Akron to begin construction on $2 million history center downtown

Akron is the only major city in Ohio without a space dedicated to chronicling its history — an issue officials plan to resolve with a grant to begin construction on a new museum slated to open downtown next fall.

Located at the Bowery at 172 S. Main St., the three-story, 3,000-square foot building will include exhibits, artifacts and photos sharing the city’s history over 200 years, including “stories that maybe haven’t always been told,” Bicentennial Commission Executive Secretary David Lieberth said.

The future home of the Akron History Center on Main Street in Akron on Tuesday.

“Some of Akron’s past that wasn’t so good,” Lieberth said in a May 16 presentation to Akron City Council, citing the prevalence of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s and the failed innerbelt project that displaced thousands of Black households in the 1960s. “We like to brag about Akron’s successes… but we’ve had failures in society and in the course of moving forward, there have been backward steps. Those are parts of Akron as well.”

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