Jim Crow Car and Prison Tower to Tell Powerful Stories

Jim Crow passenger car

The segregated passenger car and prison tower are now installed in the under-construction museum building

November 17, 2013

Traffic was cleared along Constitution Avenue while two massive artifacts were raised high in the air with cranes, then deposited into the future ground floor of the new building for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, now under construction. The restored, segregation-era railway car, circa 1918, and an early 20th-century guard tower from Louisiana’s Angola prison will be on display in the Segregation Gallery when the museum building opens in 2015. Both are so large that they had to be put in place and the museum built around them. The 44-seat Southern Railway car, which has separate seating for white and “colored” passengers, was donated by Pete Claussen, chairman and CEO of Gulf & Ohio Railways and an alumnus of the Smithsonian National Board.

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