POMPANO BEACH, FL – The Pompano Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) broke ground on another project in the NW-CRA on Thursday February 28, 2013 at 5pm. Guests gathered at site located at 353 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd for a formal groundbreaking ceremony followed by an evening cocktail hour including cultural dance performances by Ashanti Dance Group, presentations by the Rock Road Historical Society and performances by Bethel AME Men’s Chorus. The Ali Building has historic significance in that it is a rare surviving example of the early 20th century vernacular architecture that once comprised a thriving commercial district along MLK Boulevard/Hammondville Road.
According to Frank J. Cavaioli’s “Pompano Beach: A History,” the facility was once a boarding house for famous African American jazz musicians, including Louis Armstrong and Cab Calloway, who could not find lodging at whites-only hotels. The building is significant, as it represents the history of the African American community in Pompano Beach.
The Ali Building project has potential to provide approximately 4,194 square feet of museum, educational and/or performance space along the MLK Boulevard Corridor. The CRA will lease the space to Cultural Arts groups to use the space for office, gallery, performance and other activities. Ashanti Cultural Arts will be developing the museum.
Pictures from Pompano Beach CRA at