Everett Fly (BArch ’75 and MLA ’77) working toward preserving Historic Black Towns

A recent feature in the University of Texas Alumni Magazine, The Alcalde, positions the work of Everett Fly (BArch ’75 and MLA ’77), a landscape architect from San Antonio, within the history of architectural preservation in America. Establishing his work in historic black communities and sites including Nicodemus, Kansas, and the Winks Panorama Lodge in Gilpin County, Colorado, the sole Rocky Mountain resort open to African-Americans between 1928 and 1960, Fly found himself in Eatonville, Florida, one of the most significant towns in black history.
Map of Eatonville
Nine miles north of Orlando, Eatonville was founded in 1887, 22 years after the end of the Civil War, as a place where blacks could own their own land and property. Today, with a population of about 2,500, Eatonville is prized for its historic status and longevity in a state that readily embraced Jim Crow laws.
In 1989, Orange County wanted to widen the road into four lanes. Residents vehemently opposed the idea, arguing that the addition of extra lanes would destroy the historic layout of Eatonville, making the tiny town an artery for traffic instead of a destination for visitors. As the story goes, a friend had heard about Fly’s work in Kansas and Colorado and invited him to Florida to offer expertise. He has made frequent trips ever since. Eatonville will celebrate its 125th birthday in August.
Read an interview with Everett Fly about his work in historic preservation in the Forum, a National Trust for Historic Preservation publication.