Historic part of Portland’s African American community looks to rebuild with grant

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By Bryant Clerkley, KGW

Billy Webb Elks Lodge in the Albina neighborhood of Portland received a $140,000 grant from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.

A Portland Fire and Rescue truck sits outside the Billy Webb Elks Lodge (Mark Graves/The Oregonian)

An African American landmark in the city of Portland’s Albina neighborhood just got some financial help from a prestigious grant. 

Billy Webb Elks Lodge received $140,000 from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.

A fire destroyed the building in 2021, and leaders are still trying to get everything together. President Louis McLemore said the grant money will go towards hiring an operations manager for the lodge.

“What we are trying to do is set the lodge up so it will be able to take care of itself,” McLemore said. 

The building has been in the Albina neighborhood since the 1920s. In the ’40s it was used as a shelter to house African Americans during the Vanport flood. It also use to be home to the NAACP.

Find out more about this historic property.

This is especially welcome news after the city’s struggle with police violence.

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