Tulsa, Oklahoma

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Tulsa, Oklahoma
Image:Us-ok-tu.jpg
Image:Seal of Tulsa, OK.gif
Flag Seal
Nickname: "Oil Capital of the World, America's Most Beautiful City"
Location in the state of Oklahoma
Coordinates: 36°07′53″N, 95°56′14″W
Country United States
State Oklahoma
Counties Tulsa County
Mayor Kathy Taylor (D)
Area  
 - City 483.8 km²  (186.8 sq mi)
 - Land 473.1 km²  (182.7 sq mi)
 - Water 10.9 km² (4.2 sq mi)
Elevation 194 m
Population  
 - City (2006) 387,807
 - Density 5,573.65/km² (2,152.0/sq mi)
 - Metro 881,815
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Website: www.cityoftulsa.org

Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma. It is the county seat of Tulsa County. As of 2006, the estimate for the city population was 387,807.<ref> http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/40/4075000.html Tulsa (city) QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau] [Census Bureau]</ref> Tulsa’s Metropolitan Statistical Area was estimated to have a 2005 population of 887,715 and Tulsa’s Combined Statistical Area, which includes the Bartlesville Micropolitan Area, was estimated to have a 2005 population of 936,864. Tulsa is the 45th largest city in the United States and the 93rd largest city in North America.

The city is located in Northeast Oklahoma, a part of the state often referred to as "Green Country." It is considered the cultural and arts center of Oklahoma, boasting two world-renowned art museums, full-time professional opera and ballet companies, and a notable concentration of art deco architecture. <ref name="Quality of Life">Template:Cite web</ref> In 2005, Tulsa was selected as one of "America's Most Livable Large Cities." <ref name="Most Livable">Template:Cite web</ref>.

Contents

[edit] History

[edit] Government

Tulsa has a mayor-council form of government. Tulsa is also the county seat for Tulsa County.

[edit] Cityscape

Image:BostonAvenueMethodist.jpg
Located in Downtown, the Boston Avenue Methodist Church is one of the city's most prominent examples of art deco architecture

The city of Tulsa covers over 181 square miles--an area roughly three times the size of Washington DC. This large city footprint allows Tulsa's communities to take on a personality much their own.

Downtown is known for its art deco architecture and, as expected, office buildings. At 667 ft, for example, the BOK Tower is the tallest building in any of the 5 "Plains States" (Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota) and was designed in 1975 by Minoru Yamasaki & Associates, the same architect who designed the World Trade Center in New York City. Downtown contains Tulsa's largest entertainment and convention venues, including the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, another Yamasaki designed building. Currently under construction is a multi-purpose 18,000-seat arena, the BOK Center, designed by renowned architect Cesar Pelli (the designer of Petronas Towers). Also located in downtown is the Blue Dome District containing a number of popular restaurants and live music venues. In 2006 it was announced that a major redevelopment of the eastern perimeter of downtown is being planned. Called the "East End" the development is to include a new minor-league baseball stadium, shopping, dining and entertainment venues, and urban housing.

Uptown is the name given to a fairly small area immediately to the south of Downtown. Referred to by residents as "Tulsa's Neighborhood with a River View" it is bounded by U.S. 51/75 to the North, the Arkansas River to the west, 21st Street to the south and South Cincinnati Avenue to the east. Located on a bluff above the Arkansas River it primarily contains homes built in the early 20th Century as well as mid and high rise condominiums overlooking the river. The historic Council Oak Park and larger Veterans Park are in the area, as well as the Boston District, a tightly packed collection of high-quality clubs and restaurants.

North Tulsa is home to a large percentage of Tulsa's African-American community. The area's Booker T. Washington High School, one of Tulsa’s African-American high schools during the segregation era and now a magnet school, was judged in 2005 to be the 58th best high school in the United States by Newsweek Magazine. Also included in this area is the Brady District, the Greenwood Historical District and the adjacent campus of Oklahoma State University-Tulsa, the internationally famous Gilcrease Museum, the Tulsa International Airport, the Tulsa Zoo, the Tulsa Air and Space Museum, and the nation's third-largest municipal park, Mohawk Park. Many of the city's manufacturing and industrial areas are located in North Tulsa.

