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Black Bottom House of Prayer May Be Designated a City Historic Landmark

The second reading of an ordinance designating the property at 921 Bentley Street (MAP) as a City of Orlando Historic Landmark takes place at the next City Council meeting February 24th.

The property, located in the Callahan neighborhood just north of Parramore, belongs to the non-profit organization National ADHD Foundation Inc d/b/a Black Bottom House of Prayer (Website).

According to the church's website, in the summer of 1916, several black families settled in the area called “Black Bottom." When it rained in the area, water gathered and remained so long that residents had to build canoes to get around. In 1925, the Black Bottom House of Prayer was constructed as the home of the Pleasant Hill Colored Methodist Episcopal congregation, later renamed Carter’s Tabernacle CME.

The church building is of Masonry Vernacular architecture with Gothic Revival styling which is typical of other local religious structure from the construction time period beginning in 1923. This meets the criteria C in Section 65.720 in Orlando City Code.

The structure also meets criteria A in Section 65.720 as “associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history” because it is an example of an early African American church in the Parramore community.

The Orange Preservation Trust applied to the City to have the building designated August 29, 2019. The Historic Preservation Board decided it was eligible as an Orlando Historic Landmark December 4, 2019. City Council approved the first reading February 10, 2020.

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