Helmerich donation to Gathering Place honors late patriarch
The Helmerich Trust honors Walt Helmerich’s love of green spaces.
A rendering of the bridge over Peggy’s Pond, named for donor Peggy Stephenson.
Rendering courtesy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
Hans Helmerich, trustee of The Helmerich Trust and chairman of Helmerich & Payne Inc., remembers driving through the woods of fellow oilman B. B. Blair’s former estate — land that is now being transformed into A Gathering Place.
With construction well underway on the iconic park, the scenery looks quite different now. That is thanks to donors such as the trust, which committed $5 million for the bridge over Peggy’s Pond. The water feature is named for another park donor, Peggy Stephenson.
The bridge will connect the Williams Cos. Lodge and the Chapman Foundations’ Adventure Playground to the ONEOK Boathouse and QuikTrip Great Lawn.
The Helmerich Trust’s donation to A Gathering Place is a project the family’s late patriarch, Walter Helmerich III, would have been proud to support.
“Dad always had a huge affinity for making Tulsa a more livable city,” says Hans, who oversees the family’s trust with brothers Rik, Zak, Matthew and Jono.
“He believed open spaces and park land were important pieces of that puzzle.”
As for the late Blair, Hans thinks his friend would be excited about the park.
“He loved Tulsa,” Hans says. “I think to know his property would become the hallmark of what Tulsa has to offer ... I think he would be pleased.”
Site progress this month
- Complete piers, foundations and elevator pits for the ONEOK Boathouse, Williams Cos. Lodge, Water Mountain, Mist Mountain and the Maintenance Building.
- Continue work on each building’s steel infrastructure.
- Complete drilling and pouring of the land bridges’ piers and continue work on head wall construction.
- Continue north and south bumpout construction, including armoring of the shoreline.
- Continue sitewide dirt work, including stabilization of the slopes throughout the elevation changes of the park.
- First shipment of playground towers to arrive at offsite location, where they will be erected and stored.
- City of Tulsa to continue work on two major stormwater projects on north and east sides of site.
- City to continue upgrading water and sewer lines on west side of Riverside Drive.
- City 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.