ST. PETERSBURG – One of my two favorite days as mayor was the day we announced our intent to purchase the home of the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African-American History Museum in order to ensure the museum’s operators could continue their important work at that location. The day we raised the museum’s flag high above City Hall was another one of my favorite days. History was made. While some time has passed since those celebrations, my commitment to the museum remains as strong as ever.
This week, one of our council members introduced a new business item to negotiate the price of the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American History Museum. As such, I have decided to pause the lease negotiations with the museum’s operators until the purchase price and transfer of ownership is resolved. Regardless, the museum will remain open and will continue to thrive.
Our negotiations with the current operators have been long, but fair. During negotiations, the City of St. Petersburg agreed to several items not usually found in other city leases, including reducing the rent from one dollar per month to one dollar per year.
We also agreed to provide landscaping assistance courtesy of our City Parks & Recreation Department, as well as exterior facility maintenance and the repair of major facility systems, such as the air conditioning unit and roof. Numerous accommodations were included. It’s a friendly agreement because the museum’s stability is so important to our community.
St. Petersburg’s African-American history is rich and deserves a special home. I am thankful for the stewardship provided by the current operators and I am confident in the future.
Thank you for allowing me to update you as we make progress towards this important goal.