La Petite Haïti
|Neighborhood of Miami|
|Nickname(s): Lemon City (historic name)|
|Subdistricts of Little Haiti|
|• City of Miami Commissioner||Richard Dunn|
|• Miami-Dade Commissioner||Audrey Edmonson|
|• House of Representatives||Daphne Campbell (D) and Cynthia A. Stafford (D)|
|• State Senate||Larcenia Bullard (D), and Oscar Braynon (D)|
|• U.S. House||Frederica Wilson (D)|
|Elevation||7 ft (2.1 m)|
|• Density||9,946/sq mi (3,840/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-05)|
|ZIP code||33127, 33137, 33138, 33150|
|Area code(s)||305, 786|
|Website||Little Haiti neighborhood|
Little Haiti or La Petite Haïti, which is part of the Lemon City and Little River neighborhoods, is a neighborhood in Miami, Florida, United States formerly known as a center for Haitian immigrants is adjacent to Liberty City.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Education
- 5 Parks
- 6 References
Lemon City, early farming days
Starting in the 1850s, a small farming community, Lemon City, developed in this area, but it was a city only in name. The area had many lemon groves from where the town took its name. Though not as abundant as in the past (due to urbanization and eradication from citrus canker outbreaks), lemon trees still grow in several residents' backyards. The town even had its own railway depot on the Florida East Coast Railway, Lemon City Park, Lemon City Library. The growing city of Miami to the south, however, was looking for more property to add to their town. In 1925, Lemon City was annexed by Miami, along with the town of Little River to the north, and the town of Buena Vista to the south. Many residents and visitors continue to use the Lemon City name.
Through the years, the community has changed from agricultural to residential, from middle class to lower class and middle class again. Part of this change was driven by illegal immigrants from Haiti, and in the late 1980s the area was sometimes called Little Haiti (La Petite Haiti). In the 1980s and 1990s, Little Haiti was one of the poorest areas in Miami and was known for its crime and drug trade. Some of this still exists today, however the area is experiencing a cultural renaissance with new investors and new residents from many countries gentrifying the area. The 2010 Federal Census showed 12,800 residents vacated the area since 2000. Many were Haitians fleeing for better and newer neighborhoods. As Haitians and other residents vacated, old homes were abandoned and demolished.
In 2009, human remains from Lemon City Cemetery were discovered at a housing construction site on NW 71st Street; the Miami Historical Preservation Board "in principle" issued a non-binding unanimous vote that the cemetery site remain undeveloped as a memorial site. Lemon City and Little River stakeholders had notified the City of Miami and the low income housing developers who coveted the site that the cemetery exists. They were ignored until builders shovels dug up graves. Lemon City pioneers worked diligently to preserve the site. The Lemon City Cemetery Corp was established.
Little Haiti today, urban neighborhood
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (August 2013)|
To an great extent, the Haitians left years ago. The 2010 Federal Census showed 12,800 residents vacated since the 2000 Federal Census. Attempts are underway to make Little Haiti into an ethnic enclave, but this has been hampered by the fact that many Haitian residents have moved away in search of better housing opportunities. Original residents the area prefer the names Lemon City, Railroad Flats, Little River and Buena Vista.
Many long time residents strongly dislike the Little Haiti name. A movement fed by long time African-American residents, Bahamian residents, Hispanic residents and some Anglos residing in the Buena Vista Area respect the historic names. They have angered many Haitians who do not live in Miami who opposed any move by outsiders to remove the Little Haiti name from the City of Miami neighborhoods. It actuality, the so-called Haitian leaders do not live or work anywhere near the area. The quest to maintain the Little Haiti name is failing as frictions arise between Haitian immigrants who no longer live in Miami and other groups from the Hispanic, Anglo, African American communities that have invested in and reside in the area. Further, many Caribbean immigrants dislike to associate themselves with the Haiti name. As the area becomes more attractive due to long time residents feeling empowered and new investors renovating properties many Haitians have moved to the northern neighborhoods such as El Portal, Miami Shores, City of North Miami, Biscayne Park, and the City of North Miami Beach.
Factors contributing to the district's gentrification are the close proximity of the Miami Design District and the development of the new nearby Buena Vista and Edgewater communities, where construction of multimillion-dollar high rises, night clubs, restaurants, entertainment, and cultural centers are well under way, effecting increases in property value. As real estate prices continue to soar, Haitians and other residents of the low-income crime filled area left. Existing residences need extensive renovations. New businesses and new residents are attracted to the original Buena Vista, Lemon City and Little River Business District names. The latest Federal Census showed that 12,800 residents vacated Miami's District 5 from 2000 to 2010.
