THE HERITAGE COLLECTION
Photographs and Oral
Histories of West Winter Park
A SOURCE FOR BUILDING COMMUNITY PRIDE
No one really knew how many stories were being lost until they were gathered into one place. From the beginning, the residents loved The Heritage Collection, and their contributions over the last five years have expanded the exhibition to over 100 archival, museum-quality pieces. In a climate of intense development throughout their home community, The Heritage Collection touched a chord and brought together the African- American residents in an unprecedented way. Residents and the city of Winter Park started paying attention. What was once a whisper became a full chorus tuned to preservation and celebration. The neighborhood continues to be developed—but with an eye on the history and heritage of this special place.
The cornerstone of the Hannibal Square Heritage Center is The Heritage Collection: Photographs and Oral Histories of West Winter Park--a unique approach to telling history modeled after similar efforts conducted by the Los Angeles County Library. It represents the first collection of its kind implemented in a Central Florida community, and depicts the hardships and the triumphs of Winter Park’s African-American community from 1900 to the present. These personal accounts of community life make history come alive and engage visitors young and old. This permanent exhibition is the result of six Community Heritage Days, begun in 2002, wherein a Crealdé team of historians, cultural anthropologists, and documentary photographers collaborated with intergenerational members of the historic Hannibal Square neighborhood who shared their family photographs and related personal stories during an interview session. New archival prints were made from the original (often deteriorating) photographs. A contemporary portrait was taken of the resident sharing the story, and text was created from the recorded oral history. These three elements were matted and framed together, making a strong visual presentation and an archival work of art that shares a piece of history as part of The Heritage Collection.
THE WINTER PARK TIMELINE
Located in the gallery adjoining The Heritage Collection is The Hannibal Square Timeline, a wall-size timeline exhibit which juxtaposes significant events within west Winter Park with national events pertaining to African-Americans, from the Reconstruction to the Civil Rights Movement, giving a broader context for understanding. The timeline was inspired by a similar timeline in Evanston, Illinois. Shorefront, an organization committed to preserving the African-American heritage of Evanston was founded by Dino Robinson. Mr. Robinson designed the timeline from historical information provided by members of The Heritage Collection team including Peter Schreyer, Executive Director and Founder of the Heritage Center, Fairolyn Livingston, Community Historian and Dr. Ron Habin, Anthropologist.