Florida C. Dwight Memorial Playground

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1199 Church Street West, Jacksonville, FL 32204, United States

Florida C. Dwight Memorial Playground is located in the La Villa section near downtown Jacksonville, just west of Interstate 95. The park comprised a portion of the Town of La Villa, which was subdivided and incorporated after the Civil War and remained independent until annexed by Jacksonville in 1887. After the City purchased the land in 1904, it became a park for the area’s white residents known as La Villa Park. In 1929, the City’s second playground for African-American children was established there and named La Villa Playground. Florida Dwight (1886-1977), the playground’s first recreation director, pioneered organized recreation for the City’s African-American community from 1918 (with the opening of Oakland Park) until her retirement in 1950. To honor her years of devoted work, the playground was renamed in 1983, and then designated a local historic landmark in 1995.

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