City of Tulsa Planning office: Lacy Community Center Public Art Project Simon Berry (1890 – 1941)

Simon Berry

The Lacy Park story is part and parcel with that of the pioneers who helped make it a reality. In 1929, Simon Berry, a businessman from the area, donated 13.4 acres of parkland to the City of Tulsa, for a price of $1, to establish Lacy Park, which was then known as Berry Park. The following individuals influenced either the creation and significance the Park itself or serve as inspirations for the surrounding community…

This public art project, a collaboration between artist Roberto Delgado, The Lacy Advisory Council, and City of Tulsa’s Parks & Recreation Department and Arts Commission, is the result of Improve Our Tulsa investments in the renovation of the Center and the City’s Percent for Art Ordinance.

From The Ghosts of Greenwood Past: A Walk Down Black Wall Street by Hannibal Johnson
“Berry created a nickel-a-ride jitney service with his topless Model-T Ford. He successfully operated a bus line that he ultimately sold to the City of Tulsa. He owned the Royal Hotel. He shuttled wealthy oil barons on a charter airline service he operated with his partner, James Lee Northington, Sr., a successful black building contractor. Simon Berry earned as much as $500 a day in the early 1920s.”

From Black Wall Street by Hannibal Johnson
“Berry reinvested in the community that had been so good to him. In 1926, he acquired land and established [what is now known as Lacy Park] on thirteen acres located on Madison Street between Virgin and Young Streets, complete with a swimming pool, a dance hall, and picnic grounds. Berry extended his bus service to provide transportation to his park. Years later, the City of Tulsa acquired Berry Park [to rename it at later dates to Lincoln and then Lacy Park].”

From the Artist, Roberto Delgado
The portrait of Simon Berry includes Berry as a young man, his plane, and a map of Greenwood.

View the artwork here.