NEW: National Park Service to expand Selma Interpretive Education Center

Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma
The Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma, Alabama. (The Bama Buzz)

The Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, operated by the National Park Service (NPS), acquired six properties near Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge for the construction of a $10M interpretive education center honoring the Selma to Montgomery Marches of 1965. Keep reading for more.

Here’s what’s happening

The properties make up .65 acres and are located at 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 Broad St. and 1119 Water Ave. They were purchased by the National Park Foundation from ALDOT, with assistance from the City of Selma and the Federal Highway Administration. 

The expansion will expand the center’s impact and provide a state-of-the-art experience that focuses on educational programming and opportunities for the Selma community. The facades of 8-10 Broad St. will be preserved as part of the historic streetscape where the marches took place in 1965.

According to a news release from the NPS,

“Improving the interpretive center in Selma will provide people greater access and the opportunity to better understand and appreciate the historic struggle for voting rights that unfolded in Selma during a critical moment in the civil rights movement.”   

Will Shafroth, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation

Why it matters

St. James Hotel
View of the Edmund Pettus Bridge from The St. James Hotel – Selma. (The Bama Buzz)

The Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail commemorates the stories of the Selma voting rights movement and the Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches, both critical steps to the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Construction of the expanded center is scheduled to begin early next year and be completed before the 60th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday in March of 2025. Additional meetings, plans and designs will be announced in the coming months.  

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Callie Puryear
Callie Puryear
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