SARASOTA — The Leonard Reid household performed a important function within the institution of Sarasota’s earliest African American neighborhood. Now their house is one step nearer to enjoying a important function in preserving that neighborhood’s wealthy historical past and future.
Within the summer time, the town of Sarasota, an space developer, Newtown Alive and the Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition reached an agreement to maneuver the historic Reid home to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. hall in Newtown to function the starter dwelling of Sarasota’s first middle honoring the legacy and affect of its Black neighborhood.
This week metropolis commissioners agreed to spend as much as $116,000 from native enterprise taxes that had been beforehand earmarked for a grant to assist enterprise homeowners climate the coronavirus. The funding might be used to assist cowl the prices to arrange almost two acres on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Approach and Orange Avenue.
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That features getting ready the positioning basis, parking, landscaping, utilities and allowing charges.
The homeowners will donate the $140,000 worth of the house and pay to maneuver the house from the Rosemary District to Newtown.
The 1,400-square-foot home, inbuilt 1926, was most just lately dwelling to the Canned Ham Classic Clothes retailer. It’s moved at the very least as soon as beforehand.
Leonard Reid arrived in Sarasota in 1900 from South Carolina. He graduated as valedictorian from Savannah State College and was employed by the town’s first mayor, Col. John H. Gillespie, to be his coachman, butler and caretaker of his property. Gillespie thought-about Reid an in depth confidant and pal.
Reid and his spouse, Eddye, based the Payne Chapel AME Church, the second African American church in Sarasota.
Reid’s two daughters, Ethan Reid Hayes and Viola Reed, taught generations of Newtown youngsters on the Helen Payne Day Nursery — now often known as Youngsters First. The house was owned by the Reid household till 1995.
The Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition is a nonprofit targeted on preserving and celebrating African American heritage. The nonprofit stated it hopes to make use of the house as place for discussions on race, id, class, social justice, historical past and tradition.
Info from Herald-Tribune archives and Newtown Alive was used on this report.