Interesting facts about Tulsa


Tulsa is a city in the state of Oklahoma.

It is located in the northeastern corner of Oklahoma between the edge of the Great Plains and the foot of the Ozark Mountains in a generally forested region of rolling hills.

As of September 2020, the population of Oklahoma is about 405,000 people. It is the 2nd largest city in the state of Oklahoma and 47th most populous city in the United States.

The city covers a total area of 523 square kilometers (197 square miles).

The average altitude is 194 metres (722 feet) above sea level.


Tulsa was settled between 1828 and 1836 by the Lochapoka Band of Creek Native American tribe.

White settlement began after the arrival in 1882 of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway.

The discovery of oil in nearby Red Fork (1901) and Glenn Pool (1905) launched the mid-continent oil and gas boom, and phenomenal growth followed.

For most of the 20th century, the city held the nickname “Oil Capital of the World” and played a major role as one of the most important hubs for the American oil industry.

tulsa history

In the early 20th century, Tulsa was home to the “Black Wall Street”, one of the most prosperous Black communities in the United States at the time. In 1921, the community was the site of the Tulsa race massacre, “the single worst incident of racial violence in American history.” White and black gunmen clashed in the streets and the prosperous black Greenwood District was completely destroyed, its homes and businesses burned down and its residents expelled.

In 1925, Tulsa businessman Cyrus Avery, known as the “Father of Route 66,” began his campaign to create a road linking Chicago to Los Angeles by establishing the U.S. Highway 66 Association in Tulsa, earning the city the nickname the “Birthplace of Route 66”.


In the 1950s, Time magazine dubbed Tulsa as “America’s Most Beautiful City.”

Considered the cultural and arts center of Oklahoma, Tulsa houses two art museums, full-time professional opera and ballet companies, and one of the nation’s largest concentrations of art deco architecture.

Philbrook Museum of Art is an art museum with expansive formal gardens located in Tulsa. The museum, which opened in 1939, is located in a former 1920s villa, “Villa Philbrook”, the home of Oklahoma oil pioneer Waite Phillips and his wife Genevieve. Showcasing nine collections of art from all over the world, and spanning various artistic media and styles, the cornerstone collection focuses on Native American art featuring basketry, pottery, paintings and jewelry.

philbrook museum of art

Gilcrease Museum is a museum northwest of downtown Tulsa, housing the world’s largest, most comprehensive collection of art of the American West, as well as a growing collection of art and artifacts from Central and South America. The museum is named for Thomas Gilcrease, an oil man and avid art collector, who began the collection. He deeded the collection, as well as the building and property, to the City of Tulsa in 1958.

gilcrease museum

The Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, located in downtown Tulsa, and completed in 1929, is considered to be one of the finest examples of ecclesiastical Art Deco architecture in the United States, and has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built by a congregation of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1999.

Boston Avenue United Methodist Church

Trinity Episcopal Church is the oldest Episcopal church in town. Construction on the church began in 1921 and finished in 1926. Located at the corner of Fifth Street and Cincinnati Avenue, the church is a fine example of the English Gothic architectural style with its ecclesiastic stained glass windows and artistic wood carvings. The interior features beautiful colored floors, and these colors are matched in the ceiling. There are also stunning stained-glass windows, which depict the Apostles’ Creed.

Trinity Episcopal Church

Gathering Place is a public open space in Tulsa. It is centered on the east bank of the Arkansas River south of the Downtown area. Largely the project of Tulsa multibillionaire and philanthropist, George Kaiser, “Gathering Place” was designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh. This public-private partnership covers approximately 100 acres of land and as of September 2018, has cost about $465 million to construct.

gathering place

The Oklahoma Aquarium is 6,700 square-meter (72,000-square-foot) public aquarium built in 2002 and opened on May 28, 2003 in Jenks, a southern suburb of Tulsa. The facility, designed by the architecture firm SPARKS and constructed by Ross Group, features eight exhibits including sites that focus on invertebrates, Oklahoma species, Ozark habitats, a coral reef, and sharks.

oklahoma aquarium

The Tulsa Zoo is an 85-acre (34 ha) non-profit zoo located in Tulsa. The zoo is located in Mohawk Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the United States. In 2005, the Tulsa Zoo was named as “America’s Favorite Zoo” by Microsoft Game Studios.

tulsa zoo

Woodward Park is a 18-hectares (45-acre) public park, botanical garden. The park, named for Helen Woodward, the original property owner, was established in 1929, after a lengthy court suit over ownership. The park is particularly known for its azaleas, as well as tulips, irises, dogwoods, and redbuds. The Rose Garden (established 1935) features over 9,000 roses of over 250 varieties.

woodward park

The so-called Center of the Universe in downtown Tulsa is marked by a small concrete circle in the middle of a larger circle of bricks. The “Center of the Universe” is a little-known mysterious acoustic phenomenon. If you stand in the middle of the circle and make a noise, the sound is echoed back several times louder than it was made. It’s your own private amplified echo chamber.

center of the universe

The city has been called one of America’s most livable large cities by Partners for Livable Communities, Forbes, and Relocate America.

Tulsa culture is influenced by the nearby Southwest, Midwest, and Southern cultural regions, as well as a historical Native American presence.

The Tulsa State Fair, operating in late September and early October, attracts over one million people during its 10-day run.

Tulsa restaurants and food trucks offer a number of cuisines, but several cuisines are particularly prominent in its culinary landscape because of its distinctive history.

People from Tulsa are called “Tulsans”.