Richmond Heights, originally a 20th century development that addressed issues of lack of housing for African-American WWII veterans, is a small area in Miami-Dade County Florida, with a population of under 9,000. .
At the beginning of World War II, the United States Navy purchased the land from the Richmond Timber Company upon which to situate a naval base. The base was named Naval Air Station Richmond, after the lumber company, and was the second largest airship base in the United States at the time. NAS RICHMOND was destroyed by a hurricane and fire in September 1945.
After the end of World War II, Captain Frank C. Martin purchased farm land adjacent to the base on which he built Richmond Heights, a housing community for returning African-American Veterans.
Richmond Heights became the standard for developers, nationwide, to provide quality homes for African-Americans without skimping on land, materials, and labour. By May 1951, Martin’s Richmond Heights had 457 homes. Unfortunately, he did not live to see his dream community as Martin was killed in a collision with a truck when on a trip near Lake Placid in Central Florida. Shocked at the loss of the 42-year-old community leader, construction stalled until 1952, when E.J. Pollock, a good friend and believer in Martin’s plan, purchased the remaining acreage and continued the building work.