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A historic Black neighborhood in Tarpon Springs receives grant money for preservation

 A historic Black neighborhood in Tarpon Springs, Union Academy, is one of nearly three dozen sites across the country that will share $3 million in grant money from a preservation organization.
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A historic Black neighborhood in Tarpon Springs, Union Academy, is one of nearly three dozen sites across the country that will share $3 million in grant money from a preservation organization.

A historic Black neighborhood in Tarpon Springs is one of nearly three dozen sites across the country that will share $3 million in grant money from a preservation organization.

The city will receive $50,000 from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund to go toward the Union Academy neighborhood.

Union Academy was selected from more than 600 applicants from across the country, according to a city news release. A total of 33 sites were chosen nationwide.

The neighborhood was formed in the late 1800s as workers came to Tarpon Springs to work in the sponge harvesting industry, It is the oldest African American community in Pinellas County, according to the organization's website.

According to a city news release, the funds will support a Cultural Resources Survey that will be used to identify significant places in the neighborhood to add to a historic preservation district.

"This is an initial step in a larger plan to address historic and enduring inequities in the neighborhood," the release read.

The city will also seek community input, and officials say the project will begin in the summer or fall and will be completed next June.

A list of the other grant recipients can be found here.

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Carl Lisciandrello is digital news editor of WUSF Public Media.
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