View Full Version : River West Festival Park

Plutonic Panda
10-20-2014, 12:56 AM
Getting a major 5.6 million dollar overhaul. ?oh=3772329e163eb01f13b2533121bc04e3&oe=54B9916E pg?oh=bb3f65883a117d0d2c5d2ad0bb985f98&oe=54F5CFD6&__gda__=1421273513_818c4107621c7e458bf5653235f6b55 b g?oh=8841c991423baeebb843eac58d54390e&oe=54EF671A&__gda__=1424676682_66cb7302c84206f50b43729b1b78c45 8

Now that the revelers at this year’s Oktoberfest have come and gone, it’s time to put a new face on River West Festival Park.

A long-planned, $5.6 million overhaul of the park on the west bank of the Arkansas River is scheduled to begin Nov. 3. Once work is completed late next year, the park will have a new stage, trail, playground equipment, a storage facility and restrooms.

Also, existing onsite parking will be expanded.

“The intent is to make the park better for festivals because that is kind of our bread and butter out there,” said River Parks Executive Director Matt Meyer.

Much of the work on the park will take place underground, where electrical and irrigation systems will be added and the above-ground electrical units removed, Meyer said. The park’s basketball courts are also being removed.

River West Festival Park was constructed in the late 1970s using an $821,000 federal economic development grant. The park is best known as the home of Oktoberfest, but it is also the venue for a number of other events throughout the year.

The idea of improving the park has been around since at least 2006, when voters approved third-penny sales tax funding to do the work.

The renovation was scheduled to begin after last year’s Oktoberfest but was postponed after the city determined a planned bridge could be susceptible to flooding.

That — and the need for an on-site storage facility — prompted a change in the park’s design.

“Once the city decided we could not do the bridge, the design implications rippled throughout the rest of the park,” said Dominic Spadafore, an architect for Dewberry, which designed the renovation project.

- read more here: River West Festival Park redesign to begin in November - Tulsa World: Homepagelatest (

Plutonic Panda
12-18-2014, 07:00 PM
Elevations: Festival Park | The Journal Record (

12-21-2014, 10:03 AM
Sounds like a good plan.

01-10-2015, 06:09 PM
Place was a dump. Good to hear.

01-15-2015, 09:54 AM
Elevations: Festival Park | The Journal Record (

Sorry I am delayed posting this story on here:

Elevations: Festival Park

By: Kirby Lee Davis The Journal Record December 18, 2014

TULSA – The design of Festival Park’s new Performance Overlook may first spur a bit of confusion.

When Tulsa contractor Tri-Star Construction finishes the park’s 11-month renovation in October, longtime patrons of this River Parks Authority venue will find the old concrete amphitheater seats still hugging the floating stage lagoon.

Indeed, it’s possible that bobbing bowl may also still skim those sequestered waters. Initial efforts to sell the stage fell through last summer when the winning bidder discovered how much it would cost to remove it. That has left the authority debating what to do with the park’s iconic fixture.

But neither that floating stage nor its amphitheater has much to do with Festival Park’s planned future. Under the $5.6 million re-imagining that Tri-Star began last month, most of the old amphitheater has been demolished. Those leftover concrete seats will serve mainly as a resting pause for River Trails pedestrians, or a secluded place to view the Arkansas River.

“It’s very low, so you can interact with the river,” said Dewberry architect Dominic Spadafore, who headed the redesign.

The park’s new stage will take the form of an 80-foot by 40-foot stamped concrete slab, its top raised about 2 feet above the trails. Four light poles will provide power outlets for actors, musicians or speakers. Tri-Star will build that platform within a shallow earthen bowl that will actually sit above those old concrete seats.

Placing that slab within a grassy bowl serves two purposes, Spadafore said. When a stage, the bowl’s gentle 7-foot slopes will seat 1,000 or more people. With no performers present, the slab provides the park’s centerpiece for large groups to gather and gaze upon the beautiful downtown Tulsa towers rising over the forested river.

That leads to the venue’s name: Performance Overlook.

Spadafore said this design gives Festival Park a large, open presence the old design lacked. Performance Overlook will serve as its hub, connected by sidewalks to parking on all three sides as well as the new children’s play area, the River Trails, and the park’s primary entryway.

“What the park had become was a series of concrete platforms where tents go during Oktoberfest,” Spadafore said. “That was limiting the use between the major festivals, so it became an empty lot. We’ve really tried to bring in these places for activities in order to make it a park as well as a festival park, and we’re awfully excited about it.”

This design also allows the stage to host large or small groups equally well.

“It’s not going to feel empty if there’s just 500 people there,” he said.

Topping it off, the overlook will provide an evening light show for those sitting in the old concrete seats or enjoying the river’s east bank. This will be accomplished with an array of programmable light-emitting diode lights shining down against the overlook’s large stone retaining wall.

“This is designed to be a moving light icon that you can see from downtown,” Spadafore said from Dewberry’s International Plaza building office. “From my desk you can see this, which is pretty cool.”

That in turn gives another purpose for retaining those old concrete seats, which Spadafore appreciates.

“I like to design things that have a forward and a backwards look,” he said. “Something about the existing condition should carry forward to the new condition as a token – a link, if you will – as to what used to be there.”

01-15-2015, 10:54 AM
This park has always been more of a place for Oktoberfest and other festivals and not much else. Too bad the amphitheater is not being expanded it has a great view.

TU 'cane
01-16-2015, 08:59 AM
Even if this were just for Oktoberfest, I'll support it.
Oktoberfest is growing every year, and from what I've heard from various folks is that this is becoming one of the largest Oktoberfests in the entire region. It was definitely a party this year. Look forward to next year's already.

But even so, this will expand the options now for other festivals and events, which is always good.
And it only makes sense in my opinion with the newly re-done route 66 bridge just around the bend. This little area could turn into a nice part of town, who knows?