Dr. William Monroe Wells built the Wells’ Built Hotel and a nearby entertainment venue for African Americans visiting Orlando during segregation. Next door to the Wells’ Built was once the South Street Casino, a performance hall, which featured musicians that traveled the Chitlin Circuit performing for audiences all over the country. African Americans came from Sanford, Eatonville and surrounding areas to attend performances at the casino. After the evening’s music ended, the artists checked in at the Wells’ Built Hotel, which provided lodging for clientele such as Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, B.B. King, and others.
The Wells’ Built Hotel has been converted into a museum housing memorabilia of Orlando’s African-American community and displays on the Civil Rights movement along with some African art and artifacts. The museum is located in the center of Orlando’s historic Parramore district at 511 West South Street. On February 4, 2000, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.