Major Milestones

The Beginnings

  • Planning group formed in 2002 by the Paul Green Foundation to explore the absence of public monuments in North Carolina commemorating African Americans
  • Incorporated in 2004 as a IRS 501(c)(3) charitable corporation for the purpose of creating a process to determine purpose, place and financing of a monument honoring the African American experience
  • Board of Directors with 35 members from all areas of the state and an Advisory Board named by Chairman John Hope Franklin

The Design of the Park

  • Preliminary design concept adopted in 2008 with theme of looking back on slavery, Jim Crow, and the struggle for freedom
  • Preliminary design withdrawn in 2015 after a Focus Group recommended a more uplifting theme reflecting changes in race relations during the past 50 years
  • Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation grant in 2016 to reorganize the project with smaller working Board of Directors and adopting innovative new design for the Park
  • Renowned architect Phil Freelon of Perkins+Will chosen to design a park to be “a testament of Truth about our past and a beacon of Optimism about our future”
  • Freelon design to feature dramatic central beacon structure and to include areas to reflect and to gather for educational and cultural events, especially for schoolkids

The Site of the Park

  • The Park to be constructed on a central one-acre site in the Capital City of Raleigh, between the State Legislature and the Governor’s Mansion, on State property
  • After construction by the Park’s non-profit corporation, the Park to be gifted to the State, likely the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources for maintenance
  • Council of State granted a gratuitous 10- year lease of this prime property (est. value approximately $6.0 million) for constructing the Park with a timeline for raising the construction funds by the end of 2017 and completion of the Park by 2020

Financing the Park

  • Fundraising goal $5.0 million: design and construction – $3.0 million; administration, campaign costs, educational programming prior to completion – $0.5 million; upkeep and programming endowment subsequent to completion – $1.5 million. Capital fund raising to start in 2017 with silent phase
  • During the planning years, about $750,000 raised and expended for research, development and programming – from Board, individual supporters, foundations, corporations and the State Legislature

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