Midtown Tulsa is a largely residential district occupying land just south and east of Downtown and Uptown from the east bank of the Arkansas River to approximately Yale Avenue and 51st Street. This area, Tulsa's historical residential core, consists mostly of large upscale homes built in the early 1900's with architecture ranging from art deco to Greek Revival. This area also includes several neighborhoods of more modest but well-preserved American Craftsman and Tudor style homes. This area is home to the Philbrook Museum and the University of Tulsa, as well as Tulsa's premier upscale shopping district, Utica Square, the historic Cherry Street district, Woodward Park, Swan Lake, the Municipal Rose Garden and Tulsa Garden Center, the St. John's and Hillcrest medical centers, the Brookside entertainment and dining district, Expo Square (home of the Tulsa State Fair and Tulsa Drillers baseball) and the Southroads and Promenade shopping centers.

South Tulsa, a large area between 51st Street and 121st Street, was mostly undeveloped before the 1970s, but after 25 years of continuous construction booms it now contains Tulsa's largest shopping base (with a heavy concentration of chain retail stores particularly along 71st Street). The state's largest shopping mall (Woodland Hills), and some of the city's larger schools are located in the area. Portions of South Tulsa are particularly hilly and heavily wooded and many of the city's most expensive and secluded homes, including a number of gated communities, are located in the area. South Tulsa also has the highest concentration of McMansion style homes in the Tulsa area. Southern Hills Country Club, Oral Roberts University, LaFortune Park, St. Francis Hosptial and its attendant medical complexes, Southcrest Hospital, the Creek Nation Casino and most of the city's current river-side shopping and entertainment are located here.

East Tulsa is an area comprised mostly of modest residential neighborhoods developed from the 1960's through the 1980's. Once predominantly populated by white blue-collar workers, many employed at the large American Airlines maintenance facility near the Tulsa Airport to the north, the population has slowly changed to make East Tulsa one of Tulsa's most ethnically diverse areas. Large numbers of Hispanic immigrants have established a vibrant community centered around the Plaza Santa Cecelia near East 21st Street and Garnett Road. A number of recent immigrants from Asia also inhabit the area. Areas of light industry and manufacture are also found in East Tulsa and the Harvey Young Airport, a public commuter airport, is located on the eastern edge of the area.

West Tulsa, the entire city area west of the Arkansas River, has some of the city's largest parks and wilderness reserves. The area is also a testament to Tulsa's history in the oil industry, and still contains several large oil refineries.

Contributing to the Tulsa cityscape are also its main suburbs of Bixby, Broken Arrow, Catoosa, Coweta, Glenpool, Jenks, Kiefer, Owasso, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Skiatook and Sperry.

[edit] Geography

Tulsa, located in the northeastern corner of Oklahoma, lies between the edge of the Great Plains and the foot of the Ozark Mountains in a generally forested region of rolling hills.

The city serves as the gateway to "Green Country," a popular and officially designated name for northeast Oklahoma. The nickname is due to the region's dense green vegetation and relatively high amount of hills and lakes compared to that of Central and Western Oklahoma (which have geography similar to "the Great Plains" region of the U.S.). Northeastern Oklahoma contains more than half of the state's registered state parks and six of Oklahoma's 11 ecosystems, more than a dozen major reservoirs, as well as the state's most diversified agricultural economy and outdoor sports and recreation industry. <ref>[1] [Oklahoma Department of Tourism]</ref>

The city is split by the prominent Arkansas River. The Arkansas River flows in a wide, sandy-bottomed channel. Its flow in the Tulsa area is controlled by upstream flood-control reservoirs and the width and depth of water in the channel can vary widely throughout the year. Except in the most severe drought (as experienced in 2006) a low-water dam maintains a full channel in the area adjacent to downtown Tulsa.

Tulsa is heavily wooded, with abundant parks and water areas. Several prominent hills with names such as "Shadow Mountain" and "Turkey Mountain" create varied terrain mostly in the southern portion of the city. The central and northern sections are generally flat to gently undulating, although the Osage Hills extension into the northwestern part of the city further varies the landscape.

Tulsa's geographic coordinates are 36°7′53″N, 95°56′14″W (36.131294, -95.937332)GR1, with an elevation of 213 m (700 ft) above sea level. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 483.9 km² (186.8 mi²). 473.1 km² (182.6 mi²) of it is land and 10.9 km² (4.2 mi²) of it (2.24%) is water.

Image:Jenks riverwalk.jpg
"Riverwalk Crossing" in the suburb of Jenks is the first of many developments planned or under construction along the Arkansas River in the Tulsa area.

