Smithsonian Wants to Preserve Gazebo Where Tamir Rice Was Killed

By Sameer Rao May 04, 2016

Plans to tear down the Cleveland gazebo where police officers killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice were put on hold this week as the Smithsonian Institution looks into its possible preservation. reported Monday (May 2)—the same day the gazebo was slated for destruction—that the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) "is in talks with Black Lives Matter concerning options for preserving the gazebo, given its importance to African-American history," per NMAAHC’s senior history curator William Pretzer. Pretzer succesfully lobbied the city to postpone demolition for 60 days.

The museum, which is under construction and plans to open in late September of this year, has not yet confirmed whether the gazebo would remain in its current location or be relocated. 

While Rice’s family initially supported demolition, family attorney Subodh Chandra told that his mother Samaria would support its relocation to an exhibit:

"Ms. Rice was interested in seeing the gazebo demolished and gone," Chandra said. "But when she heard about this proposal, she understood the historic importance of [the gazebo] and was supportive of the concept if the museum is interested in acquiring it and will handle the matter in a tasteful and appropriate way."