Park and Play

I've always suspected that I'm not (I can't be) the only Tulsa who doesn't think this city needs more parking lots. Two years ago, a local architecture firm came up with a concept of “providing temporary public open space... one parking spot at a time,” transforming concrete into an unusual combination of park and art.

PARK[ing] Day in Tulsa, hosted by AIA Eastern Oklahoma, IIDA, McFarland Davies Architects and Tepera Hood Design, is a non-commercial project intended to promote creativity, civic engagement, critical thinking, social interaction, generosity and play.

Originally created by REBAR, a San Francisco art and design collective, PARK(ing) Day is an annual, one-day global event during which individuals and groups transform parking spaces, parking lots and other areas of the landscape built to store stationary motor vehicles into places for people to congregate, socialize and play – to the exclusion of motor vehicles.

Four installation projects are open throughout the day and feature special events in Brookside, the Brady District, Cherry Street and on Route 66 during the times shown.

The ballPARK: On the northeast corner of east Archer and north Boston in the Brady District, sponsored by AIA Eastern Oklahoma's Young Architects Forum.
Open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., guests can purchase hot dogs from downtown Tulsa's most recognizable food cart, the Dog House. Better yet, the first 50 guests to register online will receive a FREE hot dog.
At noon, Bob Jack with Manhattan Construction and a representative from the Tulsa Drillers will present a preview of ONEOK Field, scheduled to open in April 2010.

Mad Hatter's Tea Party: 5-6 p.m. at 3638 S. Peoria Ave. in the Brookside Design District, sponsored by IIDA (International Interior Design Association).
IIDA will transform Urban Furnishings' concrete patio into an inviting outdoor tea room. Enjoy unusual tea blends provided by Dragon Moon Tea Company and garden art supplied by Garden Deva while vying for great prizes.

Home Run Derby: 6-7 p.m. - back to the northeast corner of East Archer and north Boston in the Brady District, sponsored by AIA Eastern Oklahoma's YAF. Guests will compete in an old-fashioned Home Run Derby with prizes awarded to the best sluggers.

CHOCS: From 7-8 p.m. at 1502 E. 15th St. at Coffee House on Cherry Street, sponsored by AIA Eastern Oklahoma's Committee on the Environment and McFarland Davies Architects.
Located at the corner of east 15th Street and south Rockford Avenue, this installation features two 30-gallon trees on a Zoysia grass lawn and Cherry Street giveaways.

Route 66: From 8-11 p.m. at 1347 E. 11th St. on Route 66. The installation, sponsored by Tepera Hood Design, features a unique installation transforming a former gasoline island into an urban park setting complete with a "forest canopy."
Owners Shane Hood, Assoc. AIA and Mary Jones, Assoc. AIA invite you to celebrate the grand opening of their design studio on historic Route 66 with music and food served throughout the evening.

T-Town Trolley will carry passengers between downtown Tulsa, Cherry Street, Route 11, and Brookside from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.

In 2007, Selser Schaefer Architects organized Tulsa’s first PARK(ing) Day installation in a single parking space in an uptown Tulsa parking lot.

In 2008, AIA Eastern Oklahoma’s Young Architects Forum and SR Hughes converted parking spaces in the Brookside Design District into an outdoor living environment. In 2009, the installations multiplied the number of temporary parks in Tulsa through the combined efforts of artists, activists, and citizens drawing attention to how the city’s urban space is allocated and used.