The materials in the Jordan Park Collection nearly were discarded; the good fortune of the preservation of these items is considerable. Poynter Library received the various photographs, property records, maps, documents, and scrapbooks from Dayton Stone on 18 June 2009. Stone had discovered these items while cleaning out an abandoned property in St. Petersburg. Subsequent review of the materials revealed the necessity of some conservation work and arrangement due to the condition in which these items had existed prior to his fortunate discovery. These records fill an important gap in our history. The initial Jordan Park residential units were constructed between 1939 and 1941. After some success in relocating residents from derelict structures to this new facility, authorities approved additional housing at the Jordan Park site. The majority of the funding for its construction came from federal sources during the New Deal as part of the Wagner-Steagall Housing Act passed in August 1937. Beyond the importance of the items specifically concerned with Jordan Park, there are several photographs and records that document the substandard housing that existed in St. Petersburg’s African American neighborhoods at the time that Jordan Park was expected to replace, including structures in Peppertown and the Gas Plant district. Many of the original black neighborhoods have since transitioned into other use (including the site of Tropicana Field on the former Gas Plant property) with little reference material available to researchers to learn about them.
Nelson Poynter Memorial Library. Special Collections and University Archives.; Jones, Marta L.; and Husted, Heather, "Jordan Park Collection [finding aid]" (2009). Special Collections and University Archives Finding Aids: All Items. 58.
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