Reimagining the Center of the Universe

Downtown Tulsa Partnership + City of Tulsa

Opened in the early 1980s, the Boston Avenue Pedestrian Bridge, known as the Center of the Universe, is an important civic space and first-day visitor destination in Downtown Tulsa. It serves as a passageway to hundreds of employees daily and as a gathering place for many others. It is also the location of a 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. Though many people have studied the cause of the odd anomaly there’s no clear consensus as to its origin or cause. Whatever the causes of this natural sonic distortion may be, it is truly an amazing place.

In recent years, the plaza’s condition has fallen on hard times and does not live up to its full potential as a respite for visitors — it’s Downtown Tulsa’s public space most in need of improvement. It’s time to Reimagine the Center of the Universe.

“Reimagining the Center of the Universe” is a public-private partnership led by Downtown Tulsa Partnership and the City of Tulsa to repair and renovate the Center of the Universe Plaza and Boston Avenue Bridge. Enhancements to the plaza and structural improvements to the century-old bridge are much needed. The goals are to provide pedestrians with easy and unimpeded access between downtown and the Arts District; celebrate art and culture; and preserve the acoustic anomaly.

The proposed improvements include a shade structure over the Center of the Universe, shaded seating near the north and south entrances to the bridge, lawns, a sports park, a designated area to watch trains pass below, public art on the adjacent parking garages, and both temporary and permanent art on the plaza itself.

We have partnered with the designers of MKSK Studios to reimagine this beloved local landmark. After a fundraising period, construction is projected to begin in the Fall/Winter of 2023.

Renderings courtesy of MKSK.