Tulsa used to have a few little airports scattered about in the early aviation days. In fact, we still have Harvey Young and R.L. Jones airports in addition to our large, international airport. Below are 2 of the air fields that are now gone (plus one you may or may not know about):
Robert Garland opened his own airport on the northeast corner of 51st and Sheridan back in 1929. The field later became Garland-Clevenger Airport.
Garland and his School of Aeronautics merged with McIntyre Airport Company in 1931. The little airport was eventually renamed...
COMMERCIAL AIRPORT (#1) as noted on this 1934 Airway Map:
It is unclear how long this air field was in operation with this name, but I have found reference to it as far back as 1911. After 1941 there was no mention of this airport and the Commercial Airport was shown as being in it's new location a few miles to the southwest. Sometime between 1941-1945 this airport was reopened and called the
Described as an auxiliary airfield, it was used as a practice field for Spartan Aeronautics during World War II. However, a year later it was renamed again.
Walter E. Brown had lived in Tulsa since 1916. He took his first solo flight in 1922 and loved flying. After serving as a bank president and an oil executive, he acquired the Mayo airfield and facilities in 1946, owning it's lease until 1949.
He constructed several hangers on the 160 acre airport and operated Browns Flying Service. After he retired, it was still called Brown Airport.
In 1962 the field was said to offer fuel, major repairs, charter flights and was listed as the Tulsa Airport Company. *One pilot recalled there being a drive-in theater across the street that served as a marker of sorts to the pilots. The entire area was sold and by 1964 was turned into the Park Plaza housing addition.
TULSA COMMERCIAL (#2)/CHEROKEE AIRPARK
The 1937 Airport Directory lists Tulsa Commercial Airport as being 5.5 southeast of Tulsa, having a 2,640 sod landing area with "Commercial Airport" and "Tulsa" painted on the roof. This airfield also handled Army flight operations during the war at which time it gained 2 paved runways. In a 1950 aerial photo you can see the four hangars on the south side of the field.
Sometime between 1950-54 the field was renamed Cherokee Airpark and by 1954 it was no longer there. *You can see the "open air theater" marked on this map:
The housing addition, Holliday Hills, was soon constructed as well as a shopping center by the same name. However, the main north/south runway was kept as a street (Urbana) and used to have some airport markings on the concrete.
The crosswind runway (58th Place) was also largely left intact with each end of it being modified and redirected into other streets.
TULSA NORTH / DOWNTOWN AIRPARK
was built sometime between 1944-1945. Located off North Osage Drive and East 36th Street North (close by the casino) various sources describe the airport as having a 2,500' unpaved runway in 1949 and in 1950 as having 4 runways.
By 1955 it was described as being 2,100'. During this time there were drag races going on at Tulsa North which were said to have been responsible for tearing up the asphalt on one end of it. In 1962 the operator of the airport was listed as A.E. Kobel with the name changed to Downtown Airpark, by which it is still known.
Allied Helicopter Service formed a flight school here in 1966. It was owned by Tulsa Technology Center until 2006 when it was sold to an investor group. In an ironic and historic turn, the 100 acre property- which was within the original allotment of Osage Chief Peter Bigheart- was purchased by The Osage Nation in 2008.
Sources: Paul Freeman; Tulsa World; Maps from historicalcharts.noaa.gov