No trip to Oklahoma City is complete without a visit to Bricktown.
Bricktown was originally a railroad “hub” in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The structures were made of brick and were mainly one or two story buildings.
It was surrounded by working class housing and was a warehouse and manufacturing area. It was also home to the first local chapter of the NAACP and Oklahoma’s first black newspaper the “Black Dispatch” that helped to bring to light racially segregated housing.
During the Great Depression, manufacturing declined, so businesses moved out of the area. Rail freight began being replaced by trucking which led to further decline. At the end of WWII, the government started subsidizing housing and families began moving to the suburbs.
By the 1980s, the area was mostly abandoned.
There was a time, not too long ago, when Bricktown, and even downtown, were dangerous places to be. Abandoned buildings and high crime became the norm.
In the 1990s, then mayor, Rick Norick and the Greater Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce developed the Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS) which revitalized Bricktown, along with downtown and other districts in the Oklahoma City Metro.
Now, Bricktown is a vital and beautiful area in Oklahoma City. It sits right along the Oklahoma River and the junction of I-40 and I-235, on the dividing line of north and south Oklahoma City.
I took these photos last summer – so, you know, it’s time to go back and get more!
There are walking/biking trails right along the Oklahoma River. These photos are toward the Boathouse District.
There are places along the trail for free workouts. They have fixed equipment and even instructions. No need for a gym membership here!
You can view the Centennial Land Rush Monument, take a ride in a water taxi through the canal, see street musicians and enjoy live entertainment at many of the outdoor street cafes.
Devon Tower in the background.
Streets are actually brick! You can take a carriage ride at almost any time of day or night.
We stopped in Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, home of the Oklahoma City Dodgers ~ a minor league baseball team and Triple A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The day we were there, we got to see a youth baseball tournament.
There was a beautiful water fountain…and, of course, Oklahoma’s own, Toby Keith Bar and Grill.
If you are ever in the area, it’s worth stepping into Bricktown. And, I will go back soon – I didn’t even get a pic of Chesapeake Arena, home to the OKC Thunder!