Target: Establish a Historic District / Museum Walk by 2024.
Current performance: Completed. The Tallahassee Heritage Trails Downtown was developed December 2021.
Since its founding nearly 200 years ago, Tallahassee has developed a rich culture and history as Florida’s Capital. Protecting the City’s heritage honors our local heroes, reminds us of the progress we have made, and helps us prepare for the future. To support this initiative, the City committed to establishing a historic district and museum walk in the City’s historic neighborhoods in and around downtown.
In February 2020, operations of the John G. Riley Center and Museum were transferred to the City of Tallahassee to ensure the long-term prosperity of the center for future generations. The historic home of John G. Riley, an educator and civic leader, represents the thriving black neighborhood known as Smokey Hollow that once existed just east of downtown Tallahassee. Since its founding in 1996, the center has worked to research, capture, preserve and elevate the varied, vibrant history of African Americans in our community. The museum is on the Florida Black Heritage Trail, which recognizes important African American landmarks around the state. Acquiring the Riley Center and Museum was a crucial first step in the development of the City’s Historic District and Museum walk.
In November 2019, the City, the Riley Center and Museum, and the Tallahassee Community Redevelopment Agency partnered to create the Frenchtown Soul Voices Historical Markers Trail. The 13 markers explain life in Frenchtown dating back to the 1870s. The plaques describe the buildings and people that lived there. Some of the markers include audio recordings from more than 70 oral history interviews with black residents from the Tallahassee area conducted over the last 20 years. This walking trail served as the model for developing the City’s Historic District and Museum Walk.
Working with local partners, the City completed the development of the Historic District and Museum Walk in December 2021. It currently consists of 20 sites that reflect historical events, markers, buildings, and artifacts. Visitors and residents may begin their journey into the fascinating history of Tallahassee by exploring the first mapped trail of the museum walk – the Downtown Tallahassee Heritage Trail. Featuring 13 locations, the Downtown Heritage Trail highlights key historic and memorial places such as the Civil Rights Heritage Walk, the Knott House Museum, and the Old City Cemetery. To learn more about Tallahassee’s Heritage Trail, visit https://visittallahassee.com/heritagetrails_downtown/.
Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Affairs. Last updated: August 2022.