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Emerald Loop Shelter Completed at Town Common

Post Date:06/26/2024 10:14 AM

The Emerald Loop Town Common Shelter was officially marked as another stop on the African American Cultural Trail as officials and members of the community gathered during a dedication ceremony on Wednesday, June 19.

The shelter is a place for remembrance as Town Common was once the location of the tight-knit African American community known as the Shore Drive Neighborhood. The neighborhood went through urban renewal in the early 1970’s causing many of the community members to be relocated. The shelter was built in the hope of connecting art and culture, while also bringing together the neighborhoods and communities of Greenville.

“Homes, businesses, and the lovely Sycamore Baptist Church used to line these streets [and] as residents gather here, I hope they will gain an appreciation for the people and the places that made this community special,” Greenville Mayor Pro Tem Monica Daniels said. “A place where art provides a glimpse into our past… I can think of no better day other than today.” 

Among the crowd were several former residents of the community including Ronald Kimber and Terry Claiborne. Both shared memories and thoughts of what the Emerald Loop Shelter means to them. Their grandparents’ home is displayed on the side of Shelter facing the street.

“We grew up right here on 104 West Fifth Street… My siblings and I played on these very steps here,” Kimber said. “It’s too many memories to share but they were great memories.” 

The Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge collaborated with several artists, the African American Cultural Trail, and the City of Greenville to bring this vision of culture to life. Artist Rakia Jackson created the mural that is on the side of the shelter facing Town Common and portrays an older man along with two children encompassed by sycamore trees and sprouts which depicts a memory of what once stood in its place.

The Emerald Loop Shelter collided with the African American Cultural Trail and has become one of its stops with more to come. This shelter not only honors the African American Community that once stood in its place, but also serves as a transport stop and complements the Sycamore Hill Gateway Plaza located on the park's west end.

Artist explaining the art on the side of the shelter facing Town Common

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