Thursday, July 18, 2024

2028 Summer Olympics and Long Beach: Your guide to everything being proposed

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The 2028 Summer Olympics, or LA28, will be hosted by our neighbor to the north—and it will have massive impacts on Long Beach. Here is your complete guide to what is being proposed, where things are happening, and what improvements (yes, improvements!) are happening.

Proposed Long Beach venues for the 2028 Summer Olympics

There are four main areas the city will be taking on Olympic affairs—and they span from the new to the historical. Let’s begin with a trip to the past.

Marine Stadium: From the 1930s trials to the 2028 Summer Olympics

Marine Stadium is likely to have two periods of use by the 2028 Summer Olympics. First, a non-exclusive use agreement from April 10 to May 7, 2028, intended for trials, venue scope-outs, and preliminary meetings. Secondly, an exclusive use of the space from May 8 to Sep. 22, 2028. Even cooler? This will be the first time the area has been used for the Olympics since it was used a tryouts space for the 1932 Olympics.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Davies Bridge toward the southern end will result in an Olympics historic decision: To shorten the rowing competition from 2,000 meters to 1,500. Rowing will take place north of the bridge should this plan be approved.
  • The temporary removal of floating/concrete docks just south of Davie Bridge will be required for for test and competition events.
  • The park area that will eventually be completed in 2025 north of the stadium will be used for events.
  • The area south of Davies Bridge will be used as competition warmup area and a turnaround area for boating. Access through this area will need to be strictly managed on training and competition days.
  • Boat owners are anticipated to have access during events. However, access times during event hours may be restricted for security and logistical reasons.
  • As the 2028 Summer Olympics develop its event plans, it will undergo the California Coastal Commission permitting process; since this is the first time this governing body will be overseeing Olympics functions, further details on resident and business impacts and access to public space will be available in the future.

Long Beach Convention Center: From conventions to athletics

This will be the largest venue space for the Olympics in Long Beach come 2028—and it will require a six-month shutdown of the Convention Center, meaning that hotels will have to adjust and Meet LB staff is already accommodating for the shift in conventions.

Here is the exclusive and non-exclusive use schedule set for various parts of the convention center during the 2028 Summer Olympics:

  • The Pacific Ballroom (or The Arena): LA28 will have non-exclusive use of the space from March 27 to April 18, 2028, and exclusive use from April 19 to Oct. 11, 2028.
  • Parking Lot: LA28 will have non-exclusive use of the space from March 13 to April 18, 2028, and exclusive use from April 19 to Oct. 11, 2028.
  • 300 Ocean Blvd.: LA28 will have exclusive use from April 19 to Oct. 11, 2028.
  • Terrace Theatre Plaza and parking structure: LA28 will have exclusive use from April 19 to Oct. 11, 2028.
  • Rainbow Lagoon: LA28 will have non-exclusive use of the space from March 27 to April 18, 2028, and exclusive use from April 19 to Oct. 11, 2028.
  • Other areas: LA28 will have non-exclusive use of the space from March 27 to April 18, 2028, and exclusive use from April 19 to Oct. 11, 2028.

Alamitos Beach: A waterfront that has become an event space

Alamitos Beach has been no stranger to massive events: From the NFL Kickoff Experience to Kaskade concerts, this beachfront has proven more and more successful as an event venue than ever before. And it makes sense why LA28 is so intrigued by it. LA28 will have non-exclusive use of the space from April 26 to May 11, 2028, and exclusive use from May 12 to Sep. 20, 2028.

Marina tenants will have future directions of how to access their boats and if they will be able to freely move throughout the harbor.

Belmont Shore: A new waterfront for the 2028 Summer Olympics

Good ol’ Belmont Shore. For the first time in its history, it will likely become a part of the Olympics as a huge stretch of its oceanfront is being proposed as a venue. LA28 will have non-exclusive use of the space from April 10 to May 4, 2028, and exclusive use from May 5 to Sep. 15, 2028.

Breakdown: The $747M investment from Long Beach for the 2028 Summer Olympics

Yes, Long Beach is investing $747M into the 2028 Summer Olympics—something that has been argued as detrimental to most cities as they don’t see their investment returned. However, rather than heavily focusing on permanent athletic infrastructure that is likely to be unused regularly post-Olympics, the City of Long Beach has decided to put its investment toward infrastructure, right-of-way, cultural spaces, and development meant more for the residents than the Olympics itself.

