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Race Massacre Centennial Commission Announces New Site for Greenwood Rising History Center


A history center being built by the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission has a new home.

After talks to build the Greenwood Rising History Center on the grounds of the Greenwood Cultural Center fell through earlier this month, the Centennial Commission announced Tuesday it will now go up on the southeast corner of Greenwood Avenue and Archer Street, the gateway to the Greenwood District.

"And it’s so symbolic because … the way that Tulsa has been divided is that the African-American community was just across the railroad track, and we’re just across the Frisco tracks at Greenwood and Archer," said state Sen. Kevin Matthews, chair of the Centennial Commission.

The land was previously under development for another project and donated by the Hille Foundation. Trustee and Centennial Commission member Maggie Hille Yar said the foundation has focused on redeveloping the Greenwood District, inspired by leaders of its prosperity in the early 20th Century.

"And so, we were excited to be able to move our project and allow the center to be built so the story can be told," Hille Yar said.

The Centennial Commission said plans for Greenwood Rising will not need to change, and it should still be open by the race massacre centennial next year.

A planned Pathway to Hope connecting to John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park, though soon-to-be reconfigured, will also remain a crucial part of the new Greenwood District experience.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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