Williams Cos. donates to Gathering Place lodge
Williams is committed to Gathering Place despite an uncertain future.
The lodge’s large windows will offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Renderings courtesy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
The element: lodge
The lodge is one of two buildings that will provide multi-use spaces for visitors of all ages. The glass and stone building will hold restrooms, a walk-up restaurant with terraced seating, an ice cream shop, a coffee shop, a rental location for park equipment and indoor/outdoor fireplaces with sitting areas.
The lobby will offer visitor information, while the great room will be a gathering space for public and private functions. The solarium will have a board
table for meetings with views of the stone terraces and shade trees just outside.
The donor: Williams Cos.
A lot has changed since the Williams Cos. pledged $16 million in May 2013 for naming rights to the lodge at A Gathering Place. The energy market hit a downturn, and a merger is now in the works for Williams. The proposed transaction with Energy Transfer Equity LP was still pending at press time, and it was unknown what affect it might have on Williams’ Tulsa workforce.
What remains the same is Williams’ commitment to A Gathering Place and the city of Tulsa, says President and CEO Alan Armstrong. He says Williams’ investment in the park mirrors other community investments during the company’s 100-year history in Tulsa, including myriad downtown development projects since the 1970s.
“From a historical perspective, people have seen us remain committed to our community in whatever ways we could be, even in downturns,”
Armstrong says. “We follow through on our obligations. We have a proven track record to be able to help through the lean times, as well.”
He expects the park to have an effect similar to Williams’ other projects such as the Tulsa Performing Arts Center and the BOK Tower.
“A Gathering Place will be a game-changer,” Armstrong says. “Having a park of that scale will attract a lot of people and be an economic driver.”
Site progress this month
- Continue work on concrete and steel for ONEOK Boathouse and Williams Cos. Lodge.
- Complete underground maintenance building walls and begin pouring its shored deck.
- Continue work on plumbing, vaults and piers for Water Mountain and Mist Mountain.
- Continue work on land bridge precast arches and begin headwall construction.
- Continue north and south bumpout construction, including armoring of the shoreline (pending reduced Keystone Dam water releases).
- Continue work on stabilization of the slopes throughout the elevation changes of the park, including the pond.
- Continue work on underground utilities and site stormwater system.
- Begin playground foundations.
- Begin work on site pedestrian bridges.
- City of Tulsa to continue work on two major stormwater projects on north and east sides of site.
- City of Tulsa to continue upgrading water and sewer lines on west side of Riverside Drive.
- City of Tulsa to continue reconstruction of Riverside Drive on north end of site.
Editor’s note: Construction plans subject to change.
For more information, visit www.agatheringplacefortulsa.com.