Richmond Heights Shopping Plaza

Richmond Heights, Florida

Program: A multi-use facility with a museum, gallery retail and office spaces with an “incubator space” for start-up businesses.

The Richmond Heights community was founded by Capt. Frank Martin, a white man that served in WWII with black serviceman. He admired these soldiers due to their courage, strong morals and their ability to overcome prejudices and obstacles. He purchased 3,000 acres from the government to develop a new community for the African Americans that had new single family residences and a town center. At first, his motive was purely to make a profit.  But, then, overtime he became endeared with the community and this became an element of Social Change.

His vision was to create a self-sufficient modern tropical community with many amenities. Designed with a radial plan with intercepting streets, he built the community with “highest quality materials and impeccable workmanship”. Before he passed away, he donated the public land to the community.

The concept is to create a sense of place that represents the past, present and future.  The building and site will serve as a catalyst to showcase local African American artists. The building will be an Art in Public Places, with opportunities for art in all directions, in the exterior and interior.  The project will create new spaces that encourage art, music and dance in public space- thereby engaging the community and ultimately serving as an economic revitalization.