Vashon Community Center
St. Louis, MO
It’s an historic building that houses the Wolff Jazz Institute and the National Black Radio Hall of Fame. Harris-Stowe State University contributed $3 million towards its renovation and expansion. The renovation includes an addition on the building’s north side that will serve as a new accessible entry, bringing the facility to a total of 15,459 square feet.
This building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. When it opened in 1937, it was one of a few public recreational facilities available to the Black community due to segregation at the time. According to campus history, Harris-Stowe State University was given the community center and its land from the city of St. Louis for $10 in 1999. In 2009, the university received $1 million in federal grants from the National Park Service to stabilize the structure of the building and restore the exterior. The floorplan of the building includes a repository for historical documents and holds works from the former U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay Sr., D-St. Louis; the late Frankie Muse Freeman, prominent St. Louis attorney and civil rights leader; and the late Henry Givens Jr., president emeritus of HSSU.