William Grose Center for Cultural Innovation & Enterprise
After decades of Black community advocacy, the William Grose Center for Culture Innovation & Enterprise is finally moving forward! Advocacy for Black community ownership of the vacant facility started in 2012. In the summer of 2020, the City of Seattle announced the transfer of the vacant Fire Station 6 property at 23rd Ave and Yesler to ACLT toward Black community ownership. This cleared the way for an Africatown-led redevelopment plan after more than seven years of process over the decommissioned facility in the heart of the Central District.
The center will pay homage to its namesake William Grose, an early pioneer, entrepreuner, founder, and hotellier who help build the foundation to make Seattle one of the wealthiest cities. In 1882, William Grose purchased 12 acres of land in Madison Valley from Henry Yesler.
How Tech Will Help Build Africatown
Africatown has teamed up with Africatown Center for Education and Innovation and Blacks at Microsoft to teach youth how to use tech to innovate our communities! Join us and register for the event on May 8th, 2021 at 10am!
City will transfer Central District properties to Black community ownership
The Seattle City Council voted unanimously Monday to transfer two long-sought Central District properties back to the Black community after years of hope and promises including pledges from Mayor Jenny Durkan this summer as Black Lives Matter movement demonstrations grew in Seattle.
Pioneer William Grose worked the Underground Railroad — and founded Seattle's Black Central District
Learn more about William Grose, a Seattle pioneer, builder, businessman, entrprenuer and hotellier that helped build the Central District - Seattle's historically Black neighborhood, and greater Seattle.
Spurred by Seattle protests, city says will finally transfer Central District’s Fire Station 6 to Africatown
The vision for a new William Grose Center for Cultural Innovation at the landmarked station property is the most well-shaped and long-formed project. Discussion of community ownership of the facility first began in 2012 as the city was looking to sell the property. The new Station 6 opened in 2013 on MLK. In 2015, the city began a process for community groups to take over the building but the stages of the effort dragged on. Along the way, ideas and needs for the station came and went.
In Seattle, Protests Over Racial Equity Turn to Land Ownership
Today’s Central District activists are looking to continue Grose’s legacy as the city’s first Black landowner, via a community land trust — a nonprofit entity that collectively owns and holds property for community uses like housing. “We need a new normal rooted in equity,” said K. Wyking Garrett, president and CEO of the Africatown Community Land Trust. “And equity means ownership.”
Sankofa and Self-Determination: Learning from Seattle
King County Equity Now mobilized its full base around key sites it wanted to acquire – and won. In June, the City of Seattle announced it would transfer several vacant properties, including a decommissioned fire station that will become the William Grose Center for Cultural Enterprise. “If we’re moving in lockstep I don’t think anything can get in our way,” said Joy.