Author Topic: Erasing the Past. What Sugar Hill Was.  (Read 7364 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Erasing the Past. What Sugar Hill Was.
« on: February 02, 2015, 01:15:02 AM »
Erasing the Past. What Sugar Hill Was.



In honor of Black History Month, Metro Jacksonville's Ennis Davis shares rare images and the story of Sugar Hill. Prior to being destroyed by desegregation, highway construction, medical center expansion and urban renewal, Sugar Hill was the epicenter of black prosperity in Northeast Florida.

Read More: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2015-feb-erasing-the-past-what-sugar-hill-was

mbwright

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Re: Erasing the Past. What Sugar Hill Was.
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2015, 08:12:01 AM »
P beautiful neighborhood lost.  Progress and destruction are not the same.

benfranklinbof

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Re: Erasing the Past. What Sugar Hill Was.
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2015, 08:59:32 AM »
What a waste! I can't believe that happened.
Murray Hill Billy

Wacca Pilatka

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Re: Erasing the Past. What Sugar Hill Was.
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2015, 09:05:40 AM »
Thank you for sharing this, Ennis.  This is my first time seeing a significant number of images of Sugar Hill, other than Brewster Hospital.  Especially after demolishing the opportunity to preserve LaVilla, it's critical to save and restore the remainder of this neighborhood.
The tourist would realize at once that he had struck the Land of Flowers - the City Beautiful!

Henry J. Klutho

vicupstate

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Re: Erasing the Past. What Sugar Hill Was.
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2015, 09:36:04 AM »
With the new ordinance, it will be easier than ever to repeat this destruction of vast areas.  Could the little that is left be made into a Historic District?
"The problem with quotes on the internet is you can never be certain they're authentic." - Abraham Lincoln

thelakelander

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Re: Erasing the Past. What Sugar Hill Was.
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2015, 09:43:48 AM »
^This area was ground zero for the push behind the new ordinance. I'm fearful that most of it's abandoned houses will be targeted first. Given the significance and age of Sugar Hill, it's quite possible that some of the abandoned structures could be associated with prominent African-American figures in the country's past.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

LadyGlori

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Re: Erasing the Past. What Sugar Hill Was.
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2015, 09:56:27 AM »
As a child, we grew up attending the YWCA. going to the movies (The Strand, Ritz and the Roosevelt), in LaVilla. We had doctors, lawyers, teachers, morticians, musicians, beauticians (cosmetologists), and men and women who cared for the gardens and maintenance of the yards. My father had a yard maintenance business, along with two or more other jobs. My mother had her own beauty shop and she was a teacher in the elementary public schools. It was a beautiful place to live, work, play, and worship until the expressway and other factors took away that which could have been one of the most beautiful tourist section of the city. It would have been something similar to areas in Savanna, Ga.

Many of our friends and neighbors left the area and moved to so-called designated areas for Blacks in the city. But, there were many of the people, like my mother, who refused to leave. We had grocery stores (i.e.,Daylight Groceries). There is an auto discount store on the corner of Kings Rd. and Myrtle where our grocery store served the people. We had many neighborhood stores, but, now we have franchises (fast food and dollar stores), that have run the mom and pop stores out of business.  As the song says, "I remember well." When you take resources out of communities, take out neighborhood schools, and devalue minority communities/neighborhoods, gentrification sets in. This was"... a planned deliberate removal of parts, or all of a particular ethnic group from a special territory." Dorothy Pitman Hughes

The primary reason I am running for office is because the people of District 9 asked me to help return District 9 to a vibrant community. District 9 has the potential to develop into an even greater community. We are a residential, commercial, and light industry district. We need grocery stores, shopping centers, and even new housing developments/homeowners. The advantage of "Mixed Use" is right before us.

Thank you Ennis for showing the people, the great memories of a once vibrant community.
Glorious

benfranklinbof

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Re: Erasing the Past. What Sugar Hill Was.
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2015, 10:21:57 AM »
+1⤴
Murray Hill Billy

Wacca Pilatka

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Re: Erasing the Past. What Sugar Hill Was.
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2015, 11:52:53 AM »
Couldn't agree more, Glorious.  I am glad you are running.
The tourist would realize at once that he had struck the Land of Flowers - the City Beautiful!

Henry J. Klutho

RattlerGator

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Re: Erasing the Past. What Sugar Hill Was.
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2015, 01:47:28 PM »
Phenomenal story. I was born in Brewster Hospital in 1959 and am aware of a good bit of black Jacksonville history (I thought) but I didn't know the story of Sugar Hill. Thank you, Ennis!

DonnaCrow

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Re: Erasing the Past. What Sugar Hill Was.
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2015, 02:56:34 PM »
Beautiful neighborhood of yesteryear, sad it had to go by the wayside.  Would be of significant importance to restore and preserve as many homes and storefronts as possible. Sugar Hill is just as important a neighborhood as Riverside, Springfield, San Marco.

Ron Mexico

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Re: Erasing the Past. What Sugar Hill Was.
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2015, 06:56:58 PM »
What an obvious and unfortunate shame.  The character and pride that survived in that neighborhood is a genuine loss for Jacksonville.
I'm too drunk to eat this chicken - Col Sanders

tufsu1

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Re: Erasing the Past. What Sugar Hill Was.
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2015, 08:26:42 AM »
great article....more people need to know about this....share it with others!

sheclown

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Re: Erasing the Past. What Sugar Hill Was.
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2015, 08:40:26 AM »
Well, with the passage of the blight bill expect more wonderful old homes in the east side, New Springfield,  and in Durkeeville to be destroyed.  All in the name of "fighting blight".

Thank you for this article, Ennis.

It used to be that a house had to be proven to be unsafe.  Now, it just has to be vacant.  Some feel comfortable with the fact the house is "condemned" as if that makes it unstable.  HA!  The arbitrary nature of the condemnation process means a house can be condemned for having peeling paint or broken windows. 

Old houses stand in spite of the fact that they are vacant or ugly or need work.  New houses, well-cared for, can't even compete with them for stability.


« Last Edit: February 03, 2015, 08:42:57 AM by sheclown »

thelakelander

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Re: Erasing the Past. What Sugar Hill Was.
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2015, 02:38:59 PM »
An aerial of Sugar Hill in 1943. During this time, Durkeeville...west of the railroad tracks (S-Line Urban Greenway today) was sparsely developed. However, the first urban renewal projects (Durkeeville and Blodgett Homes projects) are present. The racial barrier at the time, Springfield Park, still appears to be in decent shape.

South of the creek that branches off Hogans Creek, the neighborhood is dominated with shotgun housing on 25' wide lots. The larger residences are on the north side of the creek, former cemetery and former Cookman Institute (Darnell Cookman now).

The hospitals....much smaller during this era, can be seen in the vicinity of the creek and West 8th Street. Commercial buildings can be seen along Davis Street, indicating it's dominance as the neighborhood's "town center."

Last, the big red swath of land is what was taken for the construction of the Jacksonville Expressway a decade after this aerial was taken. Today, the only area of Sugar Hill that remains relatively untouched and in its original built-out scale of density is the small pocket bounded by the former railroad, West 8th Street and I-95.

"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali