The Ever Changing Fillmore District
No area of the city may have undergone more change than the Fillmore District. Following the 1906 Earthquake the Japanese made the area their community center but their forced relocation to internment camps following Pearl Harbor emptied the district nearly overnight. Immediately African Americans coming from the deep South to work in the Bay Area shipyards filled the empty homes. By the end of the war the Fillmore was a black community of over 30,000. The area thrived throughout the '40s and '50s and became known as "Harlem West." A lively jazz scene blossomed and it attracted all the greats of the jazz era to play in the Fillmore's nightclubs. Billie Holiday, Dexter Gordon, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Chet Baker, and John Coltrane all played in Fillmore clubs such as New Orleans Swing Club and Bop City.

But times changed again, the shipyard jobs faded and the Fillmore neighborhood became a developers' target. The district gentrified and many long-time residents found themselves priced out of the area. Sadly today the district has been completely transformed into blocks of high-priced condos and upscale shopping, few remnants of Harlem West remain. However recently there has been a revival of jazz clubs in the district and in 2003 the city's Fillmore Jazz Preservation District began to promote the Jazz District as an entertainment destination to draw people from around country to the historic neighborhood.
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