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New attraction on 66 in Tulsa

This week, we were delighted to see that the city had finished an interpretive kiosk just south of Route 66 on the east side of town.

Earlier this summer, a large brown and white sign went up in the median on 11th Street, just east of Mingo Boulevard, directing travelers to the 1926-1932 alignment of Route 66 that follows Mingo up to Admiral Place; the 1932-1973 alignment of Route 66 that follows 11th to Southwest Boulevard; and a new interpretive plaza about a block south of 11th on Mingo, where the street dead-ends at a small park.

At the time, the plaza consisted of five concrete pillars that looked like Art Deco lecterns atop a decorative brick surface situated on a small rise facing Route 66, with concrete walkways leading up to it.

This week, we were pleased to discover that bronze interpretive plaques had finally been installed atop the little pillars — and even more pleased to discover that the one about lodging on Route 66 included a reference to The Campbell Hotel!

Here are a few photos:

Here is the first plaque, which discusses Route 66 ”Motor Courts” and includes a reference to our hotel. It reads, in part:

 The Campbell Hotel, built in 1927 at 2600 E. 11th St., was a block long mixed use commercial building with elegant hotel rooms upstairs and grocery, restaurant and other businesses downstairs. The architectural style is “Mission Spanish Colonial Revival” with terra cotta tile roof. The Campbell Hotel has undergone an extensive renovation and is now in its original mixed use splendor. It is listed in the US Department of Interior National Register of Historic Places.

This next plaque talks about the Whittier Square District, which is less than a mile from The Campbell Hotel on Lewis Avenue and includes the historic Circle Cinema, among other treasures.

The third plaque is twice the width of the others and features a fairly detailed map showing the two alignments of Route 66 through Tulsa, along with information about historic sites along the road.

The fourth plaque talks about the former Avery Tourist Camp, owned by Cyrus Avery, the “Father of Route 66.” The business included a tourist camp, laundry facilities and restaurant and was located at Mingo and Admiral, on the original alignment of Route 66.

The final plaque discusses the two alignments of Route 66 through Tulsa.

Another interpretive plaza sits under the famous neon Meadow Gold sign on 11th Street just east of Peoria Avenue, and a third is still under development on Southwest Boulevard, near the old 11th Street Bridge. According to recent news reports, that plaza is expected to be completed this fall.

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