Here is how that investment is broken down, from the most (which is the convention center and that makes sense: it’s the largest venue Long Beach is using for the Olympics) to the least:

  • Convention and Entertainment Center – $50M
  • Shoreline Drive realignment planning and design – $30.3M
  • Alamitos Bay water quality enhancements – $30M 
  • Fire Station 9 construction – $20M
  • Queen Mary improvements – $11M 
  • Long Beach Airport improvements – $8M
  • Belmont Pool – $8M
  • Concrete crew pilot and crack & slurry seal program – $2.65M
  • Trash interceptor barge installation – $2.5M 
  • Stormwater management funding – $2.45M
  • City-wide wayfinding signage – $2.4M
  • Convention Center parking garage improvements – $2M
  • City Place parking improvements – $1.83M
  • Tidelands island freeway open space: Planning and preliminary design – $1.6M
  • Homeless response infrastructure projects – $1.5M
  • Advertising district planning – $1.5M
  • Seventh Street traffic and street light upgrades – $1M
  • Belmont Pier (includes grant matches) – $1M
  • Queensway Bay Area redevelopment: Planning and preliminary design – $1M
  • Wayfinding signage for LA River & Del Amo Bridge – $600,000
  • Watershed trash capture at DeForest Wetlands – $250,000
  • Marine Stadium improvements (includeing grant matches) – $200,000 
  • Terminal Island Freeway open space: Planning and preliminary design – $150,000
  • East Village lighting upgrades – $50,000

Longterm ‘legacy’ projects stemming from the 2028 Summer Olympics

These projects are the most varied in terms of what they achieve. From an “advertising district” to streetlight upgrades to airport improvements, these projects are deemed “legacy projects” by the City. In other words, they are projects they want the people to directly associate with the memory of the Olympics being here in Long Beach.

And there are a lot…

  • The Advertising District Planning Project proposes to create a advertising district along Ocean Boulevard
  • Provides various critical repairs and enhancements to the Queen Mary, as well as the planning and preliminary design for the redevelopment of the Queensway Bay Area.
  • Funding for the implementation of the Shoemaker Bridge rebuild.
  • The Airport Improvements Project provides various upgrades to our airport.
  • The Watershed Trash Capture at Deforest Wetlands Project installs trash collecting apparatuses to preserve the environment and improve water quality.
  • The Trash Interceptor Barge Installation project will place a barge in the L.A. River to collect and stop trash from flowing into the ocean.
  • The Alamitos Bay Water Quality Enhancement Project will protect water quality in Alamitos Bay by maintaining existing water circulation with new fish-friendly pumps that bypass power plant cooling operations.
  • Improvements to the Belmont Pier but not a new pier as previously proposed.
  • The Belmont Beach Aquatics Center will replace the former olympic pool with a new, state-of-the-art aquatic facility that includes pools for recreation, teaching, competition, therapy, and concession areas available during indoor events. 
  • Re-striping, asphalt enhancements, wayfinding, security cameras, and landscaping upgrades to city parking lots.
  • After a partial implementation, instituting a citywide wayfinding signage program.
  • Convention Center upgrades, including a new marquee.
  • Upgraded lighting throughout the East Village Arts District.
  • The demolition of the existing Fire Station #9, temporary facilities as needed, and the construction of a new station.
  • Homelessness Emergency Infrastructure Project will improve various facilities citywide in order to address homelessness and housing in the city.
  • Funding will be spent on developing and implementing the Concrete Crew Pilot Program. This program utilizes City staff and are able to respond to smaller concrete jobs in a more timely manner.
  • Traffic signal and street light upgrades along 7th Street.
  • The Stormwater Management Funding project provides funding for the development of an updated Stormwater Master Plan as well as critical improvements to the City’s stormwater infrastructure, including upsizing stormwater management systems (pump stations, storm drains, etc.) for coastal resiliency and climate change adaptation.
  • The Terminal Island Freeway Open Space project funds the planning and preliminary design to transform the existing free into a local road with an associated greenbelt. The project includes the decommission of the existing freeway, while increasing open space and buffering for the community from air, noise, light, and visual pollution.

