Ossian Sweet Project
PROJECT CONTACT INFORMATION:
Shamori Whitt, Senior Parks Planner
Rayshaun Landrum, Associate Landscape Architect
COMMUNITY MEETING #1
GSD held its first public Community Meeting for the Ossian Sweet Project on Thursday, April 27, 2023 at 6pm at the Butzel Family Center. Special Thanks to Melvin "Butch" Hollowell for providing refreshments! Attendees received important project information, learned more about Dr. Sweet and Housing Rights, and participated in design exercises for the Educational Plaza. If you'd like to view the meeting presentation, click on the image below.
Stay tuned for more opportunities to participate & Community Meeting #2!
The City of Detroit General Services Department was awarded funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) to fund two initiatives pursuant to the development of a public space that commemorates and memorializes the history and legacy of Dr. Ossian Sweet and the influence of the events that unfolded in 1925: an outdoor Educational Plaza and Historic Interpretive Master Plan.
OUTDOOR EDUCATIONAL PLAZA
The Educational Plaza adjacent to Dr. Sweet’s home will combine the area of the two (2) adjacent parcels: 2915 Garland and 2921 Garland. The total acreage of the new Educational Plaza will be approximately .2 acres. General Services is working on the early stages of design for this project.
HISTORIC INTERPRETIVE PLAN
A Historic Interpretive Master Plan encompasses all of the interactive learning elements (signage, QR codes) that will be included in and associated with the Educational Plaza as well as site operations and maintenance. We will also be exploring site circulation and pedestrian safety.
WHY IS THE OSSIAN SWEET PROJECT SO IMPORTANT?
Dr. Ossian Sweet is not only a significant African American figure in Detroit's history, his legacy extends across the Nation. The events of 1925 paved the way for equal opportunity in housing and the protection of civil liberties, regardless of race. While the scope of the Ossian Sweet Project has slightly changed since WXYZ produced this story in 2021, the overall intent remains the same. Please watch this 6-minute video about who Dr. Ossian Sweet was, what happened on the night of September 9, 1925, and why every American has benefitted from the struggles of the Sweet Family.
MORE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
The Dr. Ossian Sweet House
The Dr. Ossian Sweet House, located at 2905 Garland Street, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a registered Michigan State Historical Site (#S0461). Dr. Ossian Sweet, a prominent African American physician, purchased this home in what was an all-white Detroit neighborhood. In 1925, the property became the site of a racial incident that resulted in a nationally publicized murder trial that significantly impacted the greater Civil Rights movement. The House is privately owned & operated by the Ossian Sweet Foundation.
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