Historic Neighborhoods and Resources surrounding the University of Florida
Gainesville (Alachua County)
Period of Significance: ca.1880s-1960s
Many of the neighborhoods surrounding the University of Florida were developed in the early twentieth century through the post-World War II period. These neighborhoods are made up of a variety of single and multi-family residential properties and commercial and other building types.
Styles range from late Victorian to Colonial Revival to mid-century modern. For example, along West University Avenue across from the
main campus, there are two, originally identical, houses in the Queen Anne style with Neo-classical details. The houses were built in 1921 by Luther Columbus Gracy for his two daughters, one of which married Samuel P. Harn, namesake of the University of Florida’s Harn Museum of Art. The buildings were donated to the University in the 1950s and have long housed the Institute for Black Culture and Institute of Hispanic-Latino Cultures.
Threat: Like many college towns across the state, Gainesville, Florida is experiencing rapid growth and development as the University of Florida expands. The goal of increased density is threatening historical, architectural, and cultural resources in neighborhoods adjacent to the main campus. Zoning changes have resulted in the loss or planned demolition of numerous un-protected historic structures along major thoroughfares including Southwest 13th Street and West University Avenue. For example, the University of Florida, earlier this year, announced the demolition of the buildings housing the Institutes for Black Culture and Hispanic-Latino Cultures. Although they have become synonymous with cultural diversity at UF, the buildings are being razed to accommodate a new facility for the Institutes.