Sights and Scenes: Orlando's Parramore

To kick off Black History Month, Modern Cities and The Jaxson takes a look at the sights and scenes of a historic Central Florida walkable African-American neighborhood: Orlando's Parramore.

Parramore history

Parramore is a historic African-American neighborhood located just west of Downtown Orlando. It was developed by James B. Parramore during the 1880s as an area to house Black people who were employed in the households of White Orlandoans. A disenfranchised and historically redlined community, Parramore has dealt with several economic and cultural challenges over the years including the construction of Interstate 4 and the East-West Expressway and urban renewal in the form of Great Depression era public housing complexes, late 20th and early 21st century sports stadiums and arenas. Adjacent to one of the South’s most vibrant central business districts, concerns of additional gentrification and cultural displacement are at a heightened level to long time residents.

Parramore today

Completed in 2010, the $480 million Amway Center is home to the Orlando Magic of the NBA. The Amway Center holds 18,846 for NBA basketball and 20,000 for NCAA basketball events.

The Greater Refuge Memorial Church is located at the intersection of West Church Street and South Terry Avenue.

Exploria Stadium is a 25,500 seat soccer stadium that was built in the middle of Parramore. Completed at the cost of $155 million in 2017, the stadium the home of Major League Soccer’s Orlando City SC.

Parramore Avenue was once the commercial heart and soul of Parramore prior to desegregation.

1701 West South Street was completed in 1924 for the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. Located at the corner of Parramore Avenue and West South Street, the building is now occupied by Power Praise & Deliverance Church.

Located at the intersection of South Parramore Avenue and West Anderson Street, the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church was organized in 1912.

The Carver Court public housing development was built in 1945 as an early urban renewal and housing shortage solution. Built on top of a former landfill, the 212 unit public housing project was demolished in 2002 and redeveloped through the HOPE VI Revitalization program.

Dedicated in 2010, Z.L. Riley Park is named after Zellie L. Riley, a prominent Parramore businessman who founded the African-American Chapter of Commerce during the 1950s.

Wells’Built Museum of African American History and Culture is located in the former Wells’Built Hotel at 511 West South Street. Built by Dr. William Monroe Wells, the Wells’Built served as a host to several famous Black performers during the Chitlin Circuit era.