Tiles are falling from the ceiling and bricks are falling from the buildings. The existing buildings from the Black Wall Street of America are feeling the pain of years of neglect, following urban renewal, and despite efforts to revitalize Greenwood.
Now, the president and CEO of the Greenwood Chamber, who owns the building, is starting a GoFundMe page to raise $1 million.
“This is a call to action. This is not begging. This is a call to action to allow the community and the nation to help,” said Freeman Culver, President and CEO of the Greenwood Chamber.
He says the brickwork needs to be restored with care for the historical value. He says the buildings are built to house 100 businesses, but today, only 27 businesses are located in the Greenwood buildings.
The city of Tulsa’s Urban Renewal Authority granted the property to the Chamber in 1981. Culver says the Chamber has no debt that it cannot manage, nor does it have a mortgage, according to him.
“We are functioning because the businesses we have, we are able to maintain. But it is one thing to maintain and another to take it to the next level and that is what we are trying to do,” said Culver.
Culver says the fundraising effort will go on for one year.