JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Volunteers with United Way of Northeast Florida are giving back to Jacksonville’s historic Eastside neighborhood by sprucing up the former office building of Dr. Charles McIntosh, the city’s first Black pediatrician.
“If you talk to someone in that generation, they’d say, ‘Oh yeah, that was my doctor’. And he was a great doctor. He went on to make really important strides and accomplishments for African-Americans all across the country,” said Suzanne Pickett, president of the Historic Eastside Community Development Corporation, whose mission is to beautify and preserve.
The volunteers’ efforts to make McIntosh’s historic office building like new again are part of United Way’s annual “Day of Action.”
Sarah Henderson with United Way of Northeast Florida said she couldn’t be more pleased with Tuesday’s turnout.
“It just feels really good on what’s the longest day of the year, the first day of official summer, on a hot day -- people are banding together. And that’s really exciting,” Henderson said. “At United Way, this is just a taste of what we do all year long.”
McIntosh operated his practice in the Eastside building for decades, and his family members still live in the area. News4JAX spoke with one of them who said they’re still so proud of him and his legacy.
One new possibility for the building is to turn it into affordable housing. Pickett believes this good work will mean good things for years to come.
“We want people to really see the Eastside neighborhood, what it means to the current residents,” Pickett said. “We welcome new residents, but we want it to be seen as the thrive-able, walkable community that it is.”