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SIT-IN MOVEMENT, INC. TAKES OPTION TO PURCHASE F.W. WOOLWORTH STORE BUILDING IN GREENSBORO

 GREENSBORO, N.C., Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Sit-In Movement, Inc. (SIM), a non-profit organization with headquarters here, today announced that it has been granted an option to purchase the F.W. Woolworth store building from First Citizens Bank for SIM's offered price of $700,000.
 The building is the site of the first lunch-counter "sit-in" by four North Carolina A&T State University students in 1960 and is considered to be the birthplace of the American civil rights movement. The building will be converted into a civil rights museum after its purchase. It has been the site of F.W. Woolworth Co. operations in Greensboro since it was built in 1929.
 "First Citizens Bank has made an extraordinary effort to help us realize our dream of a civil rights museum," said Melvin "Skip" Alston, a county commissioner from District 8 in Greensboro and one of the co-founders and chairman of SIM. "They've not only given us the option on the building at a favorable price but have provided us counsel and assistance to acquire the building," he said. "The bank has also provided us some working capital and generously offered us office space in their bank building in Greensboro until the facility is renovated." Earl Jones, a member of the Greensboro city council and the other co-founder of SIM, was also highly complimentary of the support of Woolworth Corporation. "Woolworth has offered to leave for us the historic lunch counter and stools that have become a part of the history of the American civil rights movement," he said. "In addition, they too have offered to provide fund-raising assistance and financial support to the museum to help us make sure that it succeeds."
 Alston and Jones also pointed to widespread support in the African- American, civil rights and corporate communities from across the nation. "Organizations ranging from the NAACP to the National Historic Preservation Trust are unanimous in their support for this idea and have offered to help us contact funding sources and influential supporters," Alston said.
 The idea for the museum was born earlier in 1993 when, for business reasons, Woolworth Corporation decided to close down its operations at the downtown Greensboro location. In the wake of the closing announcement, a concern arose regarding the preservation and meaningful use of the historic landmark.
 "Even though we are getting the building at a reasonable price, it is going to be a major challenge to raise the $2.5 million to $3 million necessary for renovation and ongoing maintenance and operations," Jones said. "We have already begun our fund-raising activities and are confident that the people from around the country who have been sending us letters and faxes indicating their interest in preserving this building will now show that support in a concrete way by sending a check or donation to Sit-In Movement, Inc." The address for donations is Sit-In Movement, Inc., 100 South Elm St., Suite 520, Greensboro, NC 27407.
 The museum will house a wide variety of exhibits dealing with human and civil rights and will also include classrooms and facilities for civil rights, African-American and other community organizations.
 -0- 1/13/94
 /CONTACT: (Media) Skip Alston or Earl Jones of SIM, Inc., 910-274-9199, or Noel McLaughlin, 919-755-2716, or Alex MacFadyen, 919-755-7424, both of First Citizens/
 (FCNCA)


CO: First Citizens Bank; Sit-In Movement, Inc.; Woolworth Corporation ST: North Carolina IN: FIN SU:

CM -- CH004 -- 1035 01/13/94 11:15 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 13, 1994
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