Michael Wallis, author of the best-selling “Route 66: The Mother Road,” gave us some potentially big news regarding the Vision 2025 Route 66 project in Tulsa. The National Historic Route 66 Federation, based in California, is very interested in establishing a travel center in a Route 66 interpretive center that would be built near the historic 11th Street Bridge.
“Since founding the Federation, we have believed a center that is a nationwide resource for the Mother Road would serve several important purposes,” wrote David Knudson, executive director.
“Tulsa, because of its geographic location and its commitment to the history of the route, would be an excellent choice for the center.”
In return, Wallis has promised Knudson his involvement in the day-to-day operations of the center.
The involvement of the National Historic Route 66 Federation is a big sweetener for the proposed interpretive center. The federation has taken a large leadership role on Route 66, including staging major events across the country, providing tourism advice and products, and playing a vital role in the passage of the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program. A federation travel center would be a key addition to a building that would house a cafe, museum, high-tech interactive displays, meeting rooms and other attractions.
A Route 66 interpretive center would be a good thing for Tulsa and the historic road. It would attract travelers that would ordinarily bypass Route 66 via Interstate 44 and 244. It would bring more visitors to downtown. The site would be easily accessible from the interstate and Riverside Drive. In general, it would create more interest in Route 66 and help the entire road, especially in Tulsa County.
For this project, Wallis and Route 66 need your help. You need to snail-mail letters of support for the proposed Route 66 interpretive center near the 11th Street Bridge. Letters should be addressed to:
Mayor Bill LaFortune
200 Civic Center
Tulsa, OK 74103
and also to:
Route 66 Design Committee
111 S. Greenwood Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74120