Texas African American Museum in Tyler kicks off $40K renovation project

Texas African American Museum undergoes renovations.
Texas African American Museum undergoes renovations.
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 1:22 PM CDT|Updated: May. 2, 2022 at 6:34 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A brand new look is coming to the Texas African American Museum in Tyler. The museum is in the old Tyler Fire Station No. 4 building, and now leaders are working to make it look more like a museum.

The museum is currently closed to the public while the building is undergoing a $40,000 renovation. According to museum Executive Director Gloria Washington, funding has come in from their million dollar campaign for phase one renovations.

“We are redoing room by room; we are putting up walls, we’re doing new lighting, we’re bringing our restrooms up to ADA compliance, handicap accessible for anyone that comes through,” said Washington.

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This is the first time they have been able to fund and do renovations to the building. The City of Tyler donated the more than 5,000 square foot space to them a couple of years ago. Washington said she is looking forward to the display rooms being complete.

“This room that we’re standing in now is the Genesis room. You know in the Bible, the book of Genesis is the first book that’s in the Bible. When you walk in this door, this is the first display area of the museum,” said Washington.

They will also have an Empowerment Room and farther back, the Jubilee Room.

“So all the rooms have specific meanings and I’m just ready for displays to be put up and for guests to start coming back to the museum,” said Washington.

In February, Dr. Khalilah Camacho-Ali donated $1 million to the museum, which Washington said will go toward phase two renovations.

“When we complete phase two, which is the bay area where the fire trucks used to sit, we’re going to redo the front over there,” she said. “It’s going to be a glass front over on the other side of the museum. We can have conferences, it will be a conference room on the front side.”

The museum should be ready for a soft opening in the next four to six weeks, according to Washington.

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