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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name John Chavis Memorial Park
Reference Number 16000188
State North Carolina
County Wake
Town Raleigh
Street Address 505 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 4/19/2016
Areas of Significance Entertainment/Recreation, Ethnic Heritage: Black, Landscape Architecture, Social History
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John Chavis Memorial Park meets National Register of Historic Places Criterion A for entertainment/recreation, and ethnic heritage: black, and social history; and Criterion C for landscape architecture at the state level. Its period of significance ranges from 1937 to 1965. Located in southeast Raleigh, this park of currently 26 1/2 acres was developed in 1937 as a "separate but equal" recreational facility for African Americans. Built with contributions from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), and with solid backing from the local government and civic organizations, the park is one of a few segregated recreation facilities built in North Carolina during this period with federal funding confirming the complicity of the federal government with southern Jim Crow policies. The park was designed by G. Robert Derick, a National Park Service landscape architect, and it retains several resources that reflect the design movement in recreational facilities to use rustic materials which has been studied by historians and named ""parkitecture."" Despite the eventual integration of Raleigh's public facilities in the 1960s, the park has continued to be a focal point for the African American community in Raleigh.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria