Tulsa, OK – City of Tulsa Community Development Director Dwain Midget announced today that the American Planning Association (APA) has designated Swan Lake as one of 10 Great Neighborhoods for 2011 under APA's Great Places in America program. APA Great Places exemplify exceptional character and highlight the role planners and planning play in creating communities of lasting value.
Mark Mobbs, treasurer of the Swan Lake Neighborhood Association, expressed the neighborhood's appreciation to receive the honor. Victoria Watts, secretary of the Swan Lake Neighborhood Association, accepted an award plaque from Jim Coles, a City of Tulsa representative for the American Planning Association.
"What sets Tulsa apart from so many other communities are its beautiful, vibrant neighborhoods," said Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett Jr. "Swan Lake has evolved over time from a streetcar suburb to a vibrant near-downtown urban neighborhood because of the pride, passion and civic engagement of its residents."
APA singled out Swan Lake for its natural and manmade beauty, amenities - including shops, farmers' market, playground and inn - and swan motif. These features combine to create an "attractive, affordable, amiable community" less than two miles from downtown Tulsa.
"This idyllic neighborhood has remained true to its middle-class roots for more than 80 years," said APA Chief Executive Officer Paul Farmer. "Its picture-postcard setting, charming housing and centers of employment and enjoyment have made Swan Lake the neighborhood of choice for many Tulsans. Its unusual use of the swan as a decorative motif adds to the neighborhood's allure and serves as a unifying element."
"The neighbors are as eclectic as the architecture," said John Ruffing, president of the Swan Lake Neighborhood Association. "Because of our proximity to two major hospitals, many of us are physicians, engineers, attorneys and hospital staff. We love the neighborhood's walkability and the fact that most of us know and respect our neighbors. Some of us live in the house we were, literally, born in. We have big houses, very small houses and lots of affordability between. We are protective of each other. Many people own antiques;
we include our home among the antiques we love and care about. Our property values seem to reflect our popularity in terms of keeping value."
The nine other APA 2001 Great Neighborhoods are Highland Park, Birmingham, Ala.; Northbrae, Berkeley, Calif.; Ansley Park, Atlanta; The Pullman Neighborhood, Chicago; Gold Coast & Hamburg Historic District, Davenport, Iowa; Hattiesburg Historic Neighborhood, Hattiesburg, Miss.; Dundee-Memorial Park, Omaha, Neb.; German Village, Columbus, Ohio; and College Hill, Providence, R.I.