[edit] Business and Economy

For most of the 20th century, oil refinery and oil corporations dominated Tulsa's economy. Like the rest of Oklahoma, an oil bust in the 1980s severely compromised that economic foundation. Since then, city and county officials have been leading massive undertakings to diversify Tulsa's economy.

Today, Tulsa is still an important energy and oil center, but other industries have taken the spotlight, such as aerospace, banking, telecommunications, high tech, and insurance.

Image:Tulsa Arena.jpg
Artist's rendering of new BOK Center

The city has the nation's most inland water port, the Tulsa Port of Catoosa [5], which connects the state with international ocean trade routes through the Arkansas River and Mississippi River. Tulsa is also home to a large American Airlines maintenance center.

Vision 2025, a comprehensive economic and tourism development initiative, was city leaders' response to an economic downturn during a national recession in the early 2000s. The initiative promised to recreate recently lost jobs and rapidly increase job development over the next decade. The crown jewel of Vision 2025 projects, the BOK Center, the 18,000-seat arena currently under construction in downtown Tulsa, was designed to be an architectural icon of the city. Leaders hope the arena will spur downtown development.

In 2006, Forbes magazine rated Tulsa as second in the nation in job income growth, and one of the best 50 cities to do business in the country. <ref name="forbestop50">Template:Cite web</ref> 2006 also found Tulsa in the midst of a significant economic development and investment surge. <ref name="Globe Street Retail">Template:Cite web</ref>

See also: List of companies based in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Image:Praying Hands at the main entrance to the campus of Oral Roberts University.jpg
At the main entrance to Oral Roberts University stands the well-known praying hands sculpture (background). At 60 feet in height, it is the largest praying hands monument in the world.


[edit] Tallest Buildings

BuildingHeight in feetStories
One Williams Center 667 feet52
Cityplex 648 feet60
First Place Tower 516 feet41
Mid Continent Tower 513 feet36
Bank of America - Tulsa 412 feet32
320 South Boston Bldg. 400 feet22
110 West 7th Bldg. 388 feet28
University Club Tower 377 feet32
Cityplex West 348 feet30
Philtower 343 feet24
Liberty Tower - Tulsa 254 feet23
Williams Center *** 23
Boulder Tower 254 feet15
Mayo Hotel 252 feet18
First National Bank Bldg. 250 feet20
Cityplex East 248 feet20
One Warren Place *** 20
410 West 7th *** 20
450 West 7th *** 20
Two Warren Place *** 19
Remington Tower *** 18
DoubleTree Hotel *** 18
Oneok Place *** 17
Williams Center *** 17
Yorktown *** 16
Williams Technology Center *** 15
Warren Clinic *** 15
Thompson Bldg. 215 feet15
Adams Building 192 feet13
Petroluem Club Tower 192 feet16
Amoco Building - Tulsa 167 feet14


  • ***Height in feet from Emporis.com and SkyscraperPage.com not given.

[edit] Education and Science

See also: List of Schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma

The Tulsa area has 13 school districts with more than 20,000 students as of Fall 2005.

Tulsa Public Schools, with over 40,000 students, is the largest school district in Oklahoma. Each of the public districts in Tulsa County has a single high school, except for Tulsa Public Schools, which has nine. The Tulsa district also includes several charter schools.

See also: List of high schools in Oklahoma#Tulsa County

There are also numerous private schools in the Tulsa metropolitan area. There are Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant private schools and most of the area's private schools have some degree of religious affiliation.

[edit] Colleges and Universities

See also: List of Schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa has 14 institutions of higher education.

Primary universities in the city include the University of Tulsa (ranked among the top 100 universities in the nation by US News and World Report), founded in 1892; and Oral Roberts University, founded by evangelist Oral Roberts in 1963. Oklahoma State University has a fully-functioning branch campus in Tulsa, Oklahoma State University - Tulsa. The OSU Center for Health Science and the highly regarded OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine are also located in the city. The University of Oklahoma also has a graduate campus in Tulsa, known as the Schusterman Center, located in the Midtown neighborhood.

Tulsa Community College (TCC) is the largest community college in Oklahoma and operates 4 campuses spread across the city as well as a conference center in Midtown. Tulsa Technology Center (TTC) operates as an independent school district offering two-year vocational education programs. It is the largest Vo-Tech system in Oklahoma, with 6 campuses in Tulsa County.

[edit] Libraries

The Tulsa City-County Library system is the largest in the state of Oklahoma, containing 1.7 million volumes in 25 library facilities (map).

The Tulsa City-County Library is very active in the community, holding events and programs at most library locations, including free computer classes, children's story-times, business and job assistance, and many others. The library system provides access to dozens of online databases for reliable information on a variety of topics. Many of these are accessible from home with a valid library card number. There are many other research tools available, including an award-winning database of frequently-asked questions.

The McFarlin Library at the University of Tulsa is a federal depository library holding over 3 million items. The library was founded in 1930 and is known for its collection of Native American works and the works of Irish author James Joyce.<ref>The University of Tulsa McFarlin library website, available at http://www.lib.utulsa.edu/mcfarlin.htm</ref>

[edit] Entertainment and Attractions

With the city's interesting mix of Southern settlers, Northern oil-men, and Western ranchers and thanks to Tulsa's location in an area rich with Native American history and culture, the city and surrounding areas are home to many unique museums and attractions.

[edit] Museums and cultural centers

Tulsa’s culture is apparent in the city’s most prominent art museums, the Philbrook Museum of Art and Gilcrease Museum. The Philbrook is located in the former estate of oil pioneer Waite Phillips. Phillips and his wife, Genevieve, donated the 1927 Italian Renaissance "Villa Philbrook" and its 23 acres of landscaped grounds to the city of Tulsa in 1938. Considered one of the top 50 art museums in the U.S., it is one of only five to offer a combination of historic home, gardens, and art collection. The expansive grounds contain elaborate gardens inspired by Villa Lante, an Italian country estate north of Rome designed by Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola in 1566.

Gilcrease Museum houses the world's largest, most comprehensive collection of art and artifacts of the American West. The Museum also offers an unparalleled collection of Native American art and artifacts, as well as historical manuscripts, documents and maps. Themed gardens, focused on various periods of North American history, have been developed on 23 of the museum's 460 acres. The museum is located on the former estate of Thomas Gilcrease, a prominent early Tulsa oilman, in the Osage Hills northwest of downtown Tulsa. His restored home is located on the grounds. Gilcrease's bequeth of his large collection of American art and artifacts to the city of Tulsa in 1955 formed the foundation of the Muesum's collections.

Other important but lesser known museums and cultural centers include: the new Tulsa Air and Space Museum; the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art, which houses the largest collection of Judaica in the Southwest United States; the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame; the Tulsa Geosciences Center; the Tulsa Historical Society museum; the Greenwood Cultural Center, which preserves the history of The Black Wall Street prior to the Tulsa Race Riot; the Arkansas River Historical Society museum at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa; and the Will Rogers Memorial and the J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum in nearby Claremore.

[edit] Parks, gardens and nature preserves

The City of Tulsa manages 140 parks covering roughly 6,000 acres (24 km²), featuring 2 golf courses, 14 community centers, 21 swimming pools, 25 water playgrounds, 60 picnic shelters, 115 playgrounds, 123 tennis courts, 156 sports fields, The River SkatePark, fitness facilities, gymnasiums, meeting rooms and facilities, trails and more. One of the most popular parks is Woodward Park in the midtown area. The 45-acre tract boasts a wide variety of horticultural presentations, including 15,000 azalea plants, rock gardens, an English herb garden, ponds and waterfalls, a Victorian conservatory (Lord and Burnham), and the Linnaeus Teaching Garden. The Tulsa Municpal Rose Garden, containing 6,000 rose plants of 250 varieties, and the Tulsa Garden Center are also located adjacent to Woodward Park.

The Tulsa River Parks Authority (TRPA) maintains a linear park along more than 10 miles of the banks of the Arkansas River. Over 20 miles of hard-surfaced biking and running trails traverse the park. The park also contains a rugby field, sand volleyball courts, disc golf courses, playgrounds and a children's splash park, a bistro and cafe, a pedestian bridge with fishing platforms crossing the river, and a large collection of wildlife bronze sculptures. There is also a large "festival park" containing an amphitheatre and floating stage. It is the site of several community events each year, including the popular annual Oktoberfest.The TRPA also manages the "Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area" on a high hill along the west bank of the Arkansas River. The area covers a heavily wooded bluff and features rugged hiking and mountain biking trails and scenic vistas overlooking south Tulsa.

