Historical Markers Project

Historical Markers Project

Historical Markers Header
Alberta Main Street’s Equitable Placemaking Historical Markers Outreach Project seeks to collect stories that document the history of the African American community on Alberta Street. Stories will be included on the Alberta Main Street website, and selected stories will inform the creation of historical and cultural markers to be installed on Alberta Street between NE 10th – 31st Avenues.

All stories are welcome and, with consent from the story teller, will be made publicly available on the Alberta Main Street website. We are particularly interested in the following:

  • Stories from current or former King, Vernon, Sabin or Concordia residents whose lives and families have been impacted by social and economic changes in the area.
  • Stories about historically significant events on or impacting Alberta Street.
  • Stories that recollect a personally significant event or experience on Alberta Street.

Project Goals:

  • Commemorate the history of the African American community on Alberta Street
  • Ensure authentic community involvement in creating a shared public space by engaging community members to highlight the unique history and character of our neighborhood
  • Raise community awareness about African American history on Alberta Street

Funding: If your story is selected to inform the creation of a historical marker on Alberta Street, you will receive a $500 stipend to participate in the marker design process. Funding for this project is provided from a grant received from the Portland Development Commission.

Share Your Story
We all have stories to tell that are steeped in a time and deeply rooted in place. Alberta Street history is made up of millions of these felt experiences. Whether you’ve lived near Alberta Street for 30 years or Alberta Street played an important role in a memory formed 30 years ago we want to hear your story. Business owners, residents, and visitors are all invited to submit stories. If you have a story to tell or you know someone whose story should be told there are a variety of ways to share stories with Alberta Main Street.

  • Written stories can be uploaded here, emailed to stories@albertamainst.org or mailed/dropped off at our office (1722 NE Alberta Street; Portland, OR 97211). If you submit a written story offline, please include a signed consent form along with your story.
  • Oral stories are also welcome and can either be recorded and uploaded here or you may contact us via email or phone (503-683-3252 x3), Alberta Main Street’s Equity and Engagement Coordinator, to set up a time to record your story.

Project Background: On February 24, 2015, Alberta Main Street (AMS) held a community check-in called “Honoring Our Past, Planning Our Future” to gather input and identify priorities for our work moving forward. At this community gathering, many historically underserved and underrepresented stakeholders shared that they have not benefited from overall improvements on Alberta Street. There was a call for effective ways to embrace the rich history of the street. As a result, AMS wrote and received grant funding for Equitable Alberta Street, a project that expands AMS’ capacity to address issues related to equity, diversity and inclusion. A core component of this project is to honor and embrace the rich history of the African American community on Alberta Street. To achieve this goal, AMS is focusing on an equitable placemaking project to create historical and cultural markers within the district.

The outcomes from the Equitable Placemaking Historical Markers Outreach project will inform the production of the physical “markers” which will be funded by Alberta Main Street’s 2016-17 District Improvement Grant.

Upon completion of the project outreach, up to three stories will be used as the inspiration for cultural and historical markers to be installed on or along Alberta Street between NE 10th – 31st Avenues. Selected story tellers will be invited to consult with the artist(s) selected to design and install the markers.

Project Timeline (subject to change)
October 1 – mid February 2017: Story collection open
February/March 2017: Selected story tellers notified that their story has been selected

The design phase of this project is anticipated to begin February or March 2017 and it is anticipated that the markers will be installed summer 2017.

“Everyone has the right to live in a great place. More importantly, everyone has the right to contribute to making the place where they already live great.” -Fred Kent, President, Project for Public Spaces