Once it was a Black-owned hotel that hosted the hottest performers on the so-called “Chitlin Circuit,” including Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Now it preserves local African-American history and culture.
Dr. William Monroe Wells was one of Orlando’s first black doctors who became a prominent figure in the city’s Black community in the early 20th century. In 1921, he built a hotel for Black Americans visiting Orlando, later followed by a nearby casino and entertainment venue. On February 4, 2000, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Though the casino is long-closed, the hotel building remains. It no longer hosts overnight guests, but instead is now home to the Wells’Built Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened in June 2009.
Know Before You Go
There is on-street parking in front of the museum as well as a dedicated parking lot in the back. Check the museum website for hours of operation and fees.