Red-light district

From Pensapedia, the Pensacola encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

A red-light district existed in downtown Pensacola in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries where transient sailors and port workers (as well as local Pensacolians) could engage in prostitution and debauchery without fear of retribution.

The prostitution district was well-defined, situated on Zaragoza Street between Palafox and Baylen Streets, and on Baylen from Main to Government Streets. Zaragoza Street in particular became known as "the Line," due to the row of adjacent bordellos. About fifteen such establishments were located within the district, most of them occupying former homes that were abandoned by families due to the nearby port activity.


  • James R. McGovern. "'Sporting Life on the Line': Prostitution in Progressive Era Pensacola." Florida Historical Quarterly, Volume LIV, Number 2, October 1975.