Tours

  • A mixed-use center for town and gown
    <strong>Storrs Center</strong> <em>Mansfield, CT</em>

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • Expanding options for a car-oriented suburban area
    <strong>Village of Providence</strong> <em>Huntsville, AL</em>

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • Southside
    Ten acres that transformed a city #thisiscnu

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • Historic arcade houses young professionals
    <strong>Microlofts at The Arcade Providence</strong>&nbsp;<em>Providence, Rhode Island</em>

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • Crosstown_Concourse_2018_Charter_LooneyRicksKiss
    Crosstown_Concourse_2018_Charter_LooneyRicksKiss
    From former warehouse to "vertical village"
    <strong>Crosstown Concourse</strong>&nbsp; <em>Memphis, Tennessee</em>

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • From parking lot to urban tour-de-force
    <strong>UCLA Weyburn</strong>&nbsp;<em>Los Angeles, California</em>

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • A unique building becomes a hub for historic neighborhoods
    <strong>Ponce City Market</strong> <em>Atlanta, GA</em>

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  • Jazz Market New Orleans Audience Seating
    Jazz Market New Orleans Audience Seating
    Trumpeting a cultural revival
    <strong>Peoples Health New Orleans Jazz Market</strong>&nbsp; <em>New Orleans, Louisiana</em>

    Build Great Places / #thisiscnu

  • Mercado District | Tucson, Arizona
    A timeless place from the ground up. #thisiscnu

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Sign up to see the best of Oklahoma City and the surrounding areas here. Descriptions and pricing below. 

Tuesday, March 22

  • Tulsa Day Trip | 8am - 5pm CT
    Bus ($75 Member / $90 Non-Member)
    On this tour, see the best that Tulsa has to offer - from the multi-award-winning public park The Gathering Place, to the vibrant Tulsa Arts District home to creatives and the famous Tulsa Sound, to the mixed-use in-town neighborhood of Cherry Street with its diverse missing middle housing, to Tulsa’s iconic Art Deco architecture. Come see it all - this tour is not to be missed!
     
  • Planning and Developing the Oklahoma River | 2pm - 5pm CT
    Bus ($50 Member / $65 Non-Member)
    The vision for development along the Oklahoma River began almost 50 years ago with plans for establishing the once-barren riverbed as a recreational amenity, facilitating a range of public and private development opportunities, and promoting the corridor as a series of cultural and entertainment districts, neighborhoods, and recreational facilities. Come see how this vision, planning, and billions of dollars in public and private investment have contributed to the economic and recreational growth of contemporary Oklahoma City and get a glimpse of ongoing plans for the next fifty years.
     
  • West Village and Film Row​ | 2pm - 5pm CT
    Walking ($25 Member / $35 Non-Member)
    A century ago, Film Row became a destination for theater owners leasing film reels from studios like Paramount, Warner Brothers, MGM, etc. As localized film distribution waned, the highly specialized buildings with fire-proof film vaults and screening rooms struggled to find new purpose. The transformation finally began when Film Row with its Art Deco, Art Moderne, and Commercial Style architecture was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The abandoned buildings have been rehabilitated for new uses. Bolstered by public investment in streetscape improvements, Film Row now attracts developers looking for urban infill opportunities. The walkable corridor supports offices, restaurants, retail, live music, residences, and an elementary school. Adaptive reuse continues to the west where a Model T Ford assembly factory is now a 21C hotel and art museum. To the east, an arena has been repurposed as a vertically integrated production company with multiple soundstages for filming.

Wednesday, March 23

  • Strengthening OKC Neighborhoods and Districts: CDRP and SNI​ | 8:30am - 11:30am CT
    Bus ($50 Member / $65 Non-Member)
    The City of OKC’s Commercial District Revitalization Program and Strong Neighborhoods Initiative build capacity and collaborate with local residents and business owners to strengthen commercial and residential neighborhoods. Successes, lessons learned, and differences from the Plaza District and adjoining Classen Ten Penn neighborhood, and Historic Capitol Hill.
     
  • Saving Downtown's Historic Landmarks: Skirvin Hotel and First National Center​ | 8:30am - 11:30am CT
    Walking ($25 Member / $35 Non-Member)
    Downtown Oklahoma City served as the city’s center for commerce and industry for the first half of the 20th century. Like many American cities, Oklahoma City’s downtown fell into decline as residents and businesses headed to the suburbs. Even a grand plan by I.M. Pei failed to resuscitate downtown, though the plan did succeed in demolishing hundreds of buildings in anticipation of development. By the 1990s, renewed efforts were underway to bring life back to the urban core; preserving and revitalizing the remaining downtown landmarks was identified as key to that effort. The rehabilitation of the historic 1911 Skirvin Hotel, completed in 2007, and the 1931 First National Center, currently underway, required a diverse network of partnerships, incentive programs, and other tools to achieve success. This tour will visit these landmark buildings to highlight the many local, state, and federal tools available to spur revitalization and preserve important historic resources.
     
