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Construction begins on Africatown Heritage House

February 22, 2021 · Projects

An official groundbreaking ceremony was held on February 18, for the new Africatown Heritage House, which will tell the long untold story of the Clotilda, the nation’s last known slave ship, and the town created by the African survivors who once suffered aboard that ship. The approximately 5,000-square-foot building will feature  “Clotilda: the Exhibition,” curated by the History Museum of Mobile in partnership with the Alabama Historical Commission and the Africatown Advisory Council to tell the story of the final journey of the Clotilda, the settlement and history of Africatown, and the discovery of the sunken ship in 2019 – all through a combination of interpretive text panels, documents and artifacts.

GMC was retained by the Mobile County Commission to provide architecture, interior design, site/civil design, landscape architecture, geotechnical engineering and surveying for the Africatown Heritage House, and we are honored to be part of the team bringing this important project to fruition. Architects designed the exterior of the building to fit within the fabric of the surrounding neighborhood and selected exterior colors to not only honor the enslaved occupants of the Clotilda and their heritage, but also to symbolize the strength and perseverance of her descendants.

The new building will consist of an entry porch, lobby, restrooms, conference room, offices and exhibit hall. A memorial garden will also be designed as part of the landscape and will incorporate sculptural ceramics from renowned artist Charles Smith.

Learn more about this important project here.