Monday, October 20, 2008

The Tulsa Rose Bowl

Old postcard of Rose Bowl. How '60s is that!!! It's now painted it's original pink.

I just got back from an interesting meeting. I wasn't in Afton today, but this afternoon a representative from Tulsa Urban Development and I met with the new owner of Tulsa's Rose Bowl. The Rose Bowl is a very unique piece of architecture, a former bowling alley built in 1962 on Route 66 in East Tulsa. It burned several years ago, then remained vacant for a long time. The new owner bought it with the idea of turning the huge expanse into an events center. It can't be a bowling alley any more because of a non-compete agreement. Knowing how much time and money it has taken just to restore our little gas station, I can only imagine the money that has been (and is still being) poured into this project. But the owner is very enthusiastic and we encouraged him to keep moving toward his goal. He's already done quite a bit, and Julie (from Urban Development) assured him that there are grants and loans available for a project such as his. I was basically there just to give support from the Route 66 community.
It's encouraging to know that the Rose Bowl has already been booked for a number of events in the coming year. They are set up beautifully for concerts, car shows (yes, the interior is large enough for a good sized car show), and large private parties. When all the fire prevention is installed, they'll be approved to hold up to 3,000 people.

Love this sign. The new owners plan to keep it and add a HUGE Route 66 shield (about 10 feet tall) that he bought on Ebay.

This is the bar area. The glass brick is original.

This picture doesn't even begin to show the size of the place. The floor under the table is made from the old alleys.

The last time I visited the Rose Bowl it was before the fire. Ron McCoy took some photos from that visit. You can view them here: They give a very good overview of what the Rose Bowl looked like when it was still a bowling alley.


Beth said...

Laurel, oh my God, that is SO COOL! If I lived in the area and were planning a party, I'd definitely have it at the Rose Bowl! That is some of the most beautiful Googie architecture I've ever seen. How thrilling that someone is renovating it! I'm sending this to Cousin Shane--he'll love it!


Trevor Hilton said...

Tulsa has a lot of old Art Deco Architecture.

I'm glad it's being preserved.

I like this blog, Laurel. I check out it and Ron Warnicks blog daily, to keep up with what's happening on the Road.

Unknown said...

Hi Laurel
I'm new to your blog and I love it!! I like it when an old building is saved and even better when it can be used.