Local thoroughfare to be named in memory of Charles S. Chestnut III

Published on December 07, 2023

N.W. 8th Ave. and Chestnut Funeral Home

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (Dec. 7, 2023) – Gainesville City Commissioners today voted to dual name a portion of a busy Gainesville thoroughfare in memory of the late Charles S. Chestnut III, a local civil rights leader who died Dec. 4 at age 83. Chestnut was the spouse of current City Commissioner Cynthia Moore Chestnut, and was a former Alachua County commissioner and the first Black member elected to the Alachua County School Board.

At today’s meeting, city commissioners approved a resolution to designate the part of 8th Avenue between Northwest 6th Street and Waldo Road as “Charles S. Chestnut III Avenue.”

“Words cannot truly express my appreciation to my colleagues, but also appreciation from the Chestnut family for this beautiful tribute and honor to my husband, and keeper of the dream, Charles S. Chestnut III,” said Commissioner Chestnut. “Thank you for helping to keep the dream alive with this tribute.”

It is a particularly fitting tribute, as the family business, located at 18 Northwest 8th Avenue, has been owned and operated by generations of the Chestnut family for more than a century. Founded in 1914, the location is already identified by a State of Florida historical marker.

Charles Chestnut III led efforts to integrate Gainesville businesses and public accommodations in the 1960s and spearheaded a countywide campaign to help Black residents register to vote. His many  honors include the NAACP Leadership Award; the Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall of Fame Award; the Drum Major for Justice Award; the United Negro College Fund Salute to Leadership Award; and the Community Legacy Award.

Next week, Public Works staff will begin replacing the 68 road signs along the designated section of 8th Avenue. Work is expected to be completed by Dec. 15.

For more information, contact City of Gainesville Public Information Officer Rossana Passaniti at 352-318-9599 or PassanitiR1@GainesvilleFL.gov


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