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Central District CPDA History Project

March 20, 2023 The Central District Preservation and Development Authority (CD CPDA) is wrapping up the first phase of a history project to tell the story of their building. With a 2022 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a building history and social history have been written, and a 5 member history advisory committee has discussed how to gather history from community and share that history with the community. The CD CPDA owns the McKinney Center for Community and Economic Development building, originally built as the Seattle Opportunities Industrialization Center (SOIC) that built it. Located at 22nd Ave S and S Jackson Street, it was also used as the Seattle Vocational Institute (SVI). The CD CPDA was created in 2019 to drive economic empowerment for African-American and other minority and underserved communities to help mitigate the effects of large public projects in the Central District through employment, career advancement, education, training, and business development. Since taking ownership of the building in 2021, the Board has hired a full-time Chief Operations Officer and engaged a team to create a plan for the building’s revitalization. We brought together a History Advisory Committee to discuss what it looks like to tell a "full history" of an institution and building built by and for Seattle's historically Black Central District community. This committee is facilitated by Sylvia Hadnot and attended by Stephanie Johnson Toliver, Rev. Dr. LaVerne C. Hall, Craig Jackson, Chardonnay Beaver and Jill Friedberg. This committee answers the following questions: Who tells the stories? What stories do they tell? How should the CD CPDA tell these stories at this building? We'd like to invite the community to share their stories of the SOIC, the SVI, or the building. We are planning event in late spring and summer. Please be on the lookout for more information about this. Reports from the first phase will be shared on our website, This National Trust for Historic Preservation grant was made possible through a one-time $2.5 million grant program funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021. The CD CPDA project is one of 80 in the country to receive funding.