Black Wall Street (copy)

Historic buildings on Greenwood Avenue are seen in February. JOHN CLANTON/Tulsa World file

Historic North Greenwood Avenue buildings will get a new roof and other repairs and improvements as the result of a $500,000 grant from the National Park Service.

The grant was announced Tuesday by the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce, which manages the one-block long business district on Greenwood north of Archer Street.

Greenwood Chamber President Freeman Culver said the hope is that the grant and work resulting from it will boost confidence in the organization and lead to more funding.

“We hope that it’s obvious we’re committed to preserving the history our ancestors left us,” Culver said.

The block is all that remains of a once-thriving African American business community that was revived after its destruction in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre but faded in the 1950s and all but disappeared in the following decades.

The remaining buildings were renovated in the early 1980s, when they officially became the Greenwood Centre.

Tucked into the northeast corner of the inner dispersal loop with no residential neighborhoods nearby, the Greenwood Centre has struggled to survive and has come under increasing pressure from tenants who say the buildings have not been properly maintained.

Culver said the grant should be enough to put new roofs on the 10 buildings comprising the Centre and pay for rehabilitation of the exteriors, including tucking and cleaning brick facades.

The buildings have not undergone significant repairs since the renovations nearly 40 years ago.

Culver noted the chamber has submitted paperwork to include the buildings, many of which were constructed in the 1920s, with the National Register of Historic Places.


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Randy Krehbiel 918-581-8365

randy.krehbiel@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @rkrehbiel

Randy has been with the Tulsa World since 1979. He is a native of Hinton, Okla., and graduate of Oklahoma State University. Krehbiel primarily covers government and politics. Phone: 918-581-8365

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