FOR YOU HISTORY BUFFS - A LITTLE BACKGROUND ON THE BROADWAY
Located on the south end of the East Village District, The Broadway has over a 90 year history in the heart of old industrial downtown Tulsa. Originally built in 1928 as The Broadway Poultry Market, she sat next to a long abandoned railway, the Midland Valley Railroad, which ran from Ft. Smith Arkansas to Wichita, Kansas and stopped to unload the crates of chickens that had made their way from Arkansas to the loading dock of The Broadway Poultry Market. After processing, some chickens were eventually sold from a small store front on the corner of 8th Street and Kenosha to hungry Tulsans for Sunday dinner. Others were sold to stock the meat market shelves of the local Safeway, and others were served up in Borden's Cafeteria and other area restaurants.
She sat vacant for several years after the original company ceased operations, but Tom and Susan Wright bought the building from the original owners in 1994 with visions for what the sturdy old gal might become. Old ledgers found in the building from the 1940s told a history of the company and the family that worked here. If you look at the front wall of The Broadway, "Broadway Poultry Market" is still painted above the original door stile. While renovating the old warehouse, but with a passion to maintain the integrity and history of the building, the Wrights preserved as much of the original building as possible. Inside you will see the original working wall fan that cooled the warehouse in the hot summer. Original masonry walls were not touched - they were built from two different sizes of bricks that make a unique mosaic, but was less likely due to aesthetics and more likely due to practicality - it was what the brickyard had available that day when they went to purchase the weekly allotment of brick. Parts of the cooler and freezer rooms were lined with dark cork - a popular insulation material in the 20s and 30s, but quite a mess to remove after 75 years on the walls.
The Broadway spent a few years as general offices for a couple of companies before the current vision as an event venue was realized. In 2010, she opened her doors to invite people in to rent the space due to the very popular industrial chic decor trend. Almost immediately she began to fill up every weekend with weddings, receptions, anniversaries, birthdays, proms, banquets and dinners. The Broadway was the flagship of urban event venues in downtown Tulsa and remains so today. She has seen over 500 weddings alone in the past 11 years.
The Broadway, like most businesses, and all event spaces, had a rough time that started in March of 2020 for the length of a year, as life events are designed to bring people together, not keep them apart. The Wrights however, used the time while closed to rethink some of the spaces and took the time to refresh and upgrade her look. Now The Broadway boasts a new, brighter and lighter look that meshes well with current design themes in the industry. We invite you to consider having your next event at the historical Broadway Event Center. She has missed all the fun, music, and laughter that has reverberated within her walls the last 11 years. The Broadway is ready for "normal" life again, so give us a call to begin the journey of planning your next event!
720 S. KENOSHA AVE.
TULSA, OK 74120