The Black Archives History & Research Foundation kicks off Capital Development Campaign to restore the D.A. Dorsey House
Capital Development Campaign launches to raise additional $300,000 to fully restore and transform historic space into living monument of black entrepreneurship for public access.
MIAMI, FL — The Black Archives History & Research Foundation of South Florida, Inc. kicks off their capital development campaign to restore the D.A. Dorsey House, 250 N.W. Ninth St. in Historic Overtown at https://www.gofundme.com/RestoreHistoricDorseyHome. The D.A. Dorsey House was originally constructed in the early 1900s and is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
It was originally restored in the 1980s and serve as one of the last monuments of the Black economic independence and entrepreneurship at the turn of the 20th Century. The home is owned and managed by the Black Archives and remains a large piece of Miami’s history. The D.A. Dorsey House was owned by Dana Albert Dorsey, a Black pioneer who came to Miami around 1892 with the railroad from Quitman, Georgia. It is said that with $25.00 he purchased his first parcel of land which he developed into a business empire. Through wise investments, Dorsey amassed the largest real estate holdings of any Black man in the United States, becoming Miami’s first Black millionaire.
His numerous enterprises in Miami included the Dorsey Hotel, a popular gathering place in the 1920’s and a neighborhood dry good store. Dorsey had real estate holdings in Dade and Broward counties, Cuba and the Bahamas. Dorsey used his wealth and influence as a businessman and property owner to make significant contributions to the community.
He donated the property at Northwest 71st Street and 17th Avenue to Dade County Public Schools, on which Dorsey High School was later built. He also donated land to the community’s first park and library. Through the years, the home has been battered by the elements, damaging the structure, inside and out. The City of Miami Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency, has generously awarded the Black Archives a $150,000 grant to initiate the restorative process.
In addition to the funds from the CRA, the Black Archives is seeking further funding for a full restoration, and to transform the historic space into a living monument to black entrepreneurship for public access. In addition to preservation, the money raised will be used to purchase of a life-sized animatronic version of D.A. Dorsey. This style of technology which will bring the stories of Dorsey’s contributions to life in an engaging and interactive format for people of all ages.
The campaign has kicked off with a goal of $200,000. To make a donation towards the restoration go to www.gofundme.com/RestoreHistoricDorseyHome. All campaign questions can be directed to The Black Archives at (786) 708 – 4610.