  • Northeast OKC: Community-Centered Infill Projects​​ | 9am - 12pm CT
    Bus ($50 Member / $65 Non-Member)
    Come over to Northeast Oklahoma City, a community that has historically seen severe disinvestment but has been able to retain a vibrant identity and remain resilient due to the collective effort from community members, local leaders, and developers. Explore a wide variety of infill developments only made possibly by community and its partnerships; from a brand new grocery store to a single-family home built through an Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority program, to a community garden on a once vacant residential lot. Throughout the tour, attendees will be able to see infill developments that work, some that might have missed the mark, along with the remaining infill needed in area and hear from the folks making all of this happen.
     
  • Preservation of Black Landmarks: Page Woodson Redevelopment​ | 12pm - 4pm CT
    Bus ($50 Member / $65 Non-Member)
    Join us on a tour that explores the Page Woodson Redevelopment. The Douglass at Page Woodson was a recipient of the 2018 Driehaus National Preservation Award. Central to this development is the oldest school building in existence in Oklahoma City, which was used for the purpose of segregating African American students from white students during 1933 to 1955. The school served as a center for various community and educational purposes from 1975 to 1993 and has remained significant to the community. In 1993, the building was closed and remained vacant until redevelopment in 2014 by Colony Partners in partnership with Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority. The school building has been redeveloped into to affordable housing. The surrounding area, a once dense residential area, now features over 320 housing units, an auditorium with a community space, and a coffee shop. The remaining phases are to include a large pedestrian plaza that leads to Washington Park, additional commercial space and housing units. Come walk the halls of the Douglass High School that were once shared with the legendary musician Charlie Christian, blues vocalist Jimmy Rushing and literary giant Ralph Ellison.
     
  • Growing District Loyalty and Development Through Incremental Change​ | 12pm - 4pm CT
    Walking and Streetcar ($20 Member / $35 Non-Member)
    Using interim solutions and incremental development to bring a district from dormant to active. The tour will highlight how development has occurred over the past 15 years, including a wide variety of temporary/interim solutions that built up a desire for people to be in the district.
     
  • Suburban Revival: Downtown Edmond​​ | 1pm - 5pm CT
    Bus and Walking ($50 Member / $65 Non-Member)
    The suburbs have urban revivals too! Put your walking shoes on and experience the ongoing transformation of a traditional 20th century suburb through the lens of its downtown core. This 1 3/4 -mile walking tour includes adaptive reuse projects, public art, new mixed use buildings, an historic building reconstruction, and several project in-progress. Hear directly from the pioneers who were on the cutting edge of this revitalization and from the new arrivals who are meeting the challenge and raising the bar even higher. Learn how the City played a role in facilitating - and sometimes inadvertently stifling - redevelopment of the urban district. We hope you’ll join us in the suburbs for fun, craft beer, superman iceman, and urbanism!
     
  • OKC's Next Great Urban Neighborhood: The Wheeler District​​​ | 2pm - 5pm CT
    Bus and Walking ($50 Member / $65 Non-Member)
    Wheeler District is a growing community on the south bank of the Oklahoma River. The development expands the footprint of downtown Oklahoma City, with a that layout encourages walking or riding to school, work, dining, the park, the river, the Ferris wheel and beyond. The 150-acre site includes the former downtown airpark and provides direct auto access to Interstate 40 and pedestrian and bike access to the Oklahoma River Trail network. Boasting spectacular views of the skyline, the district is a walkable, bikeable community. Wheeler District is designed for everyone to enjoy, from new residents to visitors alike. From cottages to townhomes, the neighborhood features a range of for-sale and for-rent housing for families who want the convenience and quality of a newly constructed home connected to the amenities and offerings of Oklahoma City’s dynamic core. A public charter school offers dual-language immersion for Wheeler District residents and nearby neighborhoods. The streets are lined with shops and dining options. A multi-decade plan leaves room for growth and dynamic change as the district continues to expand.
     
