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22 Jun 2022

Juneteenth Museum by Bjarke Ingels Group has been designed to inspire spiritual uplift
BY Tom Walker

Designed by BIG, the 50,000sq ft visitor attraction will anchor a larger mixed-use development

Designed by BIG, the 50,000sq ft visitor attraction will anchor a larger mixed-use development
photo: BIG

Detailed plans have been revealed for the National Juneteenth Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, US.

Designed by architects Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), the 50,000sq ft visitor attraction will anchor a larger mixed-use development on the Historic Southside of Fort Worth.

It will explore the events of June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger issued Order No. 3, in essence declaring that “all slaves are free” in the state of Texas.

His actions took place months before the 13th Amendment – which abolished slavery – was added to the US Constitution.

BIG's design for the museum will use materials such as heavy timber and also draw on the local architecture of gabled rooftops and protruding porches.

The museum is the brainchild of activist Opal Lee, who successfully campaigned for Juneteenth to become a federal holiday.

“It will have a handcrafted quality to it,” said Douglass Alligood, the BIG partner in charge of the project, adding that he hoped the building would convey “spiritual uplift” in keeping with Opal Lee’s vision in spearheading the Juneteenth National Holiday movement.

A spokesperson for the National Juneteenth Museum added: "We’re erecting a museum to celebrate the legacy of freedom that was announced on June 19, 1865, the date known globally as 'Juneteenth'.

"We believe that the extraordinary story of that fateful day and the events surrounding it deserve to be told, and we intend to tell it.

"But we’re not just erecting a museum, we’re curating an experience centre

"The National Juneteenth Museum development project will infuse economic activity into one of the south’s most underserved communities and shift the trajectory of a neighbourhood that was once home to a number of prominent figures, including Texas’ first Black millionaire, William Madison Mcdonald."



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