1. Pearl District was given its name after discovering that an old chunk of Peoria Avenue, which cuts through the district, was formerly called “Pearl”. An advocate of the district’s rebirth and restoration also supported the concept of the name after comparing it to the process of formation of a pearl – “a piece of grit that, through friction and time, turns into a gem”
2. Through the mid-1930s and into the 1950s, trolleys served pedestrian movement through downtown, Cherry Street, and the University of Tulsa. Today, the bright red Downtown Tulsa Trolley provides transportation through downtown, Blue Dome District, and Brady District in celebration of this history. Source: 6th Street Infill Plan, page 24
3. The Tulsa Fire Alarm Building, a work of Art Deco architecture completed in 1934, is located in Pearl District and is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The building was recently purchased by the Carol Tandy Foundation with plans to donate the historic landmark to Tulsa Firefighters Museum Inc.
4. Tulsa’s 1930’s “Central Park Gang”, almost entirely comprised of Alcatraz-sentenced thugs, burglars, and highway robbers, once terrorized Pearl District, using the park at 6th & Peoria as a meeting space, boardroom, and storage facility of weapons.
Source: “Hidden History of Tulsa”, Steve Gerkin, page 130
5. The Church Studio was the Grace Methodist Church prior to being purchased in by Leon Russell in the early 70s and started Shelter Records. The Church Studio has an impressive list of musicians that have recorded there; Willie Nelson, Tom Petty, Freddie King, Eric Clapton and Peter Tosh. The building is 102 years old and a renovation is planned for the future to open its door back up to the music industry.
6. The Pearl District Association, now primarily focused on federal funding for district restoration, was originally founded in the 70s to prevent gang violence, prostitution, and drug use that polluted the area.
7. Veterans of the former Club Nitro (now restored as “The Blackbird on Pearl”) claim the Flaming Lips made their first Tulsa appearance at this quaint Pearl District venue in the 80s.
8. Tulsa’s first Food Truck Park, “The Park in the Pearl”, held their grand opening this past September in the Pearl District, hosting a variety of options such as Italian, barbecue, Cajun, pizza, as well as desserts.
9. 1Architecture calls Pearl District home, reclaiming the historic, circa 1920s E. House building for its studio and office space.
10. 1Architecture is responsible for the restoration of Pearl District structures that now house business such as the Lot6 art bar, Be Love yoga studio, June Beauty Parlor, and the popular local coffee shop, The Phoenix.