Cultural and community projects to be implemented

These projects focus on exactly what they describe: cultural and community spaces that feed the city’s soul:

  • A feasibility study for an African American Cultural District.
  • Pedestrian and bicyclist safety infrastructure in West Long Beach.
  • The Cambodia Town Grand Entrance project will install a prominent and distinct signage to the City’s historic Cambodian Town.
  • The Cesar E. Chavez Park Latino Cultural Center & Mercado Project will include the development of a new Latino Cultural Center and outdoor “mercado,” or market place area, at Cesar E. Chavez Park.
  • Community center improvements citywide, including the LGBTQ Center, the Expo in Bixby Knolls, and more.
  • The implementation of the LGBTQ+ Cultural District.
  • Upgrades for the Long Beach Historical Society facility, including roof, windows, and door repairs.
  • The Mural/Public Art Restoration and Landscaping Improvements Citywide Project restores various murals throughout the City which have been defaced along with landscaping improvements around the area—including those from Long Beach Walls.
  • A feasibility study for the Santa Fe Avenue Business Improvement District.
  • Restoration and storage of the VIP Records sign.
  • Planning and preliminary design for a new youth center for the Washington neighborhood.
  • The West Side Digital Inclusion Project upgrades fiber technology to West Long Beach as part of the Citywide Fiber Connectivity Program.

Park improvements and renovations

This may sound needless to say but it remains true: Parks are essential. Green space is essential. Public, walkable, playful spaces are essential. And keeping them from deterioration and unkemptness is just as important. Just look at the renovation happening at MacArthur Park, which is part of this very list of park improvements coming with Elevate 28:

