6 things you didn't know about Tulsa's historic Rose Bowl

Driving by this 11th Street landmark might conjure thoughts of glory days gone by, but there’s more happening under those pink domes than meets the eye. 


1. The architect created other well-known curvy buildings.

The late architect William Henry Ryan designed and built the structure in 1961. Ryan also is known for designing East Central High School and the covered wagon-shaped Chapel on the Hill in Broken Arrow.


2. The Rose Bowl's design was influenced by wartime.

With its bubble gum-pink color and interior rose decor, the Rose Bowl might look cute, but Ryan’s design was highly influenced by World War II German bomb shelters.


3. Yes, it was actually a bowling alley for more than 40 years.

The Rose Bowl was a world-class bowling center from 1962 to 2005. After closing, the facility fell into disrepair.


4. Today, it's owned by a nonprofit.

The nonprofit One Hope Vision bought the Rose Bowl in 2012. Today, its subsidiary One Hope Tulsa, which offers sports clinics, educational and mentoring programs that target at-risk youth, operates out of the building.


5. The old lanes now host different sports.

Some of the original bowling lanes now serve as a platform stage overlooking a collegiate-sized basketball court. One Hope Tulsa added sports turf for flag football and soccer and restored the snack bar.


6. The Rose Bowl is available to rent, and holds many events.

Third parties may now rent the space for events, such as the 918 Flea Market on Sundays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Rose Bowl owner Rex Blankenship sees this as a way to stimulate the economy of the area and also support One Hope’s programming.


For more information, visit rosebowltulsa.com.


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