Scott Pekins, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at the Price Tower Arts Center sent a link to a story about the resotration efforts underway for the Bruce Goff-designed Sooner Park Play Tower by the City of Bartlesville. We dug a bit deeper to find out how the PrairieMod community can help. Learn more after the jump...
(Image via Micahel Allen's flickr page/Wikipedia Commons)
We reached out to Lisa Beeman, Director of Community Development for the City of Bartlesville and a key person coordinating the tower's restoration effort. She was able to provide a little more historical background on the tower, how the restoration project fundraising is going to date, and finally how people interested can help.
"We now have $115,000 dedicated to the project ($65,000 from the City budget and $50,000 from Phillips 66). The project budget is $143,700, so we are short $28,000. A person can go to the City's website to get info on donating money or to a website set up by a volunteer (actually the granddaughter of the man who ran the company who originally built the tower). All money donated to the City of Bartlesville is tax deductible and placed in a reserved donation fund that can only be used for this project.
I am very excited to be part of this restoration project, particularly in this 50th year anniversary. It has been a goal of mine as Community Development Director/Park and Recreation Director to restore this tower to the original Goff plans and reopen it to the public."
To help get PrairieMod readers into the spirit, I asked architect Robert Alan Bowlby for some period photos of the tower so that we could all see what it once (and again can) look like. Bob pulled through and generously provided some great images from September 1964 with the following description:
"Around the base of the tower was a circular low concrete block wall that enclosed a sand pile. Along with the tower within the sand pile there was a "Mobius strip" with continuous steel pipe at the two edges. The tower of steel pipe was completely shrouded with a wire mesh to keep anyone from falling out of the enclosure."
(These four period photos copyright Robert Alan Bowlby)
You can see how amazing this whimsical structure was in its hey day. Now we have the opportunity to help the City of Bartlesville's restoration effort so that a new generation of children can explore, enjoy, and experience the effects significant architecture can have in their lives.
PrairieMod readers are a generous bunch, so I'm hopeful that our collective efforts can help put the fundraising effort over the top! Please follow one of the following links and give whatever you are able to help the cause. We'll make sure to keep readers up-to-date on the progress and hopefully someday soon we can all enjoy Bruce Goff's Sooner Park Play Tower restored!
:: Get details on donating funds at the City of Bartlesville's website
:: Or donate at the indiegogo.com volunteer site here
:: More info and vintage photos of the tower here
:: Learn more about Bruce Goff's legacy here