Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza on Route 66 in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Greetings from Tulsa, Oklahoma ... "The Oil City of the World"

After traveling through Galena, Riverton and Baxter Springs, Kansas, Route 66 entered Commerce, Oklahoma, and headed southwest through Miami, Chelsea, Claremore and into Tulsa.

Once inside Tulsa, Route 66 traversed the city east-to-west on 11th Street into downtown, crossed the Arkansas River, and headed westbound to Sapulpa, Davenport, Chandler, Arcadia and Oklahoma City.

As other segments of Route 66, alignments around Tulsa varied and improved over the years.

In general, it followed the route of present-day Interstate I-44.

The city is known for its art deco architecture in the central Deco District. Landmarks like the Philcade and Philtower buildings reflect a 20th-century construction boom fueled by the prosperous local oil industry. It is often called "The Oil Capital of the World". The city is home to Oral Roberts University, the University of Tulsa and the popular Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza celebrating the history of Route 66.

Map of approximate Historic Route 66 path through the Tulsa, Oklahoma area
Map of approximate Historic Route 66 path through the Tulsa, Oklahoma area

Highlights of the attractions to see in Tulsa

Visit Tulsa, Oklahoma on Historic U.S. Route 66
Click to read more about
Route 66 in Tulsa

There are dozens of fun and interesting places to see and visit in Tulsa, both along and outside of Route 66.

Tulsa is an exciting, bustling city, an attractive destination for travelers.

The city offers a large array of museums, night life, events at the BOK Center, sports, lodging options and historic venues for visitors.

Tulsa has attractions ranging from trendy nightlife to first-class art museums, family fun destinations, shopping, Route 66 stops, and much more.

Among the most popular attractions is the Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza and Historic Route 66 bridge downtown on the Arkansas River.

The Route 66 Plazas on the River in Tulsa

Two plazas in Tulsa celebrate Historic Route 66 and Cyrus Avery: Centennial Plaza on the east bank of the Arkansas River, and Southwest Plaza on the west bank.

Included below is a map showing the location of Centennial Plaza and Southwest Plaza in Tulsa
Map showing the location of Centennial Plaza and Southwest Plaza in Tulsa

The Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza

Map showing the key elements of the Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza
(click the map for an interactive version at Google Maps)
Map showing key elements of Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma

Historic U.S. Route 66 sign on the Skyway bridge, downtown Tulsa at the Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza
Historic U.S. Route 66 sign, downtown Tulsa at the Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza

Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza looking west from the Skyway

Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza looking west from the Skyway


The Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza is named for the Tulsa resident who is known as "The Father of Route 66". It is located at the east entrance to the historic Route 66 bridge near downtown Tulsa. The first phase of the plaza, dedicated in 2008, included a display of flags from all eight states through which Route 66 traversed.

A Skyway with observation deck leads pedestrians from the visitors parking lot across Southwest Boulevard to the plaza.

The park and sculptures are an artistic representation of the use of automobiles and highways spreading across the country in the late 1920s and 30s. Future plans for the Avery Centennial Plaza include a visitor’s center and the Route 66 Interpretive Center, to be located on the hill beside the Skywalk near the parking lot. It will feature Route 66 exhibits, historical perspectives, restaurants and gift shop.

City announces plans for Route 66 museum in Tulsa
NewsOn6 - Tulsa - 05/12/2022

Centennial Plaza is located at the east entrance to the historic Route 66 bridge at the intersection of Southwest Boulevard and Riverside Drive.

A visit to Centennial Plaza is highly recommended for Route 66 fans!

View of Skyway looking west
View of Skyway to Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza in Tulsa, Oklahoma, looking west
Walking across the Skyway
Walking over the Skyway connecting the Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza with the parking lot
View of bridge from Skyway
View of the Historic Route 66 Bridge and the Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza, looking west from the Skyway
Memorial Bridge Marker
Historic Marker for the Cyrus Avery Route 66 Memorial Bridge
Sign near the entrance to the observation walkway under I-244
Sign at the Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza near the entrance to the observation walkway under I-244
Observation walkway under I-244, looking east, old Route 66 bridge & Skyway to the right
The Mother Road: Observation walkway under I-244, looking east, old Route 66 bridge to the right

The Sculptures
East Meets West: Symbolic Route 66 Midpoint

The scene in Centennial Plaza depicts the Avery family riding west in a Motel T Ford, meeting an eastbound horse-drawn carriage. Cyrus, his wife, his daughter and their pet cat are all in the Model T traveling down Route 66. They suddenly come across an oil field waggoneer whose team of horses are scared by the new sounds of a combustion engine. The sculptures are the work of Robert Summers.

