+ years. He tells us about his new book, "66 on 66," which gathers his finest images culled from the many hundreds he's made over the years of "the Mother Road." This book also has a corresponding text by local historian and author Michael Wallis.

Our guest is Terrence Moore, a widely acclaimed photographer who's been shooting images along Route 66 for 40+ years. He tells us about his new book, "66 on 66," which gathers his finest images culled from the many hundreds he's made over the years of "the Mother Road." This book, with a corresponding text by local historian and author Michael Wallis, is just being published, and both Moore and Wallis will appear at a Magic City Books signing here in Tulsa on Friday the 18th. Details are posted here.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we talk about the ongoing effort to make Route 66 a part of the U.S. National Park Serivce's National Historic Trail System. If this were to happen, Route 66 would become the 20th such trail in America, joining The Lewis and Clark Trail, The Oregon Trail, and others. This designation could mean a serious economic boost to our state, as Oklahoma has more Route 66 mileage than any other state through which the highway runs. We have two guests today.

The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, which is part of the National Park Service, will soon host a three-day symposium here in Tulsa regarding the preservation of roadside architecture and attractions. It happens April 10th through the 12th, and it will include 20+ invited as well as solicited papers, an evening neon-sign tour, and a half-day field session exploring local roadside attractions and issues related to their preservation.

On this edition of ST, we welcome Ron Spigelman back to our show. He'll be the Guest Conductor for the next Tulsa Symphony Orchestra concert, which happens tomorrow night (Saturday the 11th) at the Tulsa PAC. As we learn on today's show, it's a Pops evening that will celebrate Route 66 -- indeed, a wide-ranging multimedia presentation (in image, text, and music) that will offer everything from Kander and Ebb's "Chicago" to Aaron Copland's "Buckaroo Holiday," and from W.C. Handy's "St.

Our guest today is Ken Busby, the CEO and executive director of the non-profit Route 66 Alliance, which is based here in Tulsa, and which is, per its website, "dedicated to the preservation, promotion, and enhancement of historic Route 66 -- past, present, and future." Formerly the director of the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa, Busby was asked to lead the "Mother Road"-focused organization in 2014; today, he brings us up to speed on the Route 66 Experience Museum, a large-scale development for which funds are still being raised and plans

In 1963, the up-and-coming pop artist Andy Warhol took a road trip across America, from New York to Los Angeles.

KWGS News

Route 66, America’s Mother Road, holds great interest for Europeans. Every year several travel all or part of the iconic roadway. In Tulsa recently were Corin Minshall from London and Estella Vall of Barcelona, about halfway through their trip along the entire route from Chicago to Santa Monica.

They say many Europeans consider it the ‘road trip of a lifetime’. They’re taking in the tourist stops like the Blue Whale and the Cadillac Ranch, but also staying in some homes and B and B’s along the route to get a feel for what it’s like for those living along the famous roadway.

On this edition of our show, we learn about "Mother Road," which is "an exploration of Route 66 by artist Jessica Harvey" that will be on view at the AHHA space (in the Brady Arts District in downtown Tulsa) through November 23rd. Harvey, who's originally from Chicago, has exhibited throughout the United States, and is currently in residence at the AHHA Creative Studios, is our guest on ST today.

On this edition of ST, we cover some interesting and less-familiar Tulsa history by way of a new biography of Cy Avery. Our guest is the Missouri-based author Susan Croce Kelly, author of "Father of Route 66: The Story of Cy Avery," which is just out from OU Press. Kelly will be speaking about and signing copies of this book on Saturday the 27th at the Tulsa Historical Society; the event is free to the public and begins at 10:30am.