Tulsa Vision 2025: June 2005 Archives

A commenter on an earlier entry about eminent domain abuse and Kelo v. New London writes:

Hey, the same thing is fixin' to happen in Sand Springs courtesy of Vision 2025. And nobody is even complaining. Dozens of homes, 3 churches, 1 school and several businesses. Buldozed for a BIG BOX store.

That's the section on the south side of the Keystone Expressway (US 64, OK 51), opposite downtown Sand Springs. Once on the "other side of the tracks" when the MK&T railroad ran through town, the neighborhood was home to Sand Springs' black community. For its chunk of Vision 2025 money, Sand Springs wanted funds to acquire and clear the area for retail development, which will undoubtedly bring in more property and sales tax for the city than what is there currently. (That doesn't make it right, of course.)

I wrote about this way back in August 2003, in an entry about a Sand Springs history contest:

Here's a free idea; a good one, too, I think. I don't have time to pursue it -- perhaps someone else will. Contact Marques Haynes, the Basketball Hall of Famer and Harlem Globetrotter legend. He lives in Dallas, I think; he's in his 70s now. If he's willing, interview him about places he remembers from his childhood in Sand Springs -- his neighborhood, where he lived, went to school, went to church, the stores where his family traded, where he first played basketball, where he went to play with his friends. Ask him to relate memories of everyday life in his childhood -- good and bad alike. He went to segregated schools and grew up in a segregated neighborhood -- what was that like? Then work with the local historical society to determine the locations and find period photos of the places he remembers. Take pictures of those places as they are today. Then put it all together as a photo exhibit, designed to give 21st Century Sandites a sense of everyday life in Sand Springs before World War II, as seen through the eyes of a Sand Springs kid who went on to become world-famous. ...

I've been told that the Keystone Corridor redevelopment project in Proposition 4 of the sales tax vote includes demolition of Marques Haynes' old neighborhood, just across the Keystone Expressway (and across the old MK&T tracks) from downtown Sand Springs. If someone wants to pursue this idea, you'll need to hurry.

I haven't been by there in a while, but I suspect you'll need to hurry even faster if you want to document that neighborhood before it's gone forever. And if you do want to undertake that project, be sure to get in touch with the good folks at the Sand Springs Cultural and Historical Museum, in the art deco Charles Page Library in downtown Sand Springs.

The proponents of these clearance projects are usually very vague and euphemistic in the way they describe the area concerned, e.g., "Keystone Corridor" rather than specific streets or neighborhood names, so that when the people affected finally realize what's going to happen to their neighborhood, it's too late to do anything.

I've got a lot more to say on this topic, but I'll spread it out over the next few days.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Tulsa Vision 2025 category from June 2005.

Tulsa Vision 2025: April 2005 is the previous archive.

Tulsa Vision 2025: July 2005 is the next archive.

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