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The Jaxson: Public Meetings To Be Held On LaVilla Redevelopment

Jimmy Delaney
A view of LaVilla from the Jefferson Skyway Station.

City planners will soon begin taking public input on the redevelopment of Jacksonville’s historically African-American neighborhood of LaVilla, just west of downtown.  

Among all the new plans, though, can historic buildings be preserved?

That’s what Ennis Davis with Modern Cities talked about with WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo this week in The Jaxson on WJCT.  

Related: Stories And Radio Reports From The Jaxson

Davis said developers might see LaVilla as a blank slate that should be at the whims of the market after it was largely razed in the mid 1990s. But on the other side are those who would like to see its history incorporated into the plans.

LaVilla was the site of many firsts for African-Americans nationwide, Davis said, and a few historically significant buildings remain, which could be adapted for new uses. They include the old Stanton School, as well as a venue and hotel where Harlem Renaissance performers once stayed and played.

The community is invited to the following meetings to learn about LaVilla and give input on the neighborhood’s redevelopment plan:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 4: LaVilla History
  • Tuesday, Sept. 20: LaVilla Today
  • Thursday, Sept. 27: LaVilla’s Future

All meetings will be held at The Ritz Theatre and Museum at 829 N. Davis St. from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Questions should be directed to Cantrece Jones at 904-236-4106 or

This story was updated to reflect rescheduled meetings.