Tulsa County also owns and manages 4 large multi-purpose parks in Tulsa (Chandler, Haikey Creek, LaFortune and O'Brien), the Westbank Soccer Complex, 2 golf courses, 4 community centers, 21 lighted baseball and softball fields, 20 lighted tennis courts, and numerous athletic fields, jogging trails, picnic shelters and playgrounds. Chandler Park is a popular location for rapelling and rock climbing.

The Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum was named in 2005 as "America's Favorite Zoo" by Microsoft Game Studios in connection with a national promotion of their "Zoo Tycoon 2" computer game. It is located in the northeast part of the city in Mohawk Park, the third largest municipal park in the United States. The new Oklahoma Aquarium is the state’s only freestanding aquarium. It contains over 200 exhibits arranged in 9 galleries, and boasts a 500,000 gallon walk-through shark tank. It is located on the west bank of the Arkansas River in the suburb of Jenks, Oklahoma.

The City of Tulsa also manages the Mary K. Oxley Nature Center in Mohawk Park and the Redbud Valley Nature Preserve 12 miles northeast of Tulsa. The Oxley Center contains an interpretive building with hands-on displays, classrooms, a nature library and raised wildlife viewing areas. A boardwalk and several hiking trails extend acoss Blackbird Marsh and into the surrounding woods bordering Coal Creek and Lake Sherry. The Redbud Valley preserve is managed in cooperation with the Nature Conservancy. The preserve contains unique micro-climates with plants and animal found nowhere else in northeastern Oklahoma, springs and limestone caves. Trails there are rough and rocky.

[edit] Performing arts

The Tulsa Performing Arts Center (PAC), which contains the 2,365-seat Chapman Music Hall, 437-seat John H. Williams Theatre, and several smaller theatres and flexible performance spaces, is the largest and primary performing arts venue in the city. The PAC is the performance home for Tulsa Ballet Theatre, Tulsa Opera, Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, Tulsa Oratorio Chorus and Theatre Tulsa. Theatre Tulsa holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating community theatre company west of the Mississippi River and the first community theatre in America to produce (in 1939) Our Town by Thornton Wilder.

Other performing arts venues include the Brady Theater, listed on the National Register of Historic Places; the Van Trease Performing Arts Center for Education (PACE) at Tulsa Community College; the Clark Theatre; the The Nightingale Theater; the Tulsa Spotlight Theatre; and the Tulsa Parks and Recreation Department's Heller Theatre located in Heller Park. The Signature Symphony at TCC performs at the PACE.

Discoveryland!,” an outdoor amphitheater located 12 miles west of Downtown Tulsa, was designated by the heirs of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, as the official performance headquarters of their musical "Oklahoma!.” Performances of the Pulitzer Prize winning show are presented several nights every week throughout the summer.

Over the years, Tulsa has also laid claim to several improvisational comedy troupes. Two are currently active: Laughing Matters Comedy Troupe, in existence since 1990 and operating through Tulsa's Parks and Recreation program at Heller Theater, and The Comedy Clinic - Tulsa's Comedy Troupe (established in 2002) which performs multiple times throughout the year in the Brookside district at Suede Ultra Lounge and north of the city in Bartlesville at Theater Bartlesville. THe Brady Theater also regularly hosts Comedy Nights featuring national and local comedians.

Tulsa's performing arts community has had a significant influence in American pop culture history. The Tulsa Sound is a musical style, involving a fusion of Rockabilly, Blues and Rock'n'Roll that influenced many musicians such as Eric Clapton during the 1960's and 70's. Cain's Ballroom, often considered the birthplace of Western Swing because it was the headquarters of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, has played host to a number of famous musicians. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It remains an acive concert venue with an eclectic playbill favoring modern Rock acts. There are numerous venues for live popular music performances throughout the city.

Tulsans who have gained national reputations as entertainers include Gene Autry, Elvin Bishop, Gary Busey, William Boyd (actor) (Hopalong Cassidy), Garth Brooks, J.J. Cale, Kristen Chenoweth, Roy Clark, Joe Diffie, Larry Drake, Phil Driscoll, Ronnie Dunn (Brooks and Dunn), Blake Edwards, Paul Harvey, David Gates (Bread), Alice Ghostley, Clu Gulager, Isaac, Taylor & Zac Hanson (Hanson (band)), Jennifer Jones, Heather Langenkamp, Rue McClanahan, Tommy Morrison, Patti Page, Pillar (band), Mary Kay Place, Tony Randall, Leon Russell, Gailard Sartain, Ted Shackleford, Peter Simon, Wes Studi, Hank Thompson, Wayman Tisdale, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Dwight Twilley, Amber Valletta, Mason Williams, Charlie, Ronnie & Robert Wilson (Gap Band), and Alfre Woodard.

