Little Haiti
Little Haiti or La Petite Haïti, and traditionally known as Lemon City, is a neighborhood in Miami, Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 known as a traditional center for Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

an immigrants, and Francophone
The adjective francophone means French-speaking, typically as primary language, whether referring to individuals, groups, or places. Often, the word is used as a noun to describe a natively French-speaking person....

 culture in the city.

Lemon City, early farming days

In the early 1900s, a small farming community, Lemon City, developed in this area, but it was a city only in name. The area had many lemon
The lemon is both a small evergreen tree native to Asia, and the tree's ellipsoidal yellow fruit. The fruit is used for culinary and non-culinary purposes throughout the world – primarily for its juice, though the pulp and rind are also used, mainly in cooking and baking...

Grove (nature)
A grove is a small group of trees with minimal or no undergrowth, such as a sequoia grove, or a small orchard planted for the cultivation of fruits or nuts...

s from where the town took its name. Though not as abundant as in the past (due to urbanization
Urbanization, urbanisation or urban drift is the physical growth of urban areas as a result of global change. The United Nations projected that half of the world's population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008....

 and eradication
Eradication may also refer to:*Genocide, the deliberate, systematic destruction of an ethnic, religious or national group of people*Eradication of infectious diseases, the reduction of the global prevalence of an infectious disease in its human or animal host to zero*Intentional local extinction,...

 from citrus canker
Citrus canker
Citrus canker is a disease affecting citrus species that is caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas axonopodis. Infection causes lesions on the leaves, stems, and fruit of citrus trees, including lime, oranges, and grapefruit...

Outbreak is a term used in epidemiology to describe an occurrence of disease greater than would otherwise be expected at a particular time and place. It may affect a small and localized group or impact upon thousands of people across an entire continent. Two linked cases of a rare infectious...

s), lemon tree
Lemon Tree
The term Lemon tree may refer to:* Lemon Myrtle, an Australian native tree with a distinct lemon smell, used in cooking and as an anti-bacterial agent.* Citrus limon, the tree bearing the lemon .Lemon Tree may also refer to:...

s still grow in several residents' backyards. The town even had its own railway depot on the Florida East Coast Railroad. The growing city of Miami to the south, however, was looking for more property to add to their town. In 1925, Lemon City was annexed by Miami, along with the town of Little River to the north, and the town of Buena Vista
Buena Vista, Miami, Florida
Buena Vista is a neighborhood in Miami, Florida, United States. It is located south of Little Haiti, north of the Design District.Buena Vista is primarily a residential neighborhood with historic single-family homes primarily from the 1920s...

 to the south, each of which now comprise modern-day Little Haiti. Many residents and visitors continue to use the Lemon City name.

Through the years, the community has changed from agricultural to residential, from middle class to lower class and middle class again. Part of this change was driven by immigrants from Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

, and soon the area was called "Little Haiti, (La Petite Haiti)." In the 1980s and 1990s, Little Haiti was one of the poorest areas in Miami and was known for its crime and drug trade. Some of this still exists today, however the area is experiencing a cultural renaissance.

In 2009, human remains from Lemon City Cemetery were discovered at a housing construction site; the Miami Historical Preservation Board "in principle" issued a non-binding unanimous vote that the cemetery site remain undeveloped as a memorial site.

Little Haiti today, urban neighborhood

To a large extent, the Haitian Creole and Francophone culture thrives there. Attempts are underway to make Little Haiti into an ethnic enclave
Ethnic enclave
An ethnic enclave is an ethnic community which retains some cultural distinction from a larger, surrounding area, it may be a neighborhood, an area or an administrative division based on ethnic groups. Sometimes an entire city may have such a feel. Usually the enclave revolves around businesses...

, but this has been hampered by the fact that many prosperous residents have moved away.

Factors contributing to the district's gentrification
Gentrification and urban gentrification refer to the changes that result when wealthier people acquire or rent property in low income and working class communities. Urban gentrification is associated with movement. Consequent to gentrification, the average income increases and average family size...

 are the close proximity of the Miami Design District
Miami Design District
The Design District, historically a part of the Buena Vista, is a neighborhood of greater Midtown, Miami, Florida, United States, south of Little Haiti...

 and the development of the new nearby Buena Vista and Edgewater communities, where construction of multimillion-dollar high rises, night clubs, restaurants, entertainment, and cultural centers are well under way, effecting increases in property value. As real estate prices continue to rise, Haitians and other residents of the low-income area are being displaced. New businesses and new residents are attracted to the original Lemon City borders.

However, "La Petite Haiti" continues its fight as a cultural heart for the Haitian Diaspora, as demonstrated by the recent inauguration of a large, beautiful statue of the father of Haitian independence; The General Toussaint L'Ouverture
Toussaint L'Ouverture
François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture , also Toussaint Bréda, Toussaint-Louverture was the leader of the Haitian Revolution. His military genius and political acumen led to the establishment of the independent black state of Haiti, transforming an entire society of slaves into a free,...

