AFRICATOWN, Ala. (WKRG) — After seven months of discussions and mock-ups of the Africatown Welcome Center, a committee of architects and city employees unveiled the final design to the community on Monday night.
“We asked them to place those dots on things that they like or sticky notes on things that they like or didn’t like just to give us some feedback, so we know how to go forward with the next phase of the project,” project manager Roger Washington said.
The design of the building has had the community input every step of the way to ensure it is unique to Africatown.
Lister C. Portis has lived in Africatown his entire life and is looking forward to seeing the building that will represent his hometown.
“We are rediscovering something old but looking at it with a new different perspective,” Portis said.
Renderings shown to the community display a large lobby, a conference room and a theater. A survey sent out to residents revealed a demand for outdoor spaces and a place to learn about the history of Africatown.
“Stories about growing up in a tight-knit community, stories about education, stories about religion,” Portis said.
These stories will be displayed on a monument wall on the outside of the building where people can visit after hours.
The survey also stated that the residents wanted the center to host after-hour events, historical celebrations and African dance classes.
The City of Mobile will begin to look for a contractor, but that timeline is still up in the air.