[edit] Festivals and Events

See also: List of festivals and events in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa’s diverse culture is well represented through a wide variety of events year-round. The largest is the Tulsa State Fair, in late September and early October, which attracts over 1 million people during its 10 day run. Tulsa’s Annual Oktoberfest was recently named one of the top 10 in the world by USA Today and Bon Appetit magazine calls it one of the top German food festivals.<ref> nam e="Best Oktoberfests in America">Template:Cite web</ref>

Among other popular annual events are Tulsa International Mayfest, Blue Dome Arts Festival, Oklahoma Blues Festival, Diversafest, ShalomFest, Greek Holiday Festival, ChristKindlMarkt/ ChristKindlMarkt, Oklahoma Scottish Festival, Juneteenth Celebration and the Gatesway Foundation Balloon Festival.

[edit] Amusement Parks

Tulsa currently has two main amusement park attractions.

Bell's Amusement Park, a Coney Island-style amusement park, features Oklahoma’s largest wooden Roller Coaster and one of the tallest drop-towers in the southwest. Bell's is located at Expo Square and its rides are incorporated into the midway during the annual Tulsa State Fair.

Big Splash Water Park [2], also located at Expo Square, features several multi-story water-slides and a large wave pool.

[edit] Sports

Club Sport League Stadium
Tulsa Drillers Baseball Texas League Drillers Stadium
Tulsa Oilers Ice Hockey Central Hockey League Tulsa Convention Center
Tulsa Talons Arena Football af2 Tulsa Convention Center
Tulsa 66ers Basketball NBADL Expo Square Pavillion

Southern Hills Country Club (SHCC) is one of the top rated golf courses in the nation and one of a very few to host six majors: 3 PGA Championships and 3 U.S. Opens, the most recent in 2001. It will host its 4th PGA Championship and seventh major overall in 2007. SHCC has also hosted five amateur championships. Additionally, Tulsa hosts the John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic, a regular LPGA tour stop, at the Cedar Ridge Country Club.

Tulsa has 2 universities that compete in sports at the NCAA Division I level: the University of Tulsa and Oral Roberts University. The Tulsa area is also home to several high school athletic teams that are frequently ranked among the best nationally.

[edit] Gaming

Tulsa has several Indian gaming venues. As a result of compacts between the State and various Native American tribes, tribal gaming facilities that were previously limited to bingo now offer table games and slot machines. Recent legislation has been passed to now allow Black Jack and Poker aswell. Cherokee Casino and Resort, Creek Nation Casino, and Osage Million Dollar Elm (two locations), are the largest casinos in the Tulsa Metro area. Horse racing is also a popular gambling draw, both at Fair Meadows race track, and at Will Rogers Downs in nearby Claremore. Fair Meadows also has a large Off-Track betting center.

[edit] Healthcare System

Healthcare in Tulsa is primarily serviced by six private hospitals, the Catholic-affiliated St. John and St. Francis systems, the Ardent-affiliated Hillcrest Hospital and OSU Medical Center, Triad's SouthCrest[3] and Cancer Treatment Centers of America Southwestern Medical Center.

Tulsa County operates the Tulsa Health Department.

[edit] Climate

Tulsa has a temperate climate of the continental variety. As is typical for the temperate zone, Tulsa's climate varies throughout the seasons and experiences occasional extremes.

Year-round average temperature of 61°F.

Summer temperatures of 40 °C (100 °F) or higher are often observed from July to early September. These are usually accompanied by high humidity, caused by warm air from the Gulf of Mexico brought in by southerly winds. Between May and September, Tulsa also experiences an "Ozone Season", caused by a combination of factors including climate and hydrocarbon emissions. During this season, Tulsa frequently issues "Ozone Alerts [4]", encouraging all parties to do their part in complying with the Clean Air Act and E.P.A. standards.

Winter temperatures, while generally mild, also occasionally experience extremes below -20 °C (0 °F).

The fall season is quite short, consisting of a brief period of pleasant, sunny days and cool nights.