. La Petite Haiti also has a distinct Caribbean-Francophone flavor. Little Haiti is home of the Edison Courts
Edison Courts
Edison Courts, is a Miami-Dade 345-unit public housing apartment complex just west of the Little Haiti neighborhood of Miami, Florida. Edison Courts is bound at the south by Nort 62nd Street/Martin Luther King, Jr...

 housing developments and Miami Edison Senior High School. The area boasts various excellent art shops.

Little Haiti was also depicted in Grand Theft Auto:Vice City as its same name Little Haiti, one of the neighborhoods in the game.


Little Haiti is north of Buena Vista, west of the Upper East Side. The neighborhood boundaries are roughly bound by Little River to the north, I-95 to the west, Florida East Coast Railway
Florida East Coast Railway
The Florida East Coast Railway is a Class II railroad operating in the U.S. state of Florida; in the past, it has been a Class I railroad.Built primarily in the last quarter of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century, the FEC was a project of Standard Oil principal Henry Morrison...

 to the east, and NE 54th Street to the south.

Little River

Little River is a sub-neighborhood within the neighborhood of Little Haiti. It is located in the northern extremity of Little Haiti. The rough boundaries are the Little River to the north (for which it's named), NE 71st Street to the south, Miami Avenue to the west, and Biscayne Boulevard to the east. The river also serves as the boundary for the city limits of Miami in this neighborhood. It is located at 25.848°N 80.193°W, with an elevation 7 feet (2.1 m).

In 1925, Little River was annexed by Miami, along with the towns of Lemon City and Buena Vista
Buena Vista, Miami, Florida
Buena Vista is a neighborhood in Miami, Florida, United States. It is located south of Little Haiti, north of the Design District.Buena Vista is primarily a residential neighborhood with historic single-family homes primarily from the 1920s...

 to the south to form modern-day Little Haiti. Today, the area historically known as "Buena Vista" is today called the Design District.

Haitian-named locations

Many restaurants, stores, parks, and even public schools have names to famous Haitian
Haitian may refer to:* A person or thing of, from, or related to the country of Haiti* Haitian Creole language * Haitian cuisine* Haitian , minor character in the 2006 television series Heroes...

s or Haitian-Miamian events. Some of these include:
  • Little Haiti Park
  • Toussaint L'Ouverture Elementary School
  • Liberi Mapou Bookstore
  • Mache Ayisyen
  • Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance


As of 2000, Little Haiti had a population of 29,128 and 30,066 residents, with 9,368 households, and 6,181 families residing in the neighborhood. The median household income was $18,887.49. The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 14.74% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 64.92% Black or African American, 4.78% White (non-Hispanic), and 15.56% Other races (non-Hispanic).

The zip codes for the Little Haiti include 33127, 33137, 33138, and 33150. The area covers 3.456 square miles (9 km²). As of 2000, there were 14,708 males and 15,357 females. The median age for males were 31.0 years old, while the median age for females were 33.8 years old. The average household size had 3.0 people, while the average family size had 3.7 members. The percentage of married-couple families (among all households) was 27.6%, while the percentage of married-couple families with children (among all households) was 13.8%, and the percentage of single-mother households (among all households) was 20.7%. 2.1% of the population were in nursing homes. The percentage of never-married males 15 years old and over was 21.7%, while the percentage of never-married females 15 years old and over was 22.0%.

As of 2000, the percentage of people that speak English not well or not at all made up 17.6% of the population. The percentage of residents born in Florida was 41.1%, the percentage of people born in another U.S. state was 11.6%, and the percentage of native residents but born outside the U.S. was 3.1%, while the percentage of foreign born residents was 44.1%.


Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Miami-Dade County Public Schools is a public school district serving Miami-Dade County, Florida. Founded in 1885, it is the largest school district in Florida and the Southeastern United States, and the fourth largest in the United States, with a student enrollment of 380,006 as of July 5, 2010...

 operates area public schools. Schools within Little Haiti include:

Elementary schools

  • Shadowlawn Elementary School
  • Toussaint L'Ouverture Elementary School
  • Edison Park Elementary School
  • Morningside Elementary School
  • Jesse J. McCreary Elementary School


Miami-Dade Public Library
Miami-Dade Public Library
The Miami-Dade Public Library System is a system of libraries in Miami, Florida and Miami-Dade County in the United States.-Early years:...

operates all area public libraries:
  • Edison Center Library
  • Little River Library
  • Lemon City Library


  • Lemon City Park
  • M. Athalie Range Park
  • Legion Park
  • Little Haiti Park
  • Soar Memorial Park
  • Lachmont Gardens Park
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