Timeline for BCRI
1977 Birmingham Mayor David Vann mentions in a weekly news conference that a civil rights museum would be an appropriate project for the city.
1978 Birmingham City Council endorses Mayor Vann's recommendation of creation of a civil rights museum.
1979 Mayor Vann is defeated in his bid for re-election by Dr. Richard Arrington, Jr., Birmingham's first African American mayor. Birmingham City Council adopts a resolution authorizing the mayor to form a museum committee to conduct a feasibility study.
Mayor Arrington appoints former mayor, David Vann, and UAB historian Horace Huntley to co-chair a Civil Rights Museum Study Committee. The Committee recommends that the city incorporate a Board of Directors and acquire property for a museum. The City of Birmingham begins acquiring property for a civil rights museum.1983 - 1986
Mayor Richard Arrington, Jr. appoints a Civil Rights Institute Task Force to create a mission statement and plan for the new facility. Odessa Woolfolk, Director of the UAB Center for Urban Affairs, and Frank Young, Chairman of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, serve as co-chairs of the Task Force. The Task Force crafts a mission statement and thematic program and guides the work of city-appointed architects and designers. Birmingham citizens vote down a $65 million bond issue that includes $24 million for a science center and a civil rights museum, as well as renovations to the existing art museum. 1987 - 1988
Civil Rights Institute Task Force approves schematic drawings and a program statement developed by the architectural firm Bond Ryder James and museum consultants, the American History Workshop. Mayor Richard Arrington, Jr. authorizes plans for a Civil Rights Cultural District, including a renovated Kelly Ingram Park, a Jazz Hall of Fame in the historic Carver Theatre, a Civil Rights Institute and landscaping of public space around the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Grover Harrison Harrison, landscape architects, in association with Grover Mouton, redesigns Kelly Ingram Park to include sculptures depicting the Civil Rights Movement.Voters again turn down a multi-purpose bond issue ($110 million) including $25 million for various museums.1991
The Historical Preservation Authority of Birmingham issues revenue bonds for financing a portion of the cost of redesigning Kelly Ingram Park and constructing the Civil Rights Institute.
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the City of Birmingham enter into a funding and management agreement for both the Institute and the Carver properties, which include the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. November 14, 1992The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute unveils a statue of Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth sculpted by John Rhoden of New York, formerly of Birmingham.November 15, 1992The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is officially dedicated. Former UN Ambassador Andrew Young is the main speaker a dedication ceremonies.November 16, 1992
-The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute opens to the public.