Tulsa History: September 2006 Archives

Here are some interesting photo pools and sets I found recently on flickr, all featuring cool old buildings and signage, much of it of the vanishing variety:

First, Tom Baddley's Lost Tulsa, which we've commended to you before. He has a new set devoted to the soon-to-disappear Metro Diner.

Las Vegas History: Old photos and postcards, then-and-now pictures of casinos, motels, and other places which have or will likely soon succumb to the bulldozer.

The Vanished photo pool: That's where I found the photo of the Las Vegas Union Pacific Depot which is shown below.

The Googie, Anyone photo pool, devoted to flamboyant mid-20th-century architecture and signage.

Rescuing a Gypsy

| | Comments (8)

I get weary of hearing people who are smart enough to know better to talk about buildings and neighborhoods as too far gone to be worth any effort or investment. Someone was lobbying me about $788 million plan to build islands in the Arkansas River, and I countered by saying we could do more to rebuild a lively urban center in Tulsa by implementing the 6th Street (Pearl District) plan. About $35 million is needed to deal with stormwater problems in the Elm Creek basin, so that rehabilitation and quality infill development can occur in this strategic area between downtown, TU, and Hillcrest Hospital. Part of the plan is a canal along 7th Street connecting a stormwater reservoir southeast of 7th & Rockford with the new lake at Centennial Park.

But this person who was waxing enthusiastic about The Channels could only say, "That's a terrible neighborhood." He could imagine building three islands in the middle of the river out of nothing, but he couldn't look at an existing neighborhood and imagine the possibilities.

As an exercise in expanding your imagination, take a look at the before and after pictures of the Gypsy Coffee House, at 303 N. Cincinnati in downtown Tulsa.

Six short years ago the offices of the Gypsy Oil Company had been boarded up for a quarter of a century. The building sat with no water, heat, cooling, or power, and the roof had leaked for 20 years or more.

Today, the Gypsy Coffee House is open 'til late every night, has good coffee, good food, free WiFi, and a nice atmosphere. The second floor has been redone as a salon.

Someone had the imagination to look at that decrepit old building and to see what it could be, rather than what it was. Tulsa needs more people with that kind of imagination, the imagination to take the good things we already have and make them better.

TRACKBACK: Charles G. Hill comments:

We do need the big guys with the vast visions; but we need folks like Mr Garcia, devoted to the smaller things, just as much.

(One of these days I'll have real trackback working again.)

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Tulsa History category from September 2006.

Tulsa History: August 2006 is the previous archive.

Tulsa History: October 2006 is the next archive.

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