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Rose Bowl
Tulsa, OK

 

TULSA, OK - When you think of the Rose Bowl, do you think of College football and New Years Day? If you don't, then you must have seen the Rose Bowl in Tulsa and its fantastic arching sign that somewhat resembles the famed Arch and Arch Motel in St. Louis. Best of all, it's located off of the old Route 66.

Rose Bowl
Tulsa, OK
Photo courtesy Charles Brock

 

UPDATE 04/06 : The Rose Bowl closed its doors on March 12, 2005. In October, the Rose Bowl interior went up in flames. 04-06

UPDATE 04/09 : Rose Bowl Lanes in Tulsa, OK has been located on Route 66 since 1962. When the building was purchased in 2006, she was boarded-up and burned. It has been remodeled and reopened as an event center. The first concert was held in June, 2008. 04-09

 

Rose Bowl marquee in 2010
Tulsa, OK
Photo by RoadsidePeek.com

The Rose Bowl Lanes building located at 7419 East 11th Street in Tulsa, OK has been a bowling Mecca and Route 66 icon since 1962. A prominent Tulsa surgeon commissioned architect William Henry Ryan A.I.A. to design and build the unique structure in 1960. Mr. Ryan has become somewhat of a famous local architect having build many building in the Tulsa area and local region. Some of his other famous structures include East Central High School, of Tulsa, the former domed Elks Lodge on Harvard Ave in Tulsa and the church in Broken Arrow that many say resembles a cornucopia or covered wagon that can be seen from the Broken Arrow Expressway just east of the Elm exit.

 

Rose Bowl remodeled
Tulsa, OK
Photo courtesy Sam Baker

The Rose Bowl known for her unique structure design of two and one half symmetrical concrete domes and bubble gum pink color soon became a hot spot for regional bowling tournaments drawing people from all over the country. As time pasted the building changed ownership several times and was owned by the bowling giant AMF in 2005. After two small arson fires AMF decided to close the famous facility and place it on the market. The old girl had been painted a different color scheme that many interested locals considered hideous. As she sat vacant, boarded and on the market, another arson fire plagued the rugged structure. This fire took out the front windows and scorched the center front of the building. As the old girl continued to set vacant vandals reeked havoc stealing most of the copper wire, toilet flush valves and other valuables.



In December 2005 two local businessmen Chris and Sam Baker decided to purchase the building and after negotiations with AMF purchased the building for $295K in February 2006. After exploring many options for the property they decided to resurrect the old gal as an event center and entertainment venue.

Mr. William H. Ryan and Sam Baker at the Rose Bowl
Photo courtesy Sam Baker

 

Much work, sweat and money went into the old lady and in June of 2008 the first concert was scheduled to be held at the Rose Bowl Event Center. The City of Tulsa had plenty of demands for the old girl to bring her up to current fire safety codes for a multi used event center such as smoke installing more emergency egress doors, fire/smoke alarm systems and a sprinkler system. David Patrick the City Councilor for this district was instrumental in getting the mayors office behind this project and opening doors for Mr. Baker to workout a plan of action to save the old gal. With help from Jack Page, head of development for the city of Tulsa, En Ho, head of City Planning office and fire marshal Jeff Adsit. Mr. Baker was able to submit a Plan of Action with the City of Tulsa. This Plan of Action would allow the Rose Bowl to hold events and operate while implementing the fire safety upgrades the City requested. This would allow Rose Bowl to test the waters and secure funding for the upgrades and a chance to test the water for the viability of the Rose Bowl as an event center.

 

Rose Bowl prior to an event
Tulsa, OK
Photo by RoadsidePeek.com

The Rose Bowl Event Center has now hosted many local events such as: concerts with bands such as Gutter Mouth, David Allen Cole, Roger Cline and the Peacemakers, The Toasters, Flat Foot 56, Randy Crouch, and a host of local bands. Also the Tulsa Indian Club held their Fall Native American Music Festival at the Rose Bowl. The TSHA (hearing impaired) had their annual fund raiser, Souper Sunday with 23 local restaurants (like the Outback, On the Boarder, the Crusty Croissant) hosting booths and giving sampling of their signature soups to the over 800 attendees. Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church held a fund raiser on Valentine Day this year and raised over $5,000.00 their first event.

Many thanks to Rose Bowl owner Sam Baker for latest update. 04-09

 

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© Copyright 1998-2013 Syd Nagoshi. All rights reserved. No portion of this document may be reproduced, copied or revised without written permission of the author.