Trolley Finds Historic Home

At the end of its route, a mode of transportation as iconic as a trolley needs an equally iconic place to park. The two trolleys in service under Blake Lund will soon have precisely that.
Lund, owner of good-time transportation company T-Town Trolley, inked a deal this month to lease the historic Blue Dome, at Second and Elgin, and turn it into an office and trolley depot.
“I always envisioned this place, for years, as a trolley depot; it’s just too cool,” Lund said. “I’ve worked out of my house my whole life. To have a home, to have a place that’s a trolley depot — it’s really cool.”
The announcement is one of many recently for Lund, who announced at the same time the expansion of his trolleys’ routes from their usual shuttling between Brookside and downtown with a newly added stop at the Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino.
The Blue Dome was, from Tulsa’s early years through the 1950s, a thriving gas station.
Heavyweight developer Michael Sager purchased the 600-SF building in the early ‘90s. Sager has gained local renown in part for his work redeveloping the now-thriving Blue Dome District.
Lund said he is ready to make the building a thriving point of commerce once again.
“I really want to make it a place where people come and congregate before the loop and after the loop,” he said. “To make it comfortable, to make it something like that, I want to put in benches, like church pews, where people can sit and hang out, have some music going, possibly have a coffee shop going in here, stuff like that.”
Lund said neighboring establishments are equally excited to see his business move in.
“The neighbors I’ve been able to talk to, they’re like, ‘Thank God,’” Lund said. “There hasn’t been anything in here.
“Not only that, but it’s a real good fit in the area. The trolley is here to help the business owners in the area. I’m not going to compete with any of the businesses here; I’m going to help them.”
Lund said the biggest advantage he sees in renting the space is the property’s high profile.
“For branding purposes, it’s perfect,” Lund said. “It’s not cheap to rent this facility, but I think it will pay for itself, if just for being easily recognizable.”
Though Lund is excited to be in the building, he also realizes it is an opportunity that may lack permanence.
“The Blue Dome is the Blue Dome, you know?” he said. “Mike Sager, 10 years from now, probably has a bigger vision for this building. He’s kind enough to let me use it for now and do what I can. It’s just too iconic of a building to secure anything for 20 years.”

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