  • Bricktown: Life of an Entertainment District​ | 2pm - 5pm CT
    Walking and Boat ($40 Member / $55 Non-Member)
  • Bricktown is Oklahoma City’s historic industrial district that was transformed by the original 1990s MAPS program (including an urban canal, ballpark, and basketball arena) into an urban entertainment district. Participants will walk and hop on board a Water Taxi on the canal to learn about Bricktown’s early days with deep connections to Black history in OKC, through its journey to a modern entertainment district. Participants will also learn how new placemaking initiatives are featuring visual and performance art, to work toward a refreshed vision for an entertainment district.

Thursday, March 24

  • Walk, Talk, and Sketch the City​ | 8am - 11am CT
    Walking ($20 Member / $35 Non-Member)
    Come explore downtown Oklahoma City and meet other sketching aficionados to practice your sketching skills and learn some new techniques. The tour will leave from the host hotel and walk to the Oklahoma City National Memorial area where the Memorial itself as well as surrounding historic buildings offer a variety of interesting sketching subjects. A brief sketching demonstration will be offered before participants sketch and explore on their own.
     
  • Love the Loops: Operations and Impact of OKC Streetcar​​ | 9am - 12pm CT
    Streetcar ($20 Member / $35 Non-Member)
    Completed in 2018, the OKC Streetcar connects downtown Oklahoma City to other districts including Bricktown, Midtown and Automobile Alley, as well as to key landmarks like Scissortail Park, the new Convention Center, and the Oklahoma City National Memorial. Come explore the route and learn how the streetcar has catalyzed development along the route.
     
  • Financing the Walkable City​​​ | 12pm - 2pm CT
    Walking ($20 Member / $35 Non-Member)
    A combination of GO bonds, sales tax initiatives, and creative TIF bonds spurred a series of infrastructure improvements that redefined the urban core into a pedestrian/bike friendly hub radiating out from the central business district connecting the community, cyclist, and pedestrians to the park and the river beyond. By leveraging multiple funding sources with patience and a grand vision, the City of Oklahoma City, key community leaders, and the general public (through sales tax initiative) put into motion a series of transformative projects that interjected placemaking and walkability into the Oklahoma City lexicon.
     
  • Bikes and Breweries: Redevelopment around Craft Breweries in OKC​​​​ | 2pm - 5pm CT
    Biking ($75 Member / $90 Non-Member)
    Oklahoma City’s craft beer boom has seen the construction of dozens of breweries and taprooms near downtown, located in new buildings or as part of adaptive reuse developments. As a result, breweries have become part of downtown’s social scene. We’ll gear up on bikes and travel to breweries around downtown Oklahoma City. Along the way, we’ll discuss Oklahoma City’s changing bike culture and infrastructure, changes to alcohol laws that enabled breweries to bring new life to old buildings, and the lasting impact of I.M. Pei’s Urban Renewal Plan for downtown Oklahoma City.

Friday, March 25

  • Missing Middle Housing in OKC | 12pm - 2:30pm CT
    Bus ($50 Member / $65 Non-Member)
    Join us for a tour of both new and old missing middle housing throughout the Core of Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City’s has seen a significant amount of investment in it’s core that caused a sharp rise in real estate prices. To avoid the pitfalls of other larger cities, promoting and approving missing middle housing has become a priority. This tour will feature historic missing middle housing and new construction from small lot single family to small scale apartment buildings.
     
  • Impactful Development | 12pm - 2:30pm CT
    Bus ($50 Member / $65 Non-Member)
    What if you only had half a day to see the best of Oklahoma City? Join us on this true mix-tape, whirlwind tour of OKC’s award-winners and heart throbs. Stops will include Devon Energy Center (ULI 2015 Global Award for Excellence winner), Myriad Botanical Gardens (ULI 2015 Urban Open Space winner), and EastPoint (ULI 2021 Global Award for Excellence Winner), First National Center, the Skirvin Hotel, West Village, Tower Theater, the Bricktown Canal, and the recently completed First Americans Museum.
     
  • OKC's First Arts District: The Paseo​ | 3pm - 5pm CT
    Bus and Walking ($50 Member / $65 Non-Member)
    Nestled in bungalow neighborhoods north of downtown OKC hides a district of coloful stucco buildings with clay tile roofs. Originally developed as the Spanish Village shopping district in the 1920’s, The Paseo Arts District now boasts galleries, studios, restaurants, and shops. These amenities serve visitors and residents alike, helping the Paseo earn its #1 walkability ranking among Oklahoma City neighborhoods. A new streetscape beginning construction soon pairs pedestrian improvements with LID recommendations from the EPA’s Greening America’s Communities program. The Paseo Arts District continues to grow and thrive through private development, city lead public improvement, and a vibrant community of artists, business owners, and patrons.

