After several delays, the long-anticipated “East Meets West” statue on Route 66 near the Arkansas River is finally undergoing installation.
Funded by the Vision 2025 program, the larger-than-life bronze statue is part of the Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza at the east end of the Cyrus Avery Route 66 Memorial Bridge, formerly known as the Eleventh Street Bridge. It was originally scheduled for installation three years ago, but its arrival was delayed after its sculptor sustained serious injuries in a fall.
When completed, the statue — which was created in Texas and transported in pieces — depicts Tulsan Cyrus Avery, the “Father of Route 66,” climbing out of his car to assist a farmer whose horses have spooked at the sight of the unfamiliar automobile. The horses, wagon and farmer had not arrived at this writing, but Avery, his family and their car were at the plaza, behind a snow fence.
The highly detailed sculpture shows Avery’s wife turning to check on their startled daughter, whose frightened cat is trying to escape from the vehicle while Avery himself climbs out, his overcoat flying behind him in the Oklahoma wind. A series of nearby bronze plaques explain the significance of Avery, the statue and the bridge.
To get to the statue from The Campbell Hotel, take 11th Street west to Southwest Boulevard, turn left, and look to your right as you pass under a Route 66-themed walkway. Parking is available next to the River Parks trail on Riverside Drive or next to the elevated walkway; to reach the parking lot, turn onto Riverside, take the first left, and proceed up the hill. The walkway will take you across Southwest Boulevard to the plaza.
While you’re in town visiting Tulsa’s newest Route 66 attraction, why not book an evening in our beautiful Route 66 Suite and schedule a complimentary guided tour of Tulsa’s stretch of Route 66 with our in-house Route 66 expert? Call (918) 744-5500 or visit www.thecampbellhotel.com for reservations. (Tours are available by prior arrangement only, subject to availability.) If you are exploring the Mother Road, ask about our special Route 66 travelers’ discount.