Land for museum targeted
BY RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer
Feb 20, 2003
1/20/13 at 8:31 AM
This vacant lot on North Elgin Avenue adjacent to the Inner Dispersal Loop is being purchased by the committee charged with planning the Tulsa Race Riot memorial and museum.
STEPHEN HOLMAN / Tulsa World
The committee charged with developing plans for a Tulsa Race Riot memorial and museum is buying almost
three acres of land for that purpose
on North Elgin Avenue adjacent to
the Inner Dispersal Loop, Tulsa Development Authority officials and public documents confirmed Wednesday.
The move apparently rules out Vernon AME Church, 311 N. Greenwood
Ave., as a location for the memorial.
Long-running negotiations between
church officials and the 1921 Tulsa
Race Riot Memorial Reconciliation Design Committee broke down last
month when the two sides could not
agree on a selling price, according to
sources familiar with the situation.
Calls to riot memorial committee Chairman Julius Pegues and
Vernon were not immediately returned.
TDA Chairman Pat Waddel
said representatives of the committee presented an offer of
$405,000 for just under three
acres on the west side of Elgin
Avenue as it passes under the
IDL. The five-member TDA
unanimously accepted the committee's offer.
The transaction is on the committee's agenda for Friday's
noon meeting at the Greenwood
The committee was authorized
by legislation growing out of a
commission's 2001 report on the
1921 riot that devastated the
black neighborhood on Tulsa's
near northeast side, now known
as the Greenwood district. Hundreds of homes and businesses
were destroyed, dozens were
killed and more than 800 injured. An unknown number were
Although the area was rebuilt
and Tulsa has remained largely
untouched by racial violence
since 1921, the riot has remained a sore spot for many
black Tulsans. The decline of
the Greenwood area after World
War II added to the ill will.
It is unclear how long it could
be before construction could begin on the parcel. The committee was appropriated $750,000,
although even that figure has
been reduced by the same budget cuts affecting other areas of
Title to the land on Elgin apparently will be held by the
Oklahoma Historical Society,
The Trust for Public Lands
and the National Park Service
have also been mentioned as potential partners in the enterprise.
A larger parcel across the
street owned by TDA has been
the subject of several development proposals, including a hotel
and a professional soccer stadium.
Randy Krehbiel, World staff writer, can be reached at 581-8365 or via e-mail at