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African American History Museum to move to former Philadelphia family court building

Historic changes are coming for Philadelphia's African American Museum
Historic changes are coming for Philadelphia's African American Museum 01:27

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Historic changes are coming for Philadelphia's African American Museum. Plans are in the works to redevelop the Ben Franklin Parkway and they involve the museum moving to a larger location.

After 46 years, the African American Museum will move from its current Arch Street location to the vacant former family court building on Vine Street.

The African American Museum has been in this building for the last 46 years, but officials say it can't become a world-class museum from here. That's why they're moving to a different building, triple the size of the current one.

It's a historic moment for the African American Museum. It's planning to move from its current home on Arch Street to the former family court building on Vine Street, which has been vacant for eight years.

"To be able to have an institution of this size, being able to move from our current location, it's going to be transformative and revolutionary in scope," said, Dr. Ashley Jordan, president and CEO of the African American Museum.

The project is expected to take four to five years and cost millions of dollars.

The city has shortlisted four developers for the project, each one with a Black partner.

"During the final stage, each of these teams are required to submit a detailed proposal for the site," Mayor Jim Kenney said. "One will be chosen to make its vision a reality for the benefit of all our city."

The project involves redeveloping two separate pieces of land. One area represents the new home of the African American Museum and another is a parking lot, which the Free Library of Philadelphia will use to expand its programming.

"Probably won't be mayor at the time, but can't wait to come through the doors and check out the new museum," Kenney said.

The museum won't occupy the entire family court building.

Part of the building could end up being apartments, offices, hotels, or retail.

The museum plans to fundraise and increase the price of admission to pay for the project.

The city will chip in too.

"Today, we're excited that it will be where it belongs on the Parkway where literally tens, hundreds of thousands of people traverse on a daily basis, annual basis," City Council President Darrell Clarke said.

Once the African American Museum moves, its current building will be vacant.

The city plans to market the property so a new company can move in.

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