Aiding downtown development 

Published March 10, 2022
David Reed becomes project manager for downtown Sapulpa's master plan

Over the last two decades, from volunteering in city and school activities to serving in the chamber and other economic development groups, David Reed has actively worked to boost Sapulpa’s growth and prosperity. Now he pursues these efforts in an official capacity as project manager over downtown Sapulpa’s master plan.

 

“I think he’s perfect for this,” said Cindy Lawrence, Sapulpa Main Street executive director. “David has worked with us for years on our board of directors. He has a real love for downtown and this city.”

 

The city council appointed Reed to this new post in December. It adopted the master plan in June.

 

“I love his enthusiasm for our city,” said Sapulpa Chamber of Commerce President Janet Birnie. “He’s a great asset. I’m really excited to work with him further.”

 

Reed, who moved his architectural firm to downtown Sapulpa in 2020, sees tremendous potential in this plan.

 

“Sapulpa has one of the best historic downtown areas, with a great stock of historic buildings,” he said. “Downtown also is the crossroads for two of our nation’s most historic highways, Route 66 and U.S. Highway 75.”

 

Reed isn’t alone in seeing this potential.

 

“We’ve probably got one of the best historic building stocks in the state,” said Lawrence. “And Route 66 is one of the world’s busiest tourist destinations.”

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David Reed in downtown Sapulpa

Downtown Sapulpa provides roughly 30 blocks of commercial buildings, most raised during the heyday of Oklahoma’s oil boom. A National Historic District designation covers much of that business area.

 

In many ways, this history paralleled the development of U.S. Route 66, our nation’s most-traveled cross-country highway before the interstate system took root. Iconic scenery, architecture, and Americana culture line this 2,400-mile Chicago-to-Los Angeles roadway, which runs through the heart of downtown Sapulpa. This west Tulsa suburb holds a special place in Route 66 lore as home to:

  • Bridge 18 at Rock Creek, the highway’s oldest surviving trestle bridge.

  • Several miles of still-used original roadway.

  • The Route 66 Auto Museum.

  • The TeePee Drive-In Theater, which is now under restoration.

  • Several historical murals and signs.

 

Those assets underscore two of David’s first-year goals as project manager:

  • Develop the Route 66 Rock Creek Park. It will provide a tourist-friendly playground and rest stop connecting the bridge, theater, and the Route 66 mural adorning a Sapulpa water tank. It also lies a short walk from the auto museum.

  • Transform a downtown alley between Dewey, Lee, and Hobson streets into a new pedestrian and commercial area. Lighting and landscaping improvements will create attractive spaces for dining, shopping, and conversation.

 

Reed also intends to compile a schedule organizing all downtown improvement projects underway.

 

“I’m just full of excitement for our future,” said Reed. “I truly believe Sapulpa is on the rise. It’s already a wonderful place to raise families and businesses, but we can make it even better with these efforts. Outsiders will no longer perceive Sapulpa as a small town on the west bank of the Arkansas River. They will see Sapulpa is a great city in its own right.”

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David points to an interesting element in the Dewey/Hobson alley project