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  • The 10th Street Greenbelt Walking Path Project will improve the former right-of-way the addition of a walking trail, enhanced landscaping, and other recreation amenities on 10th Street between Grand and Termino Avenues.
  • The 14th Street Park Vacant Parcel Project develops the unoccupied plot at Cedar Avenue and 14th Street with enhanced lighting and playground improvements.
  • The 48th Street Greenbelt Improvements Project will develop a greenbelt by improving landscaping near 48th Street and Long Beach Boulevard.
  • The 51st Street Greenbelt project will transform approximately 1 acre of undeveloped land into an outdoor park space. The site is currently an undeveloped parcel by the LA River just north of Del Amo Blvd. The new park space will include pedestrian trails, a cycle track, fitness stations, play equipment/structures, landscaping with new trees and ground cover, seating, and benches, bioswales, and ADA parking.
  • Admiral Kidd Park will receive improvements, including updates to the Juanita Millender McDonald Community Center, though the scope of the project has not yet been determined.
  • The Animal Care Services Facility Improvements Project will resurface the pavement leading to the facility as well as replace the existing wayfinding signage in accordance with the City’s Wayfinding Signage Guidelines.
  • The Bixby Park Bandshell and Park Improvements project will support repairs to the existing bandshell, improve park lighting, and repair and install new site furnishings. The Bixby Park Dog Park and community center will also see improvements.
  • The Bluff Park Historic Lamppost Project consists of removing the existing street lights and adding decorative historic post top street lights along Molino Avenue between Ocean Boulevard and 2nd Street.
  • The Cal Rec/McBride Facility Roof Replacement project will repair and replace the roof at the center.
  • Cesar E. Chavez Park Latino Cultural Center & Mercado Project will include the development of a new Latino Cultural Center and outdoor “mercado,” or market place area, at Cesar E. Chavez Park.
  • College Estate Park will receive improvements though the scope of the project has not yet been determined.
  • The Citywide Park Restroom Repairs project will repair and replace doors, lighting, flooring, and other fixtures as needed at various park restrooms.
  • The Citywide Community Gardens Improvements project will improve various community gardens across Long Beach.
  • The second phase of the Davenport Park project will expand the existing 5.5 acre park to 11.5 acres. The expanded new portion of the park will include a sports field, fitness stations, outdoor seating areas, walking trail, and additional parking.
  • The third phase of the Davenport Park renovation includes existing basketball court from a half court to a full size court.
  • DeForest Park will receive improvements, including a new playground and pickleball court, though the full scope of the project has not yet been determined.
  • Drake Park & Cesar E. Chavez Master Planning plan will be laid out, including the installation of splash pads.
  • The El Dorado Park Improvements Project will enhance various recreational amenities and conduct sports field upgrades, as well as improve the parking lots.
  • The Red Car Greenbelt at 4th Street and Park Avenue will receive upgrades to its walking loop.
  • Good Neighbor Park will see street and access improvements.
  • The Hamilton Loop is a greenbelt connector that will transform freeway embankments, streets, sidewalks, underpasses, and intersections in the Hamilton Neighborhood in North Long Beach, re-envisioning the freeway’s infrastructure that has long divided and isolated this community. The Hamilton Loop proposes to use segments of land along the existing freeway embankment on both the north and south sides of the 91 Freeway from Atlantic Avenue to Cherry Avenue as a greenbelt with a walking path and small park amenities such as seating, shade, fitness and play equipment, dog runs, and garden space.
  • The Heartwell Park Sports Complex Project further develops the park area with a new running track and field turf.
  • Houghton Park will receive multiple updates, including an improved Houghton Park Community Center and updated sports complex, including artificial turf and a new soccer field.
  • Hudson Park will receive improvements though the scope of the project has not yet been determined.
  • The Killing Fields Memorial Garden and Cambodian Veterans Memorial Monument Project will develop a new cultural community space for honoring lives lost.
  • The Los Altos Park Playground Improvements project fixes play equipment and installs shade furnishing.
  • The Los Angeles River area will receive improvements though the scope of the project has not yet been determined.
  • Marine Stadium will receive improvements though the scope of the project has not yet been determined.
  • The implementation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Park Vision, which includes restrooms renovations and critical repairs to the community center. It also includes an update to the pool facility with new plumbing fixtures, painting, and other site improvements.
  • Orizaba Park will receive improvements though the scope of the project has not yet been determined.
  • The Pan American Playground project upgrades existing play equipment and installs shade structures.
  • The Peace Park Playground Project improves existing play equipment.
  • The planning and preliminary design for a future pool at Ramona Park, along with an updated playground.
  • Rancho Los Cerritos will receive improvements though the scope of the project has not yet been determined.
  • Rancho Los Alamitos will receive improvements though the scope of the project has not yet been determined.
  • The design and permitting for future bandshell improvements at Recreation Park, including a court at the Billie Jean King Center that will serve as a signature pickleball area.
  • The Rose Park Gazebo will receive upgrades.
  • Scherer Park will be scoring an updated playground. Additionally, the Scherer Park Community Center Project will undergo a replacement of the existing roof, lighting improvements for energy efficiency, new windows, and upgrades to the HVAC system. Additionally, the center will receive upgraded accessibility, interior spaces and public restrooms.
  • The Seaside Way Dog Park will receive improvements.
  • The Senior Center at 125 Elm Avenue Project includes new tenant improvements for senior programs and health services.
  • Silverado Park will receive improvements, including a new playground and basketball court, though the full scope of the project has not yet been determined.
  • Sims Pond will receive improvements though the scope of the project has not yet been determined.
  • Repairing and replacing the roof at the Veterans Park Community Center. Additionally, a pickleball court will be installed at Veterans Park.
  • The Wardlow Park Community Center Improvements project involves renovation of the existing restrooms and construction of a single gender-neutral, ADA-accessible restroom at the Wardlow Park Community Center building.
  • Wrigley Heights Dog Park will receive improvements.

