Hidden Enclaves: The Historic Frenchtown Legacy Project

By: Matt Galka Email
By: Matt Galka Email

Tallahassee, FL - May 10, 2012 -

It was a banner day in Frenchtown, literally. New historic Frenchtown flags were flown on Georgia street highlighting the areas rich cultural history.

"Some properties are still standing some are not but that's no reason history should not be brought back alive," said Annie Harris, president of the Carolina Oaks Neighborhood Association. "One of the things I've noticed is that as soon as the banners went up on the poles, people started coming by taking pictures."

The banners are just another way The John G. Riley Center and Harris are trying to stir up memories of when Frenchtown was a bustling downtown neighborhood

"i have a lot of roots here going back to my family, my mother and my father," said Tallahassee Mayor John Marks.

Mayor Marks, with city and county commissioners, were on hand and took the walking tour of the banners. The project was funded by a grant from the joint Leon County - City of Tallahassee Council on Culture & Arts.

"I encourage people to come down and see what's going on here in Frenchtown and celebrate the history...the wonderful history of this community," said Mayor Marks.

After proposing the project to city manager Anita Favors-Thompson and getting FSU involved for the designs, the rest, as they say, was history.

Tallahassee, Florida - May 10, 2012 - Noon -

Earlier this morning banners were unveiled to give Historic Frenchtown a new look. It's called "Hidden Enclaves: The Historic Frenchtown Legacy Project" and it hopes to bring a little recognition to the landmarks in Frenchtown.

On the 400 block of West Georgia street, beautiful new banners have been put up to recognize the rich cultural history of the area. Althemese Barnes, the founder and executive director of the John G. Riley Center and Museum, the orgnization that spearheaded the project, spoke with Eyewitness News. See the interview in the video player above.

The project also includes a walking Heritage Trail. Everyone at the Legacy Project is hoping people will come down, take a look, and learn a little about history.

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  • by Reason on May 11, 2012 at 05:30 AM
    Talk about polishing a turd. They would serve themselves better to examine why the neighborhood turned into such a cesspool.
  • by Anonymous on May 11, 2012 at 04:27 AM
    I miss the slaw dogs at Mondos It was a black juke where the new growth management building is.
  • by Anonymous on May 10, 2012 at 05:51 PM
    Frenchtown was a horrible area of town. It has improved greatly. That i snot to say it is safe and decent now, just that it has improved. All it took was an influx of white people and students.
  • by Fed up Location: Tlh on May 10, 2012 at 03:37 PM
    What is the total amount Marx and Favors have poured into this bottomless pit. Taxpayers' money wasted. Blacks have control of the purse strings and they will throw it their way. That is one of the reasons the city is about $2million in the red and looking for ways to add more costs to the residents or cut out something somewhere else to pay for the idiot spending. Don't forget to vote them out and hope you have a majority to get a real city manager.
    • reply
      by Fed up2 on May 15, 2012 at 11:33 AM in reply to Fed up
      What is the Total amount that Whites have spent while in offices?? Whites had all the city and county and all you did was buy land from each other and make yourselves and your good ole boys Richer. Shut up and crawl back in your hole where you belong...
  • by Rick Location: Frenchtown on May 10, 2012 at 01:00 PM
    Seems to me that the white folk who are afraid to come to Frenchtown are the ones who have never been here in the first place. Face your fear and get over it. I'm a white boy who has lived in the heart of the hood for eight years now and have discovered that if you treat people right, they'll respond in kind... regardless of your race. There really are some amazing people and wonderful stories to be found in Frenchtown. All you have to do is ignore the fear mongers and see for yourself.
  • by Bill Proctology Location: Tall. on May 10, 2012 at 12:06 PM
    Goodness gracious folks. No one wants to walk or drive through a war zone. I've heard stories from older people that say that they have been doing this to frenchtown over & over & over for 50 years or more. It always goes back to being a slum that's full of drugs, murder, & violence. I give it 18 months. In 18 months it will be back to being a nasty drug infested war zone.Those pretty banners will be torn down & hanging on the residents walls. There's lots of black George Zimmermans walking around black neighborhoods & I know from experience that white people aren't welcome to walk through their neighborhood. Stop throwing money at stuff. You have to change the people. It doesn't cost money to pick up the trash gathering on the streets. It doesn't cost money to keep your house clean & yard mowed. It doesn't cost money to be a good non-violent person.
  • by dog Location: gone on May 10, 2012 at 12:01 PM
    Will there be flags for the Drug Dealer corners and the HO walking areas, how about the Drive by shooting locations. sad but true.
  • by Frenchy Location: Tally on May 10, 2012 at 11:26 AM
    70% of the houses are unfit to live in. This area is beyond historic. Instead of recognition lets help find these people new homes.
  • by hunter Location: crawfordville on May 10, 2012 at 10:43 AM
    Iam 48 years old,ever since i was a child they have been working on french town wasting huge amounts of money on this slum.heres a good idea that would really help that area, bulldozier!!!!!
    • reply
      by Bill Proctology on May 10, 2012 at 12:06 PM in reply to hunter
    • reply
      by Surprise on May 11, 2012 at 04:40 AM in reply to hunter
      How many times has the Warm & Fuzzys used our tax moneys to rebuild French Town or put a new face on its front? Yeah right.
  • by Robert Location: Not Tallahassee on May 10, 2012 at 10:13 AM
    A walking tour? Is it safe for whites to walk around French Town? All I know is what I see on the news,or is this for non whites only.
    • reply
      by fred on May 10, 2012 at 11:08 AM in reply to Robert
      there was a time Robert when it was not safe for a white person to be in frenchtown, but that era is long gone, now that the majority of the businesses are gone Frenchtown is alot less dangerous. Don't get me wrong , you still have your typical loiterers around the stores, but that's it so, happy touring!!
      • reply
        by Will Proctor on May 10, 2012 at 12:29 PM in reply to fred
        Tell that lie some where else. "You still have your typical loiterers around the stores". And those loiterers are the reason no one will go to frenchtown. It only takes one "loiterer" to ruin someones day. Until you remove the "loiterers" no one will support frenchtown. I go through frenchtown all the time. All I see is scary people just aimlessly roaming up & down the streets. Scary people just doing nothing. Where are they going for gods sake? I drive back through 4 hours later, & they're still roaming! Knocking on my window & begging at stops signs & stop lights. And you want people to support this?
    • reply
      by Bill Proctology on May 10, 2012 at 12:10 PM in reply to Robert
      Im sure it's for non whites only. Until we have some money to give or a truck load of donated toys for their children at christmas time. Then whites are welcome. But if whites dont have cash to give or toys to donate then they say "Keep out of our hood!"
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