Correction: An editor's note on this letter has been changed to correct the description of books written by Michael Wallis.
In 1980, while working as a Time-Life correspondent, I visited Tulsa and spent almost a week roaming the city. I was impressed by what I encountered.
Yet, I came away thinking more could be done to preserve Tulsa’s past. It was apparent more attention was needed to highlight the Art Deco architecture, legendary Route 66 and the corridor along the Arkansas River.
I was so convinced, that in 1982 my wife, Suzanne, and I moved to Tulsa. It was a smart move and one we have never regretted.
Since then much has been done to improve all three. Art Deco has become a big draw; the Mother Road has come back to life; and along our stretch of the Arkansas River are many attractions and improvements.
There is more to do.
I served on the committee to select a new bridge design for a replacement for the historic railway-pedestrian bridge over the Arkansas River.
All sorts of designs were submitted for review. Some of them were over the top; others were grand and monumental; all promised a hefty price tag.
At one of our sessions, I said that perhaps we should reconsider removing the pedestrian bridge, if only because of its historic significance.
In the end, however, the design was selected that some of us knew from the get-go would be chosen from the start.
I still believe there is a place for the old bridge. We cannot save everything, but we must preserve at least examples of our past.
Hopefully, that can happen again.
Editor's Note: Michael Wallis is a journalist and author of at least 10 books on subjects including Route 66, Pretty Boy Floyd, Frank Phillips and Wilma Mankiller. He is also the voice of Sheriff in the "Cars" movie franchise.
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