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The Black Archives’ Capitol Complex Extension is located in the historic Union Bank Building. The Union Bank of Florida was chartered in 1833 as a bank for plantation owners during the territorial period of Florida history. The original structure was built in 1841 on South Adams Street. In 1843, bankruptcy forced the bank to cease operation. Nonetheless, the building itself survived, and in later years was used for numerous purposes. Perhaps the structure’s most noted use was when it was used as the Freedman’s Bureau Bank, which gave financial assistance to newly emancipated African Americans. In the ensuing years, the facility was used as a church, a black-owned shoe shop, a library, a Baptist youth center and a civil defense office.

In 1970, the Union Bank was acquired by the Society of colonial Dames XVII Century, under the presidency of Mrs. T. Aubrey Morse. That year, President Morse and the group worked diligently to have the bank listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1971, The Union Bank building was donated to the State of Florida, and moved from its original location to its present site, 219 Apalachee Parkway. Morse, the Colonial Dames, the Florida Department of State, and other groups worked collectively to renovate and restore the facility. In October 1984, the newly restored Union Bank opened to the public as a Museum of Florida History site. The bank has given more than 150 years of service to its surrounding communities. It is an honor for the Southeastern Regional Black Archives to display artifacts from its archival and museum holdings in this historic facility.


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