JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Bulldoze history or restore it? That's the saga under way in LaVilla.Three remaining shotgun homes are there -- representing one of the first major black urban neighborhoods.
The city now owns them and city council will decide their fate.
"They don't look the same," said Eartha Lee Jaudon as she sat across the street waiting for the bus on North Jefferson Street in LaVilla.
Jaudon often comes to that bus stop to remember.
"People used to stay in there when I was a child. There used to be childrens and people staying in there," she told Action News.
She said she grew up in the once thriving LaVilla neighborhood. Three shotgun homes are really all that's left. They've seen a lot of wear and tear since then.
"They don't look fancy now but back then it was alright," she said.
People don't live on that stretch anymore. The three remaining houses sit abandoned; a tired representation of the men and women who worked so hard to build them.
"We suffered hard and to make it for our childrens and grands and great grands to get somewhere. And that's something showing them how long it's been there," she said.
And now they face demotion; an eyesore, some call them.
"The buildings are really in dilapidated shape. One of them is literally falling down," said city councilman Bill Bishop.
There is a petition is circulating to save them, sent to several City Council members, including Bishop. He said he'd like to see history preserved, too.
"Those are some of the last remaining buildings of that type," said Bishop.
Jaudon said she hopes the city can find a way to keep the memory alive.
"I wish they could remodel and have something for people to remember the time that it was back those days," she said.
Tuesday, the land use and zoning committee of City Council will take up the issue and consider granting the homes landmark status.
Bishop foresees council voting to designate landmark status. But he thinks eventually the structures will be moved to a more fitting location.