Great piece Ennis and I love the research and history you put together. You know I have done a lot of work and research in La Villa as well and probably have original pictures you have never seen of some of the beautiful homes that were torn down that still had character and structural integrity. All the homes as you have shown were not all row houses, not by a long shot. What you also showed in the pictures is that LaVilla was very "uptown" In its day. Men and women were well dressed when they visited local businesses and were themselves respectful, educated, talented and business minded individuals.
Of course I was happy to see the "Historic Brewster Hospital" in the article as well. I am very proud of that save in LaVilla. Did you know that when the building was under restoration, we actually discovered that 1885 is not when it was built? The original structure was older. It began as a four room winter home with an offsite kitchen and outhouse. The first building and smoke stack was uncovered during restoration. The build date is believed to be around 1865 with the first "Italianate" features added in 1885, which is when the date in the porch trim was added. Then some time later it underwent yet a third addition that was added early enough to still make it "historic". Can't remember the date of that addition right off the bat. Up in the rafters of the original structure and on a support beam there are the signatures of myself, Councilwoman Glorious Johnson and all the Brewster Nurses. Now you all know a secret about the building as well.
The tale of the destruction of LaVilla is a long one and can only be fully understood when the background stories of race, developers, passing out of city money and private agenda's are discussed. Fortunately, many of those influences have lost power and stature and perhaps it is a good time to do as you have done and revisit the issue and save what is left of the historic community of LaVilla. I will add more info later if you like.