Help Restore the D.A. Dorsey House

$2,155 of $300,000 goal

Raised by 24 people in 20 months
The Black Archives History & Research Foundation of South Florida, Inc. is seeking support in our efforts to restore the D.A. Dorsey House, one of the last monuments to black economic independence and entrepreneurship at the turn of the 20th Century.

Built in the early 1900s, the D. A. Dorsey House is located at 250 NW 9th Street in Historic Overtown and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The home is owned and managed by the Black Archives and was originally restored in the 1980s. 

Dana Albert Dorsey, a black pioneer, 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 goods 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. Included in our goal, is the purchase of a life-sized animatronic version of D.A. Dorsey, which will bring the stories of his contributions to life in an engaging and interactive format for people of all ages.
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Did you know that D.A. Dorsey donated the land to build Miami's second library for use by people of color?

The Dorsey Memorial Library is significant for its historical associations and stands as a testament to the segregation of the races, and in Miami, the lingering prejudice towards people of color. The building played a key role in the education of many African American citizens who lived in the Overtown area during a time when there were few educational options. In the all-too-recent past, African-Americans in Miami suffered egregious treatment and limited civil rights, as they were severely limited in their choices of places to live, socialize, recreate and educate.

Amazingly, it was not until 1938 that the first library in Miami was created to accommodate African American citizens. The Dorsey Memorial Library, which opened in 1941, was the second to serve the African American public and is located in Overtown, formerly known as “Colored Town.” It was the first city-owned building constructed specifically for library purposes, and was used for 20 years until the branch was relocated to newer and larger quarters and renamed the “Dixie Park Branch Library.”
-Excerpt from City of Miami Historic Designation Report

Support our efforts to restore the Historic D. A. Dorsey House with your donation today, so that this and may other stories of Dorsey's great philanthropic reach can continue to live on!
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Did you know...

Fisher Island, Miami's most exclusive real estate, was originally owned by D. A. Dorsey. Dorsey had planned to make the island an all-black resort, but was met with so many obstructions that he abandoned his plans. In 1919, he sold the island to Carl Fisher who in 1925 traded the island to William Vanderbilt II for a luxury yacht. Some of the islands famous residents have included Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts & Andre Agassi.

Help us restore the Historic D. A. Dorsey House so that we may use the space to educate the public about one of Miami's trailblazing pioneers. #DanaDorsey #BlackArchives #BlackHistory365 #MoreThanAMonth #HelpRestoreTheDorseyHouse #DonateToday
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Did you know...

Dana A. Dorsey helped organize South Florida's first black bank and amassed a real estate empire while developing Overtown, the center of Miami's historic African-American community. #DanaDorsey #BlackArchives #BlackHistory365 #MoreThanAMonth #SupportBlackBusinesses #HelpRestoreTheDorseyHouse #DonateToday
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$2,155 of $300,000 goal

Raised by 24 people in 20 months
Funds raised will benefit:
Black Archives History & Research Foundation of South Florida...
Certified Charity
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Miami, FL
EIN: 591808272
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