Tulsans will get a preview of preliminary exhibit designs for the planned Tulsa Race Massacre museum and will have a chance to provide feedback during a presentation at 6 p.m. Thursday in Carver Middle School’s Wilkinson Auditorium, 624 E. Oklahoma Place.
“We want the entire community to be able to say it had the opportunity to provide input,” said project director Phil Armstrong.
Leading the presentation will be Local Projects, a New York City design firm whose clients have included the September 11 Memorial and Museum and the The Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. Armstrong said displays at the meeting will allow the public to leave comments and rate potential exhibits.
Besides the public session, Local Projects will also make presentations to the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, state and area museum officials and state public officials, including Gov. Kevin Stitt, on Thursday and Friday.
The entire project includes a “Pathway to Hope” between the current Greenwood Cultural Center and John Hope Franklin Park, extensive renovation of the Greenwood Cultural Center and construction of the museum and administrative offices adjacent to the center.
The museum will occupy the parking lot on the south side of the center, with the administration building nearby along Greenwood Avenue. The center’s main entrance will move to the north side of the building as part of the renovations.
The entire project was originally budgeted for $16 million, but the target has been moved to $25 million, Armstrong said, with $18 million already pledged.
Armstrong said construction will have to begin in January for the project to meet its goal of opening in early spring 2021, ahead of the 100th anniversary of the race massacre.
The massacre occurred May 31-June 1, 1921, and resulted in the destruction of 35 square blocks of Tulsa’s African American district. The precise death toll is unknown but is believed to have numbered in the dozens and perhaps hundreds.