Park Avenue Historic District (Tallahassee, Florida)
Park Avenue Historic District
|Area||590 acres (2.4 km2)|
|NRHP reference #||79000681|
|Added to NRHP||October 24, 1979|
The Park Avenue Historic District is a U.S. historic district (designated as such on October 24, 1979) located in Tallahassee, Florida. The district runs along Park Avenue and Call Street. It contains 27 historic buildings.
Park avenue once marked the northern boundary of Tallahassee. Outside of this boundary ran a 200 ft (61 m) dirt clearing designed to protect the city from Indian attacks. During the 19th century, the district was valuued as a premier location in the city. Residences, businesses, government buildings, and churches were built along the street. The dirt clearings that had previously served as a barrier were converted into parks beginning in the 1880s. They were named in the late 1930s.
The oldest home in the district is The Columns, built by William "Money" Williams in 1830. Today it serves as the headquarters of the James Madison Institute. The Murphy House, c. 1838, now houses antique stores. The William V. Knott House, c. 1843, houses an admission free house museum. Both houses may have been built by a free Black contractor named George Proctor. The Knott House was temporarily used as the headquarters of the Union Army during the American Civil War. The Emancipation Proclamation was read from its steps on May 20, 1865 declaring freedom for all slaves in the Florida Panhandle. Other notable buildings include First Presbyterian Church, the oldest remaining church building in Tallahassee, the David S. Walker Library, and the LeMoyne Art Foundation.
Old City Cemetery
The Old City Cemetery sits at the western end of the district at the corner of Park Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard. It is the oldest public burying ground in Tallahassee. The cemetery was racially segregated until 1937 when African Americans were completely barred from the cemetery. A special section was also set aside for the Jewish community due to a religious requirement for specially consecrated ground.
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