Though many buildings in this historically African-American community have been lost, others have been rehabilitated and adapted to commercial use. Payne AME Chapel is a symbol of the focus of black spiritual life. The Colson Hotel catered to black workers and tourists, and now serves as multi-family housing. African Americans settled in downtown Sarasota in the 1890s, in an area then known as 'Black Bottom,' but by the mid-1920s known as Overtown. The proximity of the black community to downtown prompted some anxiety in the white population, and developers opened a subdivision named Newtown to provide blacks with better places to live. Despite a slow residential migration to Newtown, Overtown continued to operate as the center of African American life in Sarasota. In the mid-1950s demolitions were underway, but the Hood Building and the Payne Chapel are among those saved.
extends between fourth and tenth streets from US 41 to Orange Ave. Sarasota, FL 32324