Created By: Hannibal Square Heritage Center
In its early days, Winter Park, FL was much different then what it appears as today. The city was chartered in 1887 with intentions to create a getaway resort for the wealthy Northerners seeking refuge and a place to relax during the bitter winters.
This neighborhood on the west side of the tracks is known as Hannibal Square. This community was established at the founding of Winter Park to provide segregated housing for African Americans who worked as laborers on the railroad and in the homes of white residents.
In 2001 Community Center Director Ron Moore and photographer Peter Schreyer created the Heritage Collection which is one of the permanent collections at the Heritage Center now. In March of 2002, during Heritage Days, many residents brought historic family photographs and histories for the Heritage Collection. Eventually, they outgrew their space. The community rallied together to find a suitable building for the collection in the historic Hannibal Square neighborhood. After four years, the City of Winter Park and Crealdé School of Art opened the new Hannibal Square Heritage Center on April 28, 2007.
The mission of the Hannibal Square Heritage Center is “to pay tribute to the past, present and future contributions of Winter Park's African-American community”. The Heritage Center was funded partially by the Community Redevelopment Act (CRA).
The statue in front of the Center is a lifecast sculpture of Tuskegee Airman and World War II hero Richard Hall Jr. The sculpture was made by Puerto Rican-born artist Rigoberto Torres, and commemorates the decorated airman who grew up in Hannibal Square. Hall graduated from Robert Hungerford Boarding School in Eatonville, and went on to recieve a four-year scholarship to Xavier University. He joined the Army Air Force, and in 1942 was sent to fight Nazis as one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, the country's first black military aviators.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Hannibal Square Heritage Center Tour