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Effort to revive neighborhood in Birmingham includes museum

BIRMINGHAM (AP) — An urban plannerís design for reviving a west Birmingham neighborhood includes a gospel museum.

LíTryce Slade, a consultant hired to advise the McCoy Center for Community Services, said the center plans a multimillion-dollar fundraising effort for the project. Besides a gospel museum, it includes a book store, restaurant and nonprofit agencies.

The proposed Alabama Gospel Music Cultural Arts Center aims to preserve in museum form the rich gospel history of Birmingham and Alabama, Slade said.

Sladeís company, Slade Land Use Environmental and Transportation Planning LLC, opened its office at the McCoy Center on Friday, across from Birmingham-Southern College.

Sladeís company assists cities across the Southeast in developing land-use and transportation planning.

A North Carolina native who relocated to Birmingham in 2004, Slade recently got a contract from the city to help it map out a plan to remove dilapidated houses and improve property values in the targeted neighborhood.

The gospel museum would be a good fit at the McCoy Center, said David Fleming of Mainstreet Birmingham, a nonprofit agency that has a contract with the city to help revitalize several communities.

The nonprofit McCoy Center currently houses an adult day care to care for western area seniors and North Star Youth Ministries, a non-profit that serves 200 area youth and holds an annual summer camp.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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