West Volusia Historical Society
137 W. Michigan Ave.
DeLand, FL  32720
PH: 386-740-6813
To preserve and promote the history of West Volusia County
J. W. Wright Building
​Restoration & Revitalization Project
Panel Discussion - Tuesday, February 18, 2020  7 pm

Conrad Educational & Research Center
137 W Michigan Avenue, DeLand, FL​
Free and open to the public
Mario Davis, Executive Director of the Greater Union Life Center, and driving force of the project
​Mark Shuttleworth, owner of Florida Victorian Architectural Antiques, and restoration project manager
​Belinda Williams-Collins, Senior Planner and Historic Preservation Officer for the City of DeLand 
Learn more about the vision and leadership of J. W. Wright and the inspiration and creative process for this project. And why the preservation of this building and the revitalization of this entrepreneurial community will lead to significant economic development, through the collaboration of the City of DeLand, the Greater Union Life Center, Stetson University, nonprofit innovation organizations and committed individuals - working together to restore Mr. Wright’s business, arts and entertainment incubator. 
Completed in 1920, this stately red brick building, located at the corner of W. Voorhis and S. Clara Avenues in DeLand was the anchor of the bustling African American business & cultural district. Originally owned James Washington Wright, Sr., early African American landowner and entrepreneur, and pioneer for black-owned businesses, the impressive building served as a grocery and general store with spaces for small black-owned businesses and the offices  of Dr. and Dr. Starke.
This project is spearheaded by the nonprofit Greater Union Life Center, the charitable arm of Greater Union First Baptist Church, working to promote healthier living, economic stability and community engagement in Spring Hill.  It has received grants from the prestigious National Trust for Historic Preservation through its African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, the Downtown DeLand Community Redevelopment Agency, and other generous donors.