OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Officials say a historic property in Oklahoma City will be saved after an agreement was reached.
For decades, the Brockway Center served as a safe place for African-American women.
For 50 years, the Oklahoma City Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs met at the home.
“I was tutored, given snacks, given supervision and taught about the world outside of our neighborhood,” said Melba Holt, a former member of the Oklahoma City Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs. “It was a bridge, not a wall.”
The Child Abuse Response and Evaluation Center, or CARE, bought the property in 2018 in hopes of building a new, larger facility.
However, many in the community were concerned that the Brockway Center, which has stood for more than 100 years, would be torn down.
“Our history needs to be preserved,” Holt said. “It doesn’t need to be destroyed.”
Now, it seems that the Brockway Center might be saved.
The CARE Center announced that it had reached an agreement with the Oklahoma City Redevelopment Authority, which will purchase the Brockway Center for $400,000.
“We learned of the Brockway Center’s history in February and since then, we have worked to find a solution that will honor the important work that was done there while expanding our vital services for abused children,” said Stacy McNeiland, CEO of The CARE Center. “OCRA provided the expertise and ideas we needed to develop a plan that benefits everyone. We’ve been part of this neighborhood for more than 25 years, and we expect to be part of it for generations to come.”
Officials say much of the lot that the Brockway Center sits on will be deeded back to CARE once the sale is finalized. They say the deal allows CARE to have the necessary parking it needs and gives it the ability to build a new building on an existing parking lot.
“We are very pleased that the two organizations were able to work together to find a solution”, said Cathy O’Connor, OCRA president and CEO. “This partnership with The CARE Center expands vital community services and honors the work of the women who protested lynching, endorsed women’s suffrage and marched on behalf of civil rights.”
The deal is set to close by Oct. 31.