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New historical exhibits recall the past of Tallahassee's Cascades District

Several people pose for a picture standing in front of large photographs affixed to metal stands.
Tom Flanigan
WFSU Public Media
Those involved with the Cascades Historical Plaza exhibit pose in front of the display panels that were unveiled Aug. 25.

A new exhibit acknowledging the history of the area now occupied by the new buildings at Cascades Park was unveiled on Thursday, Aug. 25. The displays were part of a promise the developer made before the first shovel of earth was turned. Shaun McIntyre, managing partner of North American Properties, the Cascade project developer, said the pledge came before the construction, which included the demolition of the former county jail building, began in 2017.

"We made a promise to the City in the very beginning that if you'll allow us to remove the jail, we will honor the civil rights history and we've done that. Probably the thing I'm most proud of is that this group came together and stuck together for quite a long time and today is the unveiling of their efforts."

FSU Professor Jennifer Koslow was a member of the Community Historical User Group that brought the expansive exhibits to fruition. That group was made up of local educators, preservationists and activists.

"If you can't tell it like it was, it can never be as it ought to be," she said at the unveiling, quoting a prominent civil rights leader.

The "Four Corners of History" marker near the intersection of East Gaines and South Gadsden streets.
Tom Flanigan
The "Four Corners of History" marker near the intersection of East Gaines and South Gadsden streets.

The display includes fourteen panels depicting the significance of the site to Tallahassee's Civil Rights struggle and a smaller exhibit about the various historical structures that are still standing nearby.

Florida State University's Master Craftsman Studio was responsible for the design, manufacture and installation of the displays.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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