Route 66 statue dedicated at Cyrus Avery Plaza
BY KEVIN CANFIELD World Staff Writer
Friday, November 09, 2012
11/09/12 at 6:26 PM
The massive “East Meets West” bronze sculpture was dedicated Friday afternoon at a ceremony at the Cyrus Avery Plaza at the intersection of Riverside Drive and Southwest Boulevard.
About 300 people were at the dedication, including Avery’s grandsons, Cyrus Stephens Avery II and Robert Berghell, and a granddaughter, Joy Avery.
“The Avery family is again humbled and gratified by today’s dedication ceremony,” Cyrus Stephens Avery II said.
Also in attendance were Mayor Dewey Bartlett and City Councilor Blake Ewing.
The sculpture, by Texas artist Robert Summers, features Cyrus Avery and his family in a Model T as they encounter a horse-drawn carriage on its way from the west Tulsa oil fields.
It was cast by Deep in the Heart Art Foundry in Bastrop, Texas.
At 135 percent actual size, the sculpture weighs nearly 20,000 pounds, stretches more than 60 feet from end to end, and rises 15 feet in the air.
Avery, a former Tulsa County commissioner, is considered the father of Route 66 because he lobbied Congress in 1926 to make it a national highway stretching from Chicago to Los Angeles.
At the time, Tulsa was figured to be the perfect spot for the road to cross the Arkansas River because of the 11th Street Bridge.
Tulsa County voters approved $1.2 million in Vision 2025 funds for the project — part of $15 million advocated for Route 66 projects.
The sculpture was scheduled to be finished in 2009, but the contract was modified to allow for delivery this year.
Robert Berghell, grandson of Cyrus Avery, greets the crowd during the dedication of the "East Meets West" sculpture at Tulsa's Cyrus Avery Plaza on Friday. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World
Route 66 Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza on Wednesday. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World