exterior photo of historic Washington Avenue Baptist church
Church Square North

“Church square north” includes two historically African-American churches. The northern area of the square includes Washington Avenue Baptist Church and Benton Avenue AME Church.  In the north area bounded by Central, Benton, Washington Avenue and Brower Street (currently Bob Barker … Read More

exterior photo of lincoln hall on the O T C campus
Lincoln School

The Rosenwald Foundation in 1930 issued a grant to pay for a new school for Springfield’s Negro students and a two-story redbrick school was dedicated on May 21, 1931. When it opened, teachers led students in a parade on Central … Read More

monument reading lincoln memorial cemetery
Lincoln Memorial Cemetery

Lincoln Memorial Cemetery, located at Chestnut Expressway and Barnes Avenue since 1919, houses the graves of some of Springfield’s oldest African American families. During the days of Jim Crow laws, city-owned cemeteries only allowed African American citizens to be buried … Read More

Alberta's Hotel
Alberta’s Hotel

Located in the parking lot between Jordan Valley Community Health Center and the Springfield Municipal Court building is the former site of Alberta’s Hotel. A three-story house that first served as the community hospital for the black community was remodeled … Read More

exterior photo of historic Gibson Chapel
Church Square South

“Church square south” includes two historically African-American churches.  The southern area of the square includes Gibson Chapel, on the corner of Tampa and Washington Ave. This church formed as the First Negro Cumberland Presbyterian Church in 1865 by a freed … Read More

historic black and white photo of graham's ribs restaurant
Coming Soon: Graham’s Rib Station and Modern Motel Court

In 1932, Zelma and James Graham opened The Rib Station at the corner of Washington Avenue and Chestnut Street. The restaurant was open 11 a.m.- 2 a.m., seven days a week until it closed in 1967. In the 1940s, the … Read More

aerial photo of park central square: a road surrounding an open square
Park Central Square: 1906 Easter Lynchings

On Good Friday, April 13, 1906, Springfield and Greene County had a thriving population of African American professionals, business owners, and community leaders. Tragically, by the early hours of Easter Sunday, the city had been overwhelmed by hate and violence … Read More

Silver Springs Park

Silver Springs, Springfield’s only public park open to black residents during segregation, was established in 1918 on land owned by Springfield school superintendent Jonathan Fairbanks, who had died the previous year. The night before Easter 1906, Fairbanks opened his home … Read More