• Allapattah Center Storefront
  • Allapattah neighborhood storefronts

The neighborhood of Allapattah is an unincorporated space within city of Miami’s boundaries which has nevertheless maintained a rich and dynamic cultural history. As Allapattah was originally Native American land, its name continues to bear this heritage as it is derived from the Seminole term for alligator. After the first white settlers arrived in Allapattah between the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth centuries, the area became known as Allapattah Prairie and was predominately comprised of farming communities. Allapattah would later witness dramatic changes in its residential and institutional sectors in the coming decades and would serve as host to various venues ranging from entertainment and recreation events to social movement organizations. Allapattah would come to develop an industrial sector and became a prominent center for produce near the mid-twentieth century. As the locality of Allapattah shares space with both the Miami River and the health district, it has attracted various businesses over time as well. During the 1960s, Allapattah saw an influx of Dominican immigrants to the area whose cultural presence persists to this day and can be seen across small business such as local restaurants, nightclubs, and markets. More recently, the neighborhood of Allapattah has become caught in the crosshairs of several new development projects, many of which are luxury apartment complexes that are out of the economic reach of its residents. Given the history of gentrification, displacement, and disinvestment that has occurred in Allapattah over the past few decades, advocacy groups have arisen in an attempt to protect the area’s residents, small businesses, and cultural history. The Allapattah Collaborative, or Allapattah CDC, is the foremost nonprofit community organization in this regard, and its mission has been to defend the cultural heritage and small businesses of Allapattah, in addition to educating community members.