|East side of the E.W.F. Stirrup House, still undergoing Demolition by|
Neglect with the Garden Grove Condominiums in the background.
Meanwhile, how will this Historic Designation Roadway thangie affect my campaign to save the E.W.F. Stirrup House? It's hard to tell. The designation did not appear to mention the Stirrup House, nor did it delve into the survival of the Coconut Grove Playhouse, or the Mariah Brown house, said to be the first home owned by a Black person in south Florida. These three structures are empty and have been empty for years now.
Yet, as my initial research began informing me, the E.W.F. Stirrup House dates back to a unique time and place in 'Merka. In later chapters of this series I will explore what makes Charles Avenue, and the Black enclave that grew up around it, totally unique to all other Black neighbourhoods in 'Merka.
|The historical marker that started it all.|
The vacant lot is behind this sign.
On that first visit to Charles Avenue I noticed an empty lot immediately across the street from the Stirrup House. Later that day, while using Google Street View, I was surprised to see a house on what had been a vacant lot when I was there. That became the first mystery to solve: Where did that house go, and why?
That mystery was solved pretty quickly. While there had been a house on that lot as late as 2007, it was knocked down to create a marshaling yard for equipment and materials needed to build the Grove Gardens Condominium complex.
I started keeping a paper map on which I added what I had learned interviewing neighbours up and down Charles Avenue. There were many crossoffs on that map. Some of the early information turned out to be bogus, but some of the rumours have actually led to hard information, or additional areas of solid inquiry. Eventually I had to throw out that paper map and have created a new, 21st century, electronic version of the Charles Avenue map as I delve into who controls what on the east end of Charles Avenue.
Like any good reporter, I will continue to follow the money. Right now all the threads I am pulling seems to lead to the same place: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, of all places.
Meanwhile, here's my current map of the area on which I have added information on who controls what on Charles Avenue. Click around on the map. Each shaded area and marker has a small explination of what I have been able to confirm so far, along with some of the rumours.
View Who Controls the Property Surrounding the E.W.F. Stirrup House in a larger map
This map will change as I learn new information.