Narrative of the Krueger-Scott Mansion Project: Constructing Newark History

Katie Singer


Newark, New Jersey’s once proposed Krueger-Scott African-American Cultural Center (KSAACC) tells a story of history, economy, race, built environment, and much more. The Center’s development mirrors other urban stories with regard to race, preservation, urban failure, and memory, while also offering a unique understanding of Newark’s own history. The story of the 1990s Krueger-Scott project adds chapters to urban study as a whole, and to the study of Black cultural sites around the country.

The KSAACC was met with and has continued to receive resistance from some of Newark’s citizens as well as local journalists and ultimately the very politicians who had at first supported the idea. The ongoing financing of what seemed to some a less than urgent project in a city that had so many pressing needs at the time became a source of tension and ultimately splintered the community.

Matters such as these speak to some larger questions concerning the value and place of public history, oral history, and historic preservation in urban environments.  This paper is about the creation of African-American historical knowledge and the ways America sees fit to make it public knowledge.

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