Transit, mobility, and arterial improvements set for the 2028 Summer Olympics

Getting around safely and comfortably, despite your mode of transportation, is essential for any city—but especially one as urban as Long Beach. Here are the many street improvements, bicycle amenities, pedestrian access upgrades, and other mobility improvements come with the 2028 Summer Olympics:

  • The 6th Street Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Enhancements Project reconfigures 6th Street and part of 5th Street to increase overall safety in the right-of-way. Improvements on 6th Street include traffic signal upgrades, landscaped median with a sidewalk, and a bike path. 5th Street will be restriped to expand angled parking to alleviate parking impacted areas. This project is in conjunction with the Shoemaker Bridge Replacement Project.
  • The 7th Street Safe Streets Project upgrades existing medians with landscaping and pedestrian safety islands. This project is identified as a Safe Streets Long Beach priority project aiming to eliminate traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries. Additionally, another project will reconfigure 7th Street to increase safety in the right-of-way with the addition of and upgrade to traffic signals along with restriping improvements.
  • The Alley Improvement Project upgrades dirt alleys and repaves alleys in disrepair. A full overview of the planned alley improvements are located on the Elevate ’28 project map.
  • The Anaheim Street Corridor Improvement Project enhances safety with upgraded traffic signals, new medians with landscaping, and ADA upgrades to the right-of-way, and pavement and concrete rehabilitation.
  • The 3.2-mile Artesia Great Boulevard project will consist of roadway improvements such as asphalt roadway removal and replacement, concrete sidewalk, curb replacement, median and median fencing improvements, traffic signal enhancements, installation of ITS (Intelligent Transportation System), equipment, street lighting, pedestrian lighting improvements, stormwater bio-retention treatments, Class IV bike lanes, bulb-outs, landscape improvements, new street furniture, and wayfinding signage.
  • Corridor and complete street improvements along Atlantic Avenue between Ocean Boulevard and the 405 Freeway. Full scope to be determined during planning and design.
  • Broadway will see its median improved.
  • The Blue Line Rail Car Pedestrian Improvements Project will improve mobility, walkability, and overall pedestrian experience along 1st St. between Pacific Ave. and Elm Ave. Improvements include lighting, landscaping, benches, art, wayfinding, and installation of the Blue Car #100 for future use as a café or other community space.
  • The Bridge Improvements Project will inspect, repair, upgrade, and retrofit city-owned bridges.
  • The Citywide Sinkholes and Drainage Project will apply permanent repair or temporary patching in the public right-of-way to remediate the impacts and damages to the street caused by sinkholes, subsidence, and street drainage issues. Work includes curb and gutter remediation to prevent sinkholes from forming.
  • The Citywide striping and signage program will make the necessary upgrades to traffic striping and traffic signage.
  • Clark Avenue improvements will be conducted between E. Anaheim Street and Spring Street. Complete street approach will be implemented for this project. scope includes construction of asphalt pavement, concrete improvements such as curb ramps, sidewalks, bus stop street pads, driveways, curb & gutter, cross gutters, and alley entrance, tree triming, root shaving, trafic seperated bike lanes, roundabout design, signal modification, traffic striping, and signage.
  • The Downtown Walkable Communities Project provides curb extensions and pedestrian safety islands throughout Downtown. This project is identified as a Safe Streets Long Beach priority project aiming to eliminate traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries.
  • The Long Beach Blvd. Improvements Project upgrades pedestrian safety, traffic, lighting, and streetscape along the street. This project is also identified as a Safe Streets Long Beach priority project aiming to eliminate traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries.
  • Ocean Boulevard will see its median improved.
  • The Orizaba Avenue and Orange Avenue Project improves traffic and pedestrian safety along both roadways.
  • The Pacific Avenue Corridor Improvements project rehabilitates the street and provides median, lighting, and wayfinding upgrades. Additionally, the Pacific Avenue Bikeway Project will install an active transportation bikeway along Pacific Ave.
  • The Pine Avenue Bike Boulevard Project will construct a Class IV bikeway to create safe, multimodal transportation.
  • The Residential Street Improvements Project upgrades sidewalks, driveways, curbs, gutters, and roadway markings and striping along with installing ADA compliant curb ramps and resurfacing the right-of-way. A full overview of the planned street improvements is located on the Elevate ’28 project map.
  • The Santa Fe Avenue Project will provide pedestrian safety, median, and streetscape enhancements.
  • Diagonal street parking improvements along Shoreline Drive near the Pike.
  • Stearns Avenue and Los Coyotes Diagonal will see median and parkway improvements.
  • Informed by City’s Pavement Management Plan, the city selects the most cost-effective streets for maintenance. Maintaining a street early in its life cycle is essential for cost-savings and preserving its structural integrity. The Slurry and Crack Seal Program alleviates the backlog of street maintenance and lowers the cost of maintenance over the full lifespan of a street. A full overview of the planned street improvements is located on the Elevate ’28 project map.
  • The Studebaker Major Corridor Improvements Project will reconstruct 5.1 miles of Studebaker Road with new crosswalks, traffic signal upgrades, medians, curb cuts to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, bus stop enhancements, bikeways, bulb-outs at intersections, wayfinding signage, among other mobility improvements. Funding currently included in the Elevate ’28 plan totals $19.5 million, however the total estimated project cost is approximately $59.8 million. The City has identified and secured funding to fund this project.
  • The Sidewalk and Curb Ramps Project upgrades the public right-of-way with ADA improvements.