However, Little Haiti continues its failing effort to be the heart for the Haitian Diaspora. Little River is home of the Edison Courts housing developments and Miami Edison Senior High School. Both are primarily Afro-American. The area boasts various poor performing shops. Haitians continue to move away at a rapid pace.
Little Haiti was also depicted in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City as its same name Little Haiti, one of the ghetto neighborhoods in the game. Grand Theft Auto further stigmatized Little Haiti as a crime ridden ghetto providing further evidence to respect and honor the Lemon City and Little River names.
Little Haiti is north of Buena Vista, west of the Upper East Side. The so-called Little Haiti area is confined to NE 2nd Avenue between NE 58th Street to NE 59th Terrace. Little Haiti is part of the Lemon City and Little River area.
Little River is a neighborhood that existed before Little Haiti. It still exists. The rough boundaries are the Little River to the north (for which it's named), NE 59th Street to the south, Miami Avenue to the west, and NE 4th Court to the east. The river also serves as the boundary for the city limits of Miami in this neighborhood. It is located at , with an elevation 7 feet (2.1 m).
There is a Little River Business District group that has been meeting for 25+ years. The group promotes business in the area and tries to encourage the police to arrest the criminals. There are also various Lemon City neighborhood groups.
In 1925, Little River was annexed by Miami, along with the towns of Lemon City and Buena Vista to the south. Today, the area historically known as "Buena Vista" is still called Buena Vista. The Design District runs from NE 36th Street north to NE 41st Street. Many long time residents use the Lemon City name exclusively.
Several restaurants, stores, parks, and even public schools exist in the area. The local schools have seen a 50% decline in enrollment. Some of these include:
- Caribbean Cultural Center
- Toussaint L'Ouverture Elementary School
- Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance
As of 2000, Little Haiti had a population of 3,365 and 1,983 residents, with 9,368 households, and 6,181 families residing in the neighborhood. The median household income was $18,887.49. The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 64.92% Black or African American, 4.78% White (non-Hispanic), and 15.56% Other races; 14.74% was Hispanic or Latino of any race The 2010 census has shown signs of Haitians leaving the neighborhood and being replaced by incoming Hispanics. The 2010 Census showed that over 12,800 residents had vacated the area.
The zip codes for the Little Haiti include 33127, 33137, 33138, and 33150. The area covers 3.456 square miles (8.95 km2). As of 2000, there were 14,708 males and 15,357 females. The median age for males were 31.0 years old, while the median age for females were 33.8 years old. The average household size had 3.0 people, while the average family size had 3.7 members. The percentage of married-couple families (among all households) was 27.6%, while the percentage of married-couple families with children (among all households) was 13.8%, and the percentage of single-mother households (among all households) was 20.7%. 2.1% of the population were in nursing homes. The percentage of never-married males 15 years old and over was 21.7%, while the percentage of never-married females 15 years old and over was 22.0%.
As of 2000, the percentage of people that speak English not well or not at all made up 17.6% of the population. The percentage of residents born in Florida was 41.1%, the percentage of people born in another U.S. state was 11.6%, and the percentage of native residents but born outside the U.S. was 3.1%, while the percentage of foreign born residents was 44.1%.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools operates area public schools. Because so many residents and families have left the area school enrollment is off 50% from its highs in the 1980s. Schools within Lemon City include:
- Shadowlawn Elementary School
- Toussaint L'Ouverture Elementary School
- Edison Park Elementary School
- Morningside Elementary School
- Jesse J. McCreary Elementary School
- Miami Edison Middle School
- Saint Mary's Cathedral School
- Miami Edison High School
- Archbishop Curley-Notre Dame High School
Miami-Dade Public Library operates all area public libraries:
- Edison Center Library
- Little River Library
- Lemon City Library
Museums and cultural
- The Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance
Caribbean Cultural Center
- Lemon City Park
- M. Athalie Range Park
- Legion Park
- Little Haiti Park
- Soar Memorial Park
- Lachmont Gardens Park
- Eaton Park
- Morningside Park
- Haitian Bicentennial Site: Little Haiti:
- Haitian Bicentennial Site: Miami's Haitian Community
- "Bones Lead To Mystery Miami Graveyard From 1900s". CBS4 Miami. 2009-07-16.
- Little River, FL Community Profile
- "Demographics of Little Haiti Miami, FL.". miamigov.com. Retrieved 2008-06-11.
- "Demographics of Little Haiti, Miami, FL.". city-data. Retrieved 2009-09-07.