Bronzeville may soon become a National Heritage Area

Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin want to establish a National Heritage Area under the National Park Service in Bronzeville on Chicago’s South Side.

The Bronzeville-Black Metropolis National Heritage Area Act would create a National Heritage Area from 18th Street to 71st Street and Lake Michigan to Canal Street. The National Heritage Area would tell the story of the Great Migration and how it created what became known as the Black Metropolis.

“This legislation would honor and help preserve both the rich history of African-Americans’ journey to Chicago during the Great Migration and the lives they built after,” Senator Duckworth said in a statement.

The proposed area extends beyond the city’s existing historic district that includes a number of Chicago landmarks. Several of Bronzeville’s buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The proposed National Heritage Area incorporates several significant African American sites in the area. It includes a former Union Army recruitment and training camp, the first armory for an African American regiment, the home of the Chicago Defender‘s founder, and a monument to the Great Migration.

“This Chicago community is home to many historical African American sites – such as Camp Douglas, the Eighth Regiment Armory, Abbot House, and the Bronzeville Walk of Fame – which created a Black Metropolis. Passing this bill would honor this mecca for Black business, arts, and culture that made its impact felt across the United States,” Senator Durbin added.

Image Credit: Richie Diesterheft, Flickr

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