Black Architectural Firm Chosen To Renovate Greenwood Cultural Center In Tulsa

Black Architectural Firm Chosen To Renovate Greenwood Cultural Center In Tulsa

The City of Tulsa announced it has chosen the Moody Nolan/JCJ Architecture team to renovate the Greenwood Cultural Center.

Moody Nolan is one of the largest Black-owned architectural firms in the U.S. The firm has designed multiple African American historical and cultural projects across the country. According to KTUL, Moody Nolan was also the first Black-owned firm to win the 2021 AIA Architecture Firm of the Year award.

“We look forward to bringing our national presence and expertise on cultural facilities to the Greenwood Cultural Center,” Curt Moody, founder and chairman of the board of Moody Nolan told KTUL. “We recognize the significance of this project to not only Tulsa, but to American history.”

The Greenwood project will entail a complete remodeling of the main atrium, the Goodwin Chapelle Gallery, the Opal Dargan Auditorium, multiple classrooms, office spaces, bathrooms, and kitchen improvements. Additionally, general maintenance, painting, and fixture replacements will also take place.

Tulsa residents voted to approve $5.3 million for the renovations as part of 2019 Improve Our Tulsa sales tax renewal package.

“We are thrilled about renovating the Greenwood Cultural Center; it is the heart of Greenwood and Black Wall Street in Tulsa,” Dr. La Verne Ford Wimberley, chairwoman of the Greenwood Cultural Center Board of Directors said in a statement. “This Center will welcome people from all over. It will be a place where people can learn the story of Greenwood, see the artifacts, and experience what has sustained us over the years.”

The Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was a thriving Black community, known as Black Wall Street. However, in 1921, it became the home of the Tulsa Race Massacre. The entire district was burned down and according to estimates, as many as 300 Black Americans were killed in the incident.

Last fall, a mass grave was discovered in Tulsa that many believe were victims of the massacre. At least 12 bodies were found in a spot where the city had no record of anyone being buried. Additionally, a 105-year-old woman who was there that day sued the city for reparations