Business Spotlight: The Wells Built Museum

The Wells Built Museum is a display of African American History and a living monument to the legacy of one of Orlando’s first Black Doctors, Dr. William Monroe Wells. Dr. Wells was an entrepreneur during segregated times, creating both a hotel and a casino for black patrons, not accepted elsewhere. This month, during Black History Month we’d like to highlight them and shed light on their mission.

Excerpt from their website:

“The Wells’Built Hotel has been converted into a museum housing memorabilia of Orlando’s African-American community and displays on the Civil Rights movement along with some African art and artifacts.  This historic museum is located in the center of Orlando’s historic Parramore district at 511 West South Street.

Dr. William Monroe Wells built the hotel and a nearby entertainment venue for African Americans visiting Orlando. During the Segregation era, this hotel served as host to several now famous African American performers. On February 4, 2000, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Although African Americans were taxpayers like other residents of Orlando, they did not have access to recreational facilities, good schools, police protection, health care and other services that were provided to white citizens.  This led him to build the South Street Casino and the hotel next door after being issued a building permit in 1924 and ’26. Dr. Wells erected the Wells’ Built Hotel to provide lodging to African Americans during an era of segregation when accommodations were not available to them in other areas of Central Florida.”

I took a recent visit to the museum. Just a hop and a skip over from the Amway, this historic building is conveniently located in the hear of downtown. When you walk through the front doors you are instantly emerged in gallery of African American culture. Guests are immediately directed to watch an informative video, full of rich stories from the past. To know that these same walls once held the hopes and dreams of not only Dr.Wells, but also the many people in the community that he served, is overwhelming.

The Wells Built Museum is an important part of Central Florida’s history. Be sure to add it to your list of must visit destinations in Central Florida. To learn more about upcoming exhibits, events, and event booking opportunities please visit their website.