Oklahoma Route 66 Association moving to Tulsa after 20 years in Chandler

TULSA, Okla. — After 20 years in Chandler, the Oklahoma Route 66 Association headquarters is setting up shop now in Tulsa near 11th and Birmingham.

FOX23 spoke with the president of the Oklahoma Route 66 Association, Rhys Martin, about the decision to move to Tulsa.

“When our Executive Director stepped down in September of 2022, she continued to work out of the office we had split with the Chandler Area Chamber of Commerce,” Martin said. “Since we couldn’t stay there and we had to do a lot of internal work to sort out hiring a new Executive Director, the office closed and went into storage. Our decision to move to Tulsa over a year later came after significant discussion among our Board of Directors and members at our quarterly meetings.”

Martin discussed some of the history of the building they are moving into.

“I started digging and found out this building also has a history. It was a distribution point for popcorn and potato chips back in the 30s, then it was a Nash Dealership and for many years it was an ironworks, which is why we have a really beautiful heavy iron door on the front of the building. Now we get to add our story to that history,” Martin said.

Martin said the association has been around since 1989 and has been in multiple locations across the state.

“Over the years we’ve been in a lot of locations, Bethany, Oklahoma City, Arcadia, Chandler most recently. Now we are moving to Tulsa right here on 11th Street to take advantage of all the really wonderful Route 66 improvements the city has seen in time for the Route 66 Centennial coming up in 2026,” Martin said.

With the new office, comes volunteer opportunities to continue sharing the rich history and landmarks on Route 66.

“It’s important for us to be here to provide that information, but also just organically people walking in off the street saying ‘this is 11th street I didn’t realize all the history it had’. It serves a lot of purposes and as we get closer to 2026, it’s just going to get busier,” Martin said.

This Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. they will be hosting a party to let the community know they are here in Tulsa and celebrate their new office.

Music, face painting, and more will be at the party including an appearance from Michael Wallis who’s the author of “Route 66: The Mother Road” and the voice of the sheriff in the movie “Cars”. Wallis will also be signing copies of his book.

For more information on the Oklahoma Route 66 Association, click here.





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