Route 66 Village Visitors Center in Tulsa may be finished by spring

The Route 66 Village Visitors Center under construction in southwest Tulsa probably will be finished by springtime, according to a report on a variety of Route 66 projects in Tulsa.

Tulsa World columnist John Klein reported the visitors center, designed to look like a vintage gas station, should be finished in a few months.

According to a post on the village’s Facebook page, the visitors center was 71 percent complete by mid-December. This $550,000 project being funded by the 2014 Improve our Tulsa sales tax.

Route 66 Village sits on Southwest Boulevard (aka Route 66) across from Webster High School in Tulsa. It contains a Frisco Meteor 4500 steam engine, several railroad cars and the Red Fork Centennial Oil Derrick, a 154-foot-tall structure that’s a replica of an oil derrick that once stood in the neighborhood during Tulsa’s oil-boom days of the 1920s and ’30s.

The Route 66 Village also seeks to add a train station and a replica of the old Tulsa airport terminal in the coming years.

More about future Tulsa Route 66 attractions still in the oven:

— Ken Busby, executive director and CEO of the Route 66 Alliance, expects a groundbreaking of the Route 66 Experience — which will house virtual-reality exhibits, gift shops and tourist information — near the Arkansas River “in the very near future.” He said he still expects an opening in November 2019, as previously reported. The alliance is raising funds for the $23 million facility.

— The Route 66 Experience’s diner will contain the original lunch counter and stools from the beloved Steve’s Sundry Books & Magazines, which operated in midtown Tulsa from 1947 to 2013.

— Busby offered some details about the virtual-reality exhibits. “Through virtual reality people will be able to ride the length of Route 66 and see all of the major sights in a 1966 Mustang convertible or the back of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle,” he told the World. The interactive part of the Route 66 Experience, by the way, took inspiration from the high-tech exhibits at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois.

(Artist’s rendering of the Route 66 Village Visitors Center via Facebook)

2 thoughts on “Route 66 Village Visitors Center in Tulsa may be finished by spring

  1. I like the vintage service station. Congrats. I have an exhibit I’d like to talk to you about. It’s a steam locomotive with a coal car made from junk items. It has three Route 66 logos and a Frisco RR logo. It’s about 15″ X 41″ I made it as a wall hanging display for your train museum, but it may work out for the service station. I’ve had many craft trains winning mostly First Place at the Tulsa State Fair through the years. One took First Place plus Sweep Stakes. Some of my items have been displayed around town in past years. One at the Train Museum that used to be at about 5th and Quaker, one at Ollie’s Station Restaurant, one at Thomas Cadillac, and one at Rt 66 BBQ. I tried pasting a photo here but it didn’t post. I recently turned 90, and while my craft expertise still works, my Internet acumen doesn’t. Drop me a note by email if you are interested in this project. James

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