Land OK'd for race riot memorial museum
BY RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer
Feb 22, 2003
1/20/13 at 8:31 AM
Tulsa Race Riot Committee member Rep. Judy Eason McIntyre (center) comments as other members discuss agenda items during their meeting Friday. The purchase of 2.9 acres of land on North Elgin Avenue for a Tulsa Race Riot memorial museum was
approved Friday by the committee authorized to build and construct the facility.
MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World
An architecture firm is also hired to design the site on
North Elgin Avenue, and $20 million in funding is targeted.
The purchase of 2.9 acres of land on
North Elgin Avenue for a Tulsa Race Riot memorial museum was approved Friday by the committee authorized to build
and construct the facility.
The Tulsa Race Riot Design Committee, meeting at the Mabel Little House
adjacent to the Greenwood Cultural Center, also voted to hire architecture firm
EWC1 to design the museum and set a
project target amount of $20 million, of
which $5 million would be an operating
In setting the $20 million figure, the
committee said it planned to seek funding in equal amounts from local, state,
federal and private sources.
The state is the only entity to ante up.
Current legislation authorizes up to $5
million for a riot memorial, but only
about $1.5 million has actually been appropriated. Gov. Brad Henry's fiscal year
2004 budget contains almost $370,000 for
The committee will pay Tulsa Development Authority $405,000 for a tract composed of about two-thirds of the long city
block between Brady Street and the Inner Dispersal Loop and Elgin
and Detroit avenues. The parcel includes a long-abandoned
section of Cameron Street between Elgin and Detroit.
Also Friday, the committee
agreed to pay EWC1 $16,000
for preliminary architectural
consulting, leaving about $1
million in seed money for the
Several committee members said local funds are
needed if the project is to
raise money from other
sources. State Sen. Maxine
Horner, D-Tulsa, said a commitment by the city or county
"makes it easier for us in the
Legislature to do what we
need to do."
"When we talk to the state,
it says 'What is the city doing?' When we talk to the
feds it's the same thing," said
Former Mayor Susan Savage's proposal to use city
money to buy a memorial site
met stiff opposition in the
face of budget cuts. Current
Mayor Bill LaFortune's administration is trying to come
up with a proposal, and first
lady Kathy LaFortune is serving on the design committee.
The North Elgin site is a
few yards from Mount Zion
Baptist Church, whose predecessor structure was the largest single structure destroyed
in the 1921 riot. The current
church was rebuilt in stages
over many decades.
The future memorial site
was occupied by a few black
residences in 1921, and split
by the old Missouri, Kansas
and Texas Railroad tracks.
The MK&T -- or Katy -- depot was a few blocks away on
North Main Street, and a couple of oil field supply companies owned lots that may
have been used for freight
A few hours before the memorial committee meeting,
the Greenwood Redevelopment Trust Authority also
convened at the Mabel Little
House. Created by the same
legislation that authorized the
memorial committee, the
trust is trying to simulta
neously put together a proposal for Dialog/Visioning
2025 and continue gathering
information for a final report
due July 1.
Dialog/Visioning 2025 is a
city-county effort to develop a
comprehensive plan for regional development.
The trust has held three
community forums and plans
two more for March. Among
issues raised by northside
residents are improved medical facilities, better streets,
better street lighting and better educational facilities.
Several trust members said
linking the trust with the visioning effort too closely
could hurt its credibility, because many north Tulsans do
not believe that the visioning
process will ultimately have
anything in it for them.
All agreed, however, that
involvement in the process is
imperative for financial reasons. The trust, while
charged with finding ways to
invigorate the north Tulsa
economy, has never been
funded by the Legislature.
Randy Krehbiel, World staff writer, can be reached at 581-8365 or via e-mail at