Local sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha plans for a museum and community center in the Jeff-Vander-Lou community

This is part of their movement to revitalize a neighborhood affected by years of disinvestment.

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Gamma Omega, the St. Louis chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, and the sorority nonprofit, the Ivy Alliance Foundation are spearheading the efforts. To open the museum and build an adjacent 12,000 square-foot community center, that will offer job assistance and skills training.

This is part of their movement to revitalize a neighborhood affected by years of disinvestment. The property sits northwest of the construction site of the nearly $2 billion NGA new western headquarters.

The vacant three-story brick houe at 2844 St. Louis Avenue in the Jeff Vander-Lou neighborhood, was an urban eye sore. But it escaped the wrecking ball, by the help of founder Ethel Hedgeman Lyle’s family.

Ethel was the founder of the country’s first African American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. She also grew up in St. Louis, attended Sumner High School and graduated from Howard University in D.C., where she founded Alpha Kappa Alpha in the early 1900’s.

Local powerhouse contractors Kwame Building is also part of this initiative to bring underserved neighborhoods back to life. Seller Paul McKee and Neighborhood Regeneration owned the property.

In a statement, controversial developer McKee praised the efforts of the sorority, for helping to pump life back into the once blighted area.

I am noticing an upswing in neighborhoods near and surrounding the NGA, but we need more work on deck. If we are going to compete with other cities like Nashville, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Dallas.

In addition to that, what took the development so long?Why wait until the NGA got their development going?

I am wishing and praying for a better tomorrow as North St.Louis ends the lopsided border. And is able to become one with rest of metro St. Louis.


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