Greenwood Rising History Center To Be Built In Downtown Tulsa

Monday, June 1st 2020, 8:55 am
By: Emory Bryan


A new history museum called "Greenwood Rising," tells the story of what happened during the Tulsa Race Massacre 99 years ago. 

It's being built at the intersection of Greenwood and Archer.

"To have it there, for people to come in and say 'here's what the business and economic hub starts', in Deep Greenwood, and to watch it progress, is going to be amazing," said Project Manager Phil Armstrong.

There's not much left of what was the original Greenwood business district.

Parts were rebuilt after the massacre, and some was torn down during urban renewal and construction of the inner dispersal loop.

A five-story building for offices and shops was planned for the corner; now, it's going behind Greenwood Rising which will face the intersection and sit on historic ground. 

Renderings show it complimenting the design of the GreenArch building across Greenwood.

"To have Greenwood Rising set right there at the entrance Greenwood and Archer, I don't have words to describe how awesome it is that this came about," Armstrong said.

The decision to build the museum at this location came about after negotiations fell apart to build it by the Greenwood Cultural Center, across from Vernon AME Church. Tulsa's Hille Foundation donated the land.

"It's too important of a story to let another year go by," said Maggie Hille-Yar with the Hille Foundation. "So, we're excited to be a piece of that happening so our kids and grandkids and finally know the full story of Black Wall Street."

She is a foundation trustee. Her husband, Kajeer, is the developer of 21 North Greenwood.

"Greenwood is really a story about people coming together, and that's why we thought it was important to have it where it is, but also just to make sure that story is told," Kajeer Yar said.

The site faces the old surviving Greenwood buildings, across from some new businesses. 

The 85,000 square foot office building now planned next to the museum will bring more people and possibilities to the Greenwood District, 99 years after most of it was burned to the ground.