FROM STAFF REPORTS | Posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 5:55 am
Two groups of students from the University of Oklahoma College of Architecture will display design ideas for improving Route 66 in an exhibition this week.
“Route 66: String of Pearls” opens with a reception hosted by the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at The Numbered Car Company, 1132 S. Lewis Ave. The public is invited to the event, which will feature live music and vendors from the Tulsa Farmers Market.
Last fall, students from the OU-Tulsa Urban Design Studio conducted research and gathered community input for a design competition and service learning opportunity involving 0U architecture and graduate landscape architecture students at both the Norman and Schusterman Center campuses. Student teams each focused on the redesign of one of seven major intersections along 11th Street in Tulsa, formerly Route 66.
Students addressed several objectives, including an authentic cultural experience based on the history of “the Mother Road,” different perspectives of Route 66 versus Tulsa’s 11th Street, integrating disengaged buildings into their urban design schemes and strengthening nodes of activity at intersections.
Russ Roach, president of the nonprofit group Route 66 Development and chairman of the String of Pearls Advisory Committee, said he is impressed with the students’ strong appreciation for what makes Route 66 so beloved.
“There are several proposals which, if built, would be ‘postcard moments’ — very grand features that would fit in well with the image and history of America’s most famous highway,” Roach said in a statement. “I hope we can follow up on their vision.”
The designs feature 3D models of intersections as well as photographs and signage.
Shawn Schaefer, director of the OU-Tulsa Urban Design Studio, said the project was an outstanding learning experience for students.
“They were excited to be able to work with the community, study street design and take part in planning the competition and other events surrounding it,” Schaefer said in a statement.