The first three of a final six historical markers celebrating the history of Parrish St. -- which has earned the acclaim as one of a small number of cities hailed as "Black Wall Street" due to its pioneering financial institutions NC Mutual Life and Mechanics & Farmers Bank -- will be unveiled this Wednesday at 11 am in an event free and open to the public.
According to the City's press release:
The sculptures are comprised of significant materials from Durham’s tobacco, retail, manufacturing, and transportation industries, as well as materials such as bronze, concrete, limestone, aluminum, glass, and steel. Through materials and design, the artists are commemorating the following, historically significant themes: Tobacco and E.J. Parrish (1865-1890), Visionary Leadership in the New South (1890-1915), and A Black Capital for the World to See (1915-1945).
These are the first three of an ultimate six markers to be unveiled; the remainder will first be displayed next year. Durham's Office of Economic and Workforce Development has sponsored the Parrish Street Revitalization and Historic Commemoration Project with the help of a $350,000 grant from the U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development.
Artists Michael Waller, Leah Foushee, and Alvin Frega have worked with interns from NCCU on the project via Liberty Arts, Inc., which operates the sculpture studio and casting facility at Durham Central Park.
Images of the other two sculptures can be viewed at the City's web site.