Primarily during the spring and early summer months, the Tulsa area is often subjected to severe thunderstorms, some of which contain large hail, damaging winds and, not infrequently, tornadoes. Severe weather is not limited, though, to this season. On December 5th 1975, for example, Tulsa experienced a damaging tornado.

The spring and early summer thunderstorm pattern also provides the area with a disproportionate share of its annual rainfall, which averages around 100 cm (39 inches). Due to frequent flooding in past decades, Tulsa now has one of the most extensive flood control systems in the nation. In 2000, FEMA honored Tulsa as leading the nation in flood plain management.<ref>FEMA News Release HQ-00-046a, 13-Sep-2000 [5]</ref>

[edit] Demographics

Population

As of the censusGR2 of 2006, there were 387,807 people, 165,743 households, and 99,114 families residing in the city. The population density was 830.9/km² (2,152.0/mi²). There were 179,405 housing units at an average density of 379.2/km² (982.3/mi²).

Diversity

In 2006, the racial makeup of the city was 70.09% Caucasian, 15.47% African American, 4.72% Native American, 1.82% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 3.45% from other races, and 4.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino persons of any race formed at least 7.15% of the population. with possibly more unregistered persons living within the city.

Family

There were 165,743 households out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.1% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.2% were non-families. 33.9% of all households are made up of only one person, and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 people and the average family size was 2.98.

Image:Tulsa River Skyline.jpg
The Arkansas River in Tulsa

Age

In the city, the population is spread-out with 24.8% of the population under the age of 18, 10.9% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.4 males.

Income

The median income for a household in the city was $35,316, and the median income for a family was $44,518. Males had a median income of $32,779 versus $25,587 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,534. About 10.9% of families and 14.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.5% of those under age 18 and 8.3% of those age 65 or over.

Image:Tulsa, OK - TIGER map.gif
Location of Tulsa, Oklahoma and suburbs

[edit] Tulsa Metro Area

The Tulsa Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) consists of seven counties in northeastern Oklahoma: Tulsa, Rogers, Osage, Wagoner, Okmulgee, Pawnee, and Creek. The 2005 US Census Estimate shows the Tulsa MSA to have 887,715 residents.

The Tulsa-Bartlesville Combined Statistical Area (CSA), is created by adding the Bartlesville, Oklahoma micropolitan area which consists of Washington County in Northeastern Oklahoma.

The 2006 US Census Estimate shows the Tulsa-Bartlesville CMSA to have 936,864 residents. Cities and towns in this area include (in no particular order):

Green Country

Green Country is a popular term used in different scenarios to describe different aspects of the Greater Tulsa Region, but may also refer specifically to the official Tulsa MSA. Each usage of the term is derived from its official meaning as the tourism designation for all of Northeastern Oklahoma.

While the Tulsa MSA only officially occupies a section of Green Country as it is defined by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, the entire region is sometimes referred to as the Greater Tulsa Area. On the same accord, the term "Green Country" can apply to the immediate Tulsa urban area or the city of Tulsa proper, but neither of these are proper or official for the use of the term. (See "Green Country")

[edit] Transportation

Air

Tulsa is served by Tulsa International Airport (TUL) to the north and Richard L. Jones, Jr. Airport (RVS) to the south. TUL is home to eleven commercial airlines, seven cargo carriers, and several charter airlines which serve nearly 3 million travelers annually with almost 80 departures every day. The airport has completed most of its expansion project, and has recently added several restaurants and shops as well as "expanded seating areas, convenient restrooms, and real time flight information." The impact of airport operations on the surrounding community is nearly $3.2 billion annually. <ref>Tulsa International Airport website, available http://www.tulsaairports.com/</ref>

RVS, also known as Riverside airport, is located in Tulsa. The airport saw 285,484 takeoffs and landings in 2004, making it the busiest airport in the state of Oklahoma. Much of this traffic is from the six flights schools which operate over 500 aircraft out of the airport (establishing it as one of the busiest flight training facilities in the country). RVS operations generate over $3.2 million annually.<ref>Richard L. Jones, Jr. Airport website, available http://www.tulsaairports.com/rljones/rljones_airport.html</ref>

More information is available on the Tulsa Airports website

Land

Important highways passing through Tulsa are:

