Lavilla Apartments for Rent(hide neighborhood information)
Occupying nearly 800 acres north and west of the central downtown business district, LaVilla is largely a commercial area with a colorful past. In the early 1900s, entertainment venues flourished in the neighborhood, and nightclubs hosted major entertainers like Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, and Ray Charles.
The opening of the Ritz Theater in 1929 provided the impetus for an African American arts and culture scene that flourished for several decades. At one time, LaVilla was dubbed “the Mecca for African American culture and heritage in Florida” and the “Harlem of the South.”
To get a true sense of LaVilla’s arts and culture heritage, the Ritz Theater and Museum at 829 North Davis Street, which was constructed in 1999 on the original site, features concerts, films, lectures, dance performances, and dramatic arts shows. The museum offers photographs and artifacts detailing the significant contributions and history of African Americans in Northeast Florida, with a salute of LaVilla’s native sons – James Weldon Johnson and John Rosamond Johnson.
One of the highlights of the neighborhood is the LaVilla School of the Arts, a magnet school at the corner of Beaver and Davis Streets, one block from the LaVilla Museum and Ritz Theater. The school offers middle school students a comprehensive visual and performing arts program. Student life includes attending plays, concerts, and visual arts exhibits. Other schools in the neighborhood are John E. Ford K-8 School and Eugene J. Butler Middle School.
Located in the 32202 zip code area, LaVilla is bordered on the south by McCoy’s Creek, on the north by West Beaver Street, on the east by North Pearl Street, and on the west by Myrtle Avenue North.