Saturday, March 26

    • Carlton Landing | 8am - 5pm CT
      Bus and Walking ($75 Member / $90 Non-Member)
      Carlton Landing is a 1,650 acre master planned walkable community on the shores of Lake Eufaula in eastern Oklahoma. The lake culture is strong in Oklahoma and Lake Eufaula has more than 800 miles of shoreline and 102,000 surface acres. Carlton Landing is the first New Urbanist community to incorporate into its own new municipality. As a municipality, the Town of Carlton Landing incorporate several vehicles – including Tax Increment Financing (“TIF”), a local sales tax and municipal bonds – to spur economic growth, create jobs and realize the vision of Carlton Landing. The project was designed by DPZ.
       
    • Downtown Norman: Leveraging Physical Resources with Community Partnerships to Enhance Quality of Life​ | 8am - 1pm CT
      Bus and Walking ($50 Member / $65 Non-Member)
      As the OKC Metropolitan Area has expanded, Norman has spent the last few decades leveraging its physical resources with community partners to enhance the quality of life while maintaining its identity as a university town. Capitalizing on the historic main street district, the City of Norman, Cleveland County Commission, Norman Music Alliance, Norman Arts Council, and other local businesses have pooled their resources together to draw a broad swath of the community back into the heart of Norman. By renovating historic key components in the historic main street district and leasing back the facilities back to the community, the city of Norman made an initial investment that kept the central core relevant. Continued investments and collaboration have recently revitalized the area. Upcoming planning efforts by the Cleveland County Commission include significant investments that will enhance the central business district and further preserve the unique identity that defines Norman and Normanites.
       
    • Resiliency: Impact of the OKC Bombing on Redevelopment of Midtown​ | 8:30am - 11:30am CT
      Walking ($20 Member / $35 Non-Member)
      On April 19, 1995—less than 2 years after Oklahoma City launched its Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS) redevelopment effort—it’s downtown was struck by the worst domestic terrorism act the nation had seen to date. In addition to the loss of life and physical injuries, the blast destroyed or damaged more than 320 buildings in all directions from the blast, causing an estimated $652 million in property damage. In the years since, two of downtown’s districts, Automobile Alley and Midtown, have experienced an escalating surge in redevelopment activity, helped in part by public investments like MAPS and the Murrah Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund and a resilient cadre of private actors. This tour will start at the Oklahoma City National Memorial before traveling to several prominent public and private redevelopment projects in Automobile Alley and Midtown to highlight how the district was able to recover economically and reclaim its urban form in the wake of immense tragedy.
       
    • OKC's Core to Shore Plan: Extending Downtown to the Riverfront​ | 12pm - 3pm CT
      Walking ($20 Member / $35 Non-Member)
      In response to a decision in the late 1990s to realign several miles of Interstate 40 as it ran through its core, the Oklahoma City initiated an audacious plan to completely re-imagine the southern entrance to its downtown. Dubbed Core to Shore for its goal of reconnecting downtown's core to shore of the recently revitalized Oklahoma River, the plan's implementation was significantly boosted by two key investments from Oklahoma City's much studied Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS) sales tax initiative. Today, the area is now home to 70 new acres of parkland, Scissortail Park, a new convention center, and several new private sector developments capitalizing on views of the park. Join some of the original visionaries behind the Core to Shore process, including former Mayor Mick Cornett, for a bird's eye view of the planning area before meeting some of the park's designers for a brief walking tour of Scissortail Park and finally hearing about some of the ongoing public-private partnerships driving the future of this area.
       
    • Route 66 Commercial and Cultural Redevelopment: Uptown and the Asian District​ | 1pm - 4pm CT
      Bus and Walking ($50 Member / $65 Non-Member)
      Stroll with us "Uptown" along the NW 23rd commercial corridor, formerly historic US Route 66. See how small businesses have kept shopping, eating and entertainment local. Historic icons, like the Tower Theatre, the Milk Bottle, Gold Dome and the delineated Asian District, make this a key OKC intersection of history, fun, Uptown living, and Oklahoma entrepreneurship. See how artists, culinarians, immigrants and national retailers have come together to create an entire corridor of "third Places"; from a diversity of casual restaurants, to bars, music, markets, salons and coffee shops. Talk with local longtime business owners and developers and see how the Vietnamese community has thrived in Oklahoma City in the Asian District since 1975.

    View a visual schedule of all currently scheduled tours here

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