Cincinnati City Council Honors Carl Westmoreland National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Historian

. February 4, 2016

CINCINNATI, OHIO – Cincinnati City Council honored National Underground Railroad Freedom Center historian Carl Westmoreland yesterday for Black History Month. For almost 50 years, Westmoreland has served as an urban historian of Cincinnati and a leader in the urban revitalization and preservation efforts in the city on national and international levels. His vast experience with complicated issues of neighborhood politics, race relations, preservation and revitalization makes him one of the most valuable resources and leaders in historic preservation in the country. He continues to inspire young preservationists to this day.

A 40-year resident of Cincinnati, Westmoreland is committed to the city. His interest in African American history led him to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, where he became deeply involved in helping the founding and development of the museum, which opened its doors in 2004. He currently serves as the historian and curator for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s permanent exhibit, the Slave Pen.

“Carl has lead a life dedicated to the preservation of African American history spanning academic and community dialogues as well as saving physical structures,” says Dr. Clarence G. Newsome, president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “Generations of Cincinnatians, and Americans, will benefit from his passion and leadership.”

Westmoreland’s preservation work began in 1967 when he focused his attention on the African American community in Mount Auburn, and with other community individuals formed the Mount Auburn Good Housing Foundation to renovate buildings many believed were damaging the community. He was involved with renovating more than 200 homes and businesses. He also provided technical assistance to other nonprofit housing groups in Cincinnati and more than 90 American cities.

Throughout his career, he has received a number of accolades including serving as the first African American Trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. His trustee work led him to be involved with the Savannah Neighborhood Action Conference: Tenants and Landlords. Westmoreland brought preservationists together from across the country to explore alternatives to deterioration and displacement in inner city neighborhoods, which led to a 1979 nomination for the Rockefeller Foundation Award for Historic Preservation. He also received America’s highest award for historic preservation, the Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award.

“Carl Westmoreland is an urban preservationist and community builder, a champion for equity and justice and keeper of Cincinnati history. He is a Cincinnati treasure who will be immortalized in our history books for future historians to write about,” said Councilwoman Yvette Simpson.

In each of City Council’s February meetings local prominent African Americans will be celebrated for their work and lifelong achievements in Cincinnati. Councilwoman Yvette Simpson is sponsoring each of the resolutions. Other Cincinnati leaders being celebrated this month include Schuyler and Merri Gaither Smith, Dr. Myrtis Powell and Dr. John Bryant, Bootsy Collins, Philip Paul and Otis Williams.

Category: Museum News

Comments are closed.