Learning, Labroing and Living Masthead
Who's WHo



Curator: Derek T. Davis
Email me at derek.davis@browardschools.com
Derek Davis Curator

Technical Specialist/Events: Coordinator: Legere Noel
Email me at legere.noel@browardschools.com

Secretary: Ligia Trask

Ligia Trask

Museum Security Host: James Bradley
James Bradley in Jazz Room


OLD DILLARD MUSEUM (ODM), under the auspices of the School Board of Broward County, occupies a prominent place in the history of Fort Lauderdale and has, over the years, presented educational opportunities for African-Americans as the first school constructed for people of color in this area. Formerly called "the colored school," Old Dillard was erected on land purchased from Ft. Lauderdale pioneers Frank and Ivy Stranahan for one dollar.

The first school for African-American students in Ft. Lauderdale began with ten students in 1907 in an old, one-room wooden building on Northwest 3rd Avenue between Broward Boulevard and Northwest 2nd Street. In 1910, the school was torn down. The students attended classes at the lodge hall on the comer of 4th Street and Northwest 4th Avenue until the construction of the new "Colored School" was completed in March 1924, at a cost of $13,950.24.

In 1930, at the request of the then-Principal Dr. Joseph A. Ely, the school was renamed after Dr. James Hardy Dillard, who was a prominent philanthropist and educator. Since its construction, this landmark has served as an important educational and cultural center for Ft. Lauderdale's African-American community. Regarded by all as one of Broward County's most significant links to the past, this historically distinctive structure has been restored to serve the community as a museum and cultural/educational center. It exists today because of Broward community efforts and its success points to wide aspirations for future projects involving all segments of our city and county. The existence of Old Dillard primarily represents the social climate for African Americans in Ft. Lauderdale in the 1920's. Within this historical context it serves as a constant reminder to the multi-cultural community of its proud and rich heritage; even more, it represents the community's strong determination and perseverance to succeed.

The museum not only serves the African-American community in which it resides, but it provides a valuable resource to historians and other visitors interested in Black history. .All racesĀ· and cultures have an opportunity to develop an understanding and appreciation for this rich heritage. Eventually, a partnership was formed with the School Board of Broward County, the City of Fort Lauderdale, the Broward County Commission, and the Black Historical Society to renovate and preserve the Old Dillard School and to develop the Cultural Center in which the Old Dillard Museum is presently housed. Through funding from the City, the County, the School Board, and the State of Florida's PECO Fund, the building was renovated. In February 1991, the museum was placed on the National Historic Register.

The Museum's Grand Opening was held on April 27, 1995. The extraordinary story of ODM and its community's existence was/is one of quiet triumph and endurance from its very beginnings. It is a celebration of what has been, is and will be in future years. The journey continues ... Pass it on!


The Old Dillard Museum exists to promote the proud heritage centered around the first National African-American Landmark in Broward County. We believe is essential to preserve the building and contents, and to provide enriching exhibitions and educational opportunities to keep Black History alive.

Old Dillard Foundation Mission Statement

The mission of the Old Dillard Foundation is to assure a system of sustainable funding to enable the Old Dillard Museum to achieve its goals.

Old Dillard Foundation Officers & Board of Trustees

Patricia West, President
Earlene Striggles-Horne, Vice President
Tiffany McNealy, Secretary
James Bradley, Treasurer
Leslie Carhart
Dr. Carl M. Crawford
Judi Hamilton
Julia McElvy
Raleigh R. Rawls, Esq.
Levi G. Williams, Esq.
Cory Witherspoon

Honorary Members

Gale Butler
State Senator M. Mandy Dawson
Bobby Henry, Sr.
Noel Hyatt


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    The Old Dillard Museum is a historical landmark and an education center operated by the Broward Public School System. Funding for the museum's activities is provided in part by the Old Dillard Foundation, Funding Arts Broward,AutoNation, The Links, Inc., and the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and other gracious supporters.

    (c) Copyright 2013 Old Dillard Museum, 1009 NW 4th Street, Fort Lauderdale FL 33311, 754-322-8828

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