  • Interstate 44 - Skelly Drive / Skelly Bypass (bypasses downtown to the South)
  • Interstate 244 - Martin Luther King Expressway - known by locals as Red Fork Expressway west of downtown and Crosstown Expressway east of downtown (serves downtown, loops back to I-44 at either terminal)
  • Interstate 444 - unsigned Interstate, but forms with I-244 the IDL (Inner Dispersal Loop) which surrounds downtown
  • U.S. Route 412
  • U.S. Route 64 - Broken Arrow Expressway to the east as far as Memorial Drive, Keystone Expressway to the west; at the Memorial Drive exit, U.S. 64 follows Memorial Drive southward to the Tulsa suburb of Bixby, Oklahoma
  • U.S. Route 75 - Okmulgee Beeline to the south, where it becomes the Indian Nations Turnpike, Cherokee Expressway to the north
  • U.S. Route 169 - Mingo Valley Expressway (also called Pearl Harbor Memorial Expressway) bypassing downtown to the east, serving the airport, and wrapping around far South Tulsa before turning into the Creek Turnpike
  • State Highway 11 - Gilcrease Drive (serves Tulsa Airport)
  • State Highway 51 - alternate designation for Broken Arrow Expressway
  • Creek Turnpike - U.S. 169 turns to the west from its north-south axis and becomes the Creek Turnpike, allowing drivers to completely bypass the city on the east and south sides

It was also served by historic Route 66, and there are numerous reminders of this by the mid-20th century era, especially motels and restaurants along 11th Street and Admiral Place. Cyrus Avery, known as "The Father of Route 66," resided in Tulsa.

Water

East of Tulsa, in Catoosa, the Tulsa Port of Catoosa is the head of navigation for the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS), connecting barge traffic from Tulsa to the Mississippi River. This port is the farthest inland port in the United States.

Public Transportation

Citywide bus transit is provided by the Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority.

Street Network

Tulsa follows a very systematic naming and numbering convention for all streets falling within its municipal jurisdiction. Admiral Place is the east-west-running dividing line for "streets north" and "streets south", while Main Street is the north-south-running dividing line for "west avenues" and "east avenues."

Avenues falling west of Main Street are named for US cities west of the Mississippi River for one run of the alphabet, after which numbered "west avenues" are assigned. Avenues falling east of Main Street are named for US cities east of the Mississippi River for approximately three runs of the alphabet, after which numbered "east avenues" are assigned.

Streets falling north of Admiral Place are labeled for important names in Tulsa's history for one run of the alphabet, after which numbered "streets north" are assigned. Streets falling south of Admiral Place are numbered, beginning with "1st Street" and continuing southward. Street names and numbers are consistent throughout the Tulsa jurisdiction, regardless if a particular street is contiguous/continuous.

Addresses reflect their associated hundred block from either Admiral or Main. There are usually 16 blocks per mile as counted by avenues, and there are 10 blocks per mile as counted by streets. Other right-of-way labels (such as Place, Court, Drive, Terrace, etc.) may be used to describe an intermittent street or avenue, but the actual name will usually be the same as the adjacent street or avenue (such as Knoxville Avenue and its neighboring Knoxville Place, both assigned as the 3600 block east).

Major arterial streets can be found at every mile, as assigned by the Township and Range system, resulting in a well-defined grid of thoroughfares across the Tulsa region. As an example, east-west-running thoroughfares south of Admiral Place are streets ending with a 1, including 11th Street, 21st Street, 31st Streeet, etc.

[edit] Media and publishing

Print

Broadcast All major U.S. television networks are represented in Tulsa. Cable television service in the area is provided by Cox Communications. As in most major American cities, local radio stations in the Tulsa area are controlled by a small handful of large broadcasting companies.

See Broadcast Media in Tulsa

[edit] Tulsa in popular culture

Tulsa has also been featured or mentioned in books, film, songs, and on television.

Books

Movies

Television

  • On Friends, the character Chandler Bing was sent to Tulsa for one season.
  • Rodney, the ABC sitcom, is based in Tulsa and stars Tulsa comedian Rodney Carrington.
  • On an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, ADA Alexandra Cabot's new identity in the Witness Protection Program is originally from Tulsa.
  • On several episodes of 21 Jump Street, Johnny Depp and Peter Deluise often go undercover as brothers from Tulsa.
  • On an episode of I Love Lucy, Tulsa is mentioned.

Songs

[edit] Sister Cities

Tulsa has eight sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI):

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] References

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