Award Type: Peter H. Brink Award for Individual Achievement in Historic Preservation
In the 1960s, South Beach was swinging to the sounds of Lena Horne and Cab Calloway. But because of segregation, these renowned musicians couldn’t stay at the hotels where they performed, so they went to the Hampton House Motel in nearby Brownsville. Originally opened in 1954, the Hampton House was one of a handful of motels that catered to African American celebrities, from athletes like Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali, to Civil Rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. But by 1972, the Hampton House was closed and abandoned. In 2001, Dade County issued a demolition order for the property.
This prompted local preservationist Dr. Enid Pinkney to spring into action to save the hotel. Dr. Pinkney formed the Historic Hampton House Community Trust, and under her leadership, the group secured a stay of demolition, convinced the county to purchase the property, helped obtain local designation for the site, and received state and county funds for its preservation. When the $7.5 million project is complete, the site will serve as a local cultural center. Dr. Pinkney’s work at the Hampton House is a perfect example of the commitment, enthusiasm and perseverance she applies to preserving historic sites in her community. Like the legendary performers and activists who once frequented the Hampton House, she is truly making a difference.
“Thanks to the vision and leadership of Enid Pinkney, the legendary Hampton House is well on its way to becoming a preservation success story” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Her work at the Hampton House is a great example of the commitment, enthusiasm and perseverance she brings to the preservation of important places in her community.”