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Baltimore City gives 36 vacant lots to aid expansion of Great Blacks in Wax Museum

BALTIMORE (WBFF) - Baltimore's National Great Blacks in Wax Museum will expand, with the receipt of more than a dozen vacant properties along a block in East Baltimore.

The 36 vacant lots were conveyed to the museum by the city's Vacants to Value program. The lots are located in the 1600 block of East North Avenue.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced the expansion plans Monday morning. She was joined by Dr. Joanne M. Martin, co-founder of the museum.

"I want to particularly thank Dr. Joanne Martin, whose vision mixed with a relentless, relentless pursuit of excellence for the Great Blacks in Wax is the reason why we are here today," Mayor Rawlings-Blake said. She added, "Vacants to Value is thriving and making a difference here in this community by removing blight and rebuilding our city."

The museum was established in 1983 by Dr. Elmer and Joanne Martin.

"This is a very emotional moment for me, but a very proud moment for me," Dr. Martin said. She touched on her and her late husband's vision for the museum; "Elmer concluded that some of our African American institutions have to be willing to stay in our communities, to make those communities better. That we can't all run away. That we were going to create a museum so compelling that people from all over the world and all over the nation were going to come to visit. And in the process that we can make the point and demonstrate that on the corner of North Ave and Bond Street, in a fragile East Baltimore community, in a fragile low income community of East Baltimore, tourism can thrive."

To learn more about the museum, CLICK HERE.

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