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On Juneteenth Day 1988, America’s Black Holocaust Museum opened its facility in Milwaukee’s historic Bronzeville district. Thousands of schoolchildren and adults from around the world learned African American history within its walls. After its building was forced to close in 2008, ABHM reinvented itself as an online museum serving millions of global visitors each year. And now…
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The celebration will be held on Tuesday, April 4th behind the Garfield School building (2215 N. 4th Street) in the Bronzeville Neighborhood from 11:00am-1:00pm.
The program will feature Mayor Tom Barrett, Alderwoman Milele Coggs, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, WHEDA Director Winston Wyman, as well as several Milwaukee artists.
Virgil Cameron, the son of ABHM Founder Dr. James Cameron, will also speak.
Maures Development Group, LLC, the only female and minority-owned development business in Wisconsin, is redeveloping almost an entire block of abandoned buildings. The $17.4 million project will transform the site into a vibrant mixed-use campus as a catalyst for the reestablishment of the historically black Bronzeville neighborhood’s culture and entertainment district.
The Bronzeville community was once a thriving African American economic and cultural hub. In the 1960s, however, hundreds of homes and businesses were demolished for the proposed Park West Freeway, which was never built. Subsequently, the once-thriving commercial corridor deteriorated, as property values plummeted and buildings fell into disrepair.
In Phase I, the school building will be reborn as the Historic Garfield Redevelopment Project, comprised of 30 units of high-quality, mixed-income housing. In Phase II, the adjoining vacant properties will be demolished and developed as the The Griot, a newly constructed building with 41 residential units and 8,000 square feet of commercial space.
The commercial space will house America’s Black Holocaust Museum (ABHM), one of Milwaukee’s most revered cultural institutions, which shares the African American story as part of U.S. history and supports racial repair and reconciliation. The museum will re-open its doors in Spring 2018, and is projected to bring over 10,000 visitors annually into the Bronzeville neighborhood.
“The Garfield project and the re-emergence of the America’s Black Holocaust Museum are certain to be catalytic for the Bronzeville Cultural, Arts and Entertainment District,” stated Alderwoman Milele Coggs. The City of Milwaukee first identified the Garfield Project in its 2005 Bronzeville Cultural & Entertainment District Plan.
Located just a mile from major downtown investments, including the new Bucks Arena, the Historic Garfield redevelopment will help connect downtown’s growth to the Bronzeville neighborhood. The project is forecasted to create over 115 jobs through construction, property management and the museum. In addition, 40 city residents will receive on-the-job training through an innovative partnership with Employ Milwaukee and the Northcott Neighborhood House.
Maures Development Group, LLC, is a commercial real estate firm that has developed a reputation for innovative projects focused on historically neglected neighborhoods. From the onset, the company’s holistic strategies of combining new construction, sustainable features and social partnerships with neighborhood organizations have delivered Maures a multitude of praises for community impact.
*America’s Black Holocaust Museum is a program of the nonprofit Dr. James Cameron Legacy Foundation.