Tulsa History: March 2010 Archives

Yesterday, I took part of the afternoon off and took our three kids to the Tulsa Historical Society in Woodward Park. It was our first visit as a family, and we all enjoyed it immensely.

The "carrot" to get us in the door was a special Spring Break promotion for families -- complete a History Detective Scavenger Hunt and win a 2010 Tulsa Historical Society membership. (I learned about the promotion via their @TulsaHistory account on Twitter.)

The scavenger hunt involved finding answers to questions in the museum's exhibits -- Tulsa in the 1940s, Seidenbach's Department Store, Zebco, lost movie palaces, construction photos of historic buildings. We only had an hour and were about to finish well within that time, but we could easily have spent much more time exploring. I understand that the Seidenbach's exhibit is about to close, so if you're interested in the history of ladies' fashion and retail, you'll want to visit very soon. (An exhibit on Tulsa baseball opens in April.)

THS does a great job of exhibiting its historic photographs and artifacts, both in making them easy to view and in providing context for appreciating their significance. I loved the megasized prints of aerial and streetscape photographs in the '40s exhibit -- it made it easy to show my kids the places they know and the places that are long gone. (Comment from the 13-year-old on the '40s streetscape photos: "I wish downtown still looked like that." Comment from the 9-year-old on color photos of the Akdar Theater / Cimarron Ballroom: "They tore that down for parking? Were they blind?")

When we turned in our completed scavenger hunt paper, we were signed up for our membership, and the kids were given a copy of Tulsa History A to Z, a book filled with photos and interesting stories of Tulsa's past.

As THS closed for the day, we went back to the car to retrieve scooters and a bicycle then walked across the parking lot to the Tulsa Arboretum. The collection of trees is ringed by a paved path that was just right for our 4-year-old and his Lightning McQueen bike. As we circled the park, he had us stop at every brass nameplate so I could tell him the English and Latin names of each tree.

The Tulsa Historical Society is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free!

MORE: Become a fan of Tulsa Historical Society on Facebook to see daily historic photos and trivia questions and news about THS events and exhibits.

James Howard Kunstler, the author of provocative books on urban design, architecture, and the economy (The Geography of Nowhere, The Long Emergency, World Made by Hand), has named the new building for Clinton Middle School, on W. 41st St. in Tulsa's Red Fork neighborhood, as his "Eyesore of the Month":

Presenting the new Clinton Middle School, Tulsa, Oklahoma -- a building that expresses to perfection our current social consensus about the meaning of education.

Read for yourself his description of the new building, accompanied by photos, and scroll to the bottom of the page to click through his list of previous Eyesores of the Month. It's harsh but fair.

(Be aware that, although he doesn't have any rude words on that particular page, Kunstler is fairly free with expletives on other pages on the site.)

On his Historic Tulsa blog, Bill Miller has photos of the old Clinton Middle School as the demolition process was underway. Even in its final hours, the old school retained its dignity. There's a pre-demolition close-up picture of the main entry on the Webster High School class of '76 website. A Facebook group called "I went to the ORIGINAL Clinton Middle School" has a collection of photos from the final tour of the old Clinton Middle School.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Tulsa History category from March 2010.

Tulsa History: February 2010 is the previous archive.

Tulsa History: May 2010 is the next archive.

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