East Meets West: Symbolic Route 66 Midpoint, in Tulsa Oklahoma

Sculpture of Cyrus Avery at Centennial Plaza in Tulsa, Oklahoma Sculpture of Cyrus Avery at Centennial Plaza in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Sculpture of Cyrus Avery at Centennial Plaza in Tulsa, Oklahoma Sculpture of Cyrus Avery at Centennial Plaza in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Cyrus Avery ... The Father of Route 66
Sculpture of Cyrus Avery, the Father of Route 66, at Centennial Plaza in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Route 66 Bridge Over the Arkansas River

Directly west of Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza is the original Eleventh Street Bridge bridge built in 1915 to carry Route 66 over the Arkansas River. It is located between newer bridges on Southwest Boulevard and Interstate 244, and was closed to traffic in 1980 although it remained open for pedestrians for a time.

Gates were locked on the bridge in 2008, and it remains closed to both vehicular and pedestrian traffic today. The old bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and re-named the Cyrus Avery Route 66 Memorial Bridge.

The surface of the Cyrus Avery Route 66 Memorial Bridge in Tulsa, Oklahoma The locked gate at the Cyrus Avery Route 66 Memorial Bridge in Tulsa, Oklahoma

The Cyrus Avery Southwest Plaza

The Cyrus Avery Southwest Plaza is located near the west side of the historic Route 66 bridge.

The plaza includes replicas of three neon signs from classic Tulsa-area motels: Tulsa Auto Court, the Will Rogers Motor Court, and the Oil Capital Motel (see photos below along with vintage images of the three motels).

Vintage Images Replicas at the Plaza
Tulsa Auto Court
Tulsa Auto Court in Tulsa, Oklahoma Tulsa Auto Court sign at the Cyrus Avery Southwest Plaza on the Arkansas River in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Will Rogers Motor Court
Will Rogers Motor Court in Tulsa, Oklahoma Will Rogers Motor Court sign at the Cyrus Avery Southwest Plaza on the Arkansas River in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Oil Capital Motel
Vintage image of the Oil Capital Motel in Tulsa, Oklahoma Oil Capital Motel sign at the Cyrus Avery Southwest Plaza on the Arkansas River in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Interactive Map of Tulsa Oklahoma

Lodging and Dining Options in Tulsa

TripAdvisor

Tulsa, Oklahoma Travel Guide

Hotel listings and traveler reviews for Tulsa

Restaurant reviews for Tulsa

Attractions and things to do in Tulsa

 

Visit Tulsa, Oklahoma on Historic U.S. Route 66
Click to read more about
Route 66 in Tulsa

 

Route 66 Road Trips in Oklahoma

Kansas to Tulsa
Route 66 Road Trip westbound from Kansas to Tulsa

Tulsa to
Oklahoma City
Route 66 Road Trip westbound from Tulsa to Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City to
Texas
Route 66 Road Trip westbound from Oklahoma City to Texas


Oklahoma Route 66 Passport

The Official Oklahoma Route 66 Passport

The Oklahoma Route 66 Passport from the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department helps Route 66 travelers find new destinations to explore and document their progress along the way.

The Route 66 Passport, which is available free at TravelOK.com, features 66 of the state’s memorable Mother Road attractions. It includes iconic stops like Catoosa’s Blue Whale, Stroud’s Rock Cafe and Clinton’s Oklahoma Route 66 Museum along with many newer favorites.

Get your passport stamped at each stop, then take it to a Tourism Information Center to be verified and earn an exclusive Route 66 coin.

More information about the Oklahoma Route 66 Passport

Order the Oklahoma Route 66 Passport online

More About Tulsa

Tulsa Convention & Visitors Bureau

More Things to Do on Route 66 - at the Oklahoma Tourism Department

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