Hillman-Pratt project Downtown could pay homage to Black aviator

Published on June 5, 2023 at 3:25 pm

When the historic Hillman-Pratt and Walton Funeral Home is reopened next year as Airbnb-style apartments and a restaurant, one room could pay tribute to the first Black Native American woman to earn a pilot’s license.

The Jacksonville City Council voted to approve a $1.25 million forgivable loan package for developer Eric Adler’s estimated $4.98 million restoration and adaptive reuse project at 525 W. Beaver St., on the edge of Downtown’s North Core and LaVilla neighborhood.

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Adler said his development team is working to discover whether the funeral home, which has roots to the 1900s Black business community in Jacksonville, assisted with Bessie Coleman’s remains after her death in 1926.

Read the rest of this story at the Jacksonville Daily Record, a Jacksonville Today news partner.

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