The designation is not explicitly tied to the 1921 Race Massacre in which 35 square blocks of Tulsa’s near-northeast side were destroyed, including the 100 block of North Greenwood. North Greenwood Avenue flourished as an African American commercial district from the early 1900s to the early 1950s. Neither, said Culver, is it intended to represent the entire Black community that grew up around Greenwood Avenue and Archer Street.
The later was in reference to a formal announcement and reception planned for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. “I’m so excited,” said Freeman Culver, executive director of the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce. “It’s time to party.”
The National Register of Historic Places listing covers only the 100 block of North Greenwood for its significance as an “economic, cultural and professional center for Tulsa’s African American community.” The 100 block of North Greenwood Avenue has been designated a National Historic Place, state and local officials confirm.
Attempts to gain some sort of National Parks designation for the Greenwood area and the Race Massacre have been thwarted for decades because those generally require “assets” — that is, physical structures or features. “This is just a small chapter of what Greenwood was and is,” said Culver. “We’re not saying this is all of Greenwood.”
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