Public facilities (including libraries) that are receiving improvements

Libraries. Fire stations. Health centers. Public service buildings. All these keep the city healthy, educated, and connected—and many of them will be receiving upgrades thanks to the upcoming 2028 Summer Olympics:

  • The conversion of the property at 702 W. Anaheim Street to a year-round shelter for people experiencing homelessness. The project overhauls the temporary housing and shelter facility with a new energy efficient HVAC system, upgraded plumbing and sewer systems, and other tenant space enhancements.
  • The City Place Garage Mural Restoration project will repair the historic WPA-FAP tile mural titled “Typical Activities of a Beach and Harbor City.” The repairs include repairing damaged tiles, restoring sandstone grout, overall waterproofing and repairing the concrete arch and frame.
  • The Admiral Kidd Park West Health Facility Improvements Project will implement facility improvements informed by the Facility Condition Assessment.
  • A feasibility study for a marine ampitheatre.
  • Upgrades to the Alamitos branch library.
  • Upgrades to the Bay Shore branch library.
  • Upgrades to the Burnett branch library.
  • Upgrades to the Brewitt branch library.
  • Upgrades to the Mark Twain branch library.
  • Upgrades to the Multi-Service Center.
  • Upgrades at the Central Health facility at Martin Luther King Jr. Park.
  • The Main Health Building Improvements project upgrades the facility’s structure and addresses proposed repairs recognized in the Citywide Facility Condition Assessment
  • Design and permit for a new police department crime lab.
  • Rebuilding of the Long Beach Police Academy.
  • Upgrades to the Fire Training Center.
  • The Fire Station 14 Improvements project is informed by the Facility Conditions Assessment. Possible improvements may include single dorm rooms, improved restroom facilities, and repairs to other facility systems.
  • Fire Stations 11 and 13 to also receive upgrades.
  • Funds for infrastructural improvements as part of the statewide initiative to prevent and reduce homelessness.
  • The youth center at 1718 Hayes Ave. will receive funds for the conversion of two adjacent buildings into a youth shelter and navigation center aimed to assist people experiencing homelessness.
  • Funds to oversee the urgent roof and HVAC repairs across city facilities as determined by the Citywide Facility Condition Assessment.

Water quality and capital improvement projects coming

Many consider this the boring stuff—but the reality is that we’d be in a really shitty situation (sometimes literally) without maintaining these parts of our city. Here they are:

  • Improvements to Colorado Lagoon are a part of a multi-phased Colorado Lagoon Restoration Plan which included previous improvements finished in 2010 and 2012. The final component of the Colorado Lagoon’s approved master restoration plan involves creating an open channel between the Colorado Lagoon and Marine Stadium. The City continues to work closely with its State and Federal Agency partners, as well as the Port of Long Beach, on the funding and construction of the upcoming open channel. Streets are set to reopen at the end of this year.
  • The Citywide Urban Forestry Improvements Project removes dead and fallen trees due to severe drought in recent years.
  • This project funds right-of-way maintenance throughout the City with fresh curb painting, fencing repairs, landscaping, and tree trimming.
  • Pump stations and storm drains improvements will be implemented citywide.
  • The Street Median and Parkway Improvements project upgrades medians and parkways in the right-of-way throughout the City.
  • Vertical gateway signage for all nine city districts.
Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.

2 COMMENTS

    • Very good article. I was born in Long Beach 74 years ago;. The city means a lot to me. I am especially glad to see that an African American culture district is finally getting recognized after nearly 100 years.

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