The Rapp Road Community Historic District, an important example of the story of the Great Migration of 5 million southern African Americans in the early 20th century, lies tucked among shopping malls, highways and a landfill. Located in the Albany Pine Bush, this area once had a rural character that appealed to the early settlers of Rapp Road, members of the congregation of Pastor Louis Parson of the Church of God in Christ in Shubuta, Mississippi.
During the 1930s, 40s and 50s many friends and family members moved from Shubuta to Albany's South End. Some were sharecroppers who owed money to their landlords. Eventually, several families moved to Rapp Road, where as landowners they recreated their Southern lifestyle. The district is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, and includes twenty-two shotgun-style homes built between 1942 and 1963.
The Preservation League added the Rapp Road Community Historic District to its list of Seven to Save endangered places for 2016-17, due to threats of deterioration and encroaching development, and began working with the Rapp Road Historical Association make a case for the district's preservation and stewardship. The League secured a $1,098 grant from the William J. Pomeroy Foundation of Syracuse to fabricate and install the cast iron sign.
"The Preservation League's willingness to partner with us as one of the Seven to Save sites has afforded the Rapp Road Historical Association more exposure and respect within the City of Albany," said Beverly Bardequez, President of the Association. "We are now looking ahead toward planning the restoration of 31 Rapp Road."