Florida East Coast Railroad General Office Buildings – Flagler College
January 2012 marked the Centennial Anniversary of Henry Flagler’s Key West Extension, the “Eighth Wonder of the World” that linked the Florida peninsula with Key West via the Overseas Railway.
This past fall Flagler College completed adaptive use of the trio of 1920s Commercial Style former Florida East Coast Railroad headquarters buildings. They were transformed from office use to student residence hall use. In 2006 the property owner Florida East Coast Industries transferred ownership to Flagler College through a $7.5 million gift-of-equity as a means to preserve the buildings.
The FEC executives were impressed with Flagler College’s demonstrated commitment to preservation of Henry Flagler-era buildings. FEC illustrated its stewardship for the railroad buildings that had served as their headquarters for 80 years and the site that had hosted their original 1888 building. They entrusted the historical buildings’ future to Flagler College — and making the property transfer financially achievable.
The public announcement of this project inspired additional development of surrounding properties with compatible uses such as restaurants and shops that enhance the neighborhood and have assisted the tax base. The trio of former railroad buildings continues to anchor the western edge of downtown St Augustine.
Funding for the $8,000,000 rehabilitation was provided through bond sales in accordance with Higher Education Facilities Financing Authority (HEFFA). As Flagler College is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation and higher education institution, tax credits were not used for this project. Grant funds were not requested as part of this project.
As transferred to Flagler College and continuing to the present, the buildings retain the architectural materials, features and details from their construction: solid brick exterior walls, flat roofs above heavy plain cornices and concealed behind parapet walls, and triple grouped 1/1 sash windows placed symmetrically along the facades flanked by brick pilasters. The first floor of each building is identified by stuccoed structural brick walls presented to depict large blocks and pierced by round arched openings.
No modifications were made to the exteriors of the buildings with the exception of creating a secondary fire egress at the eastern end of each. Interior fire stairs were installed. Each exits onto Malaga Street, a secondary facade. The round arched openings were maintained, with a door substituting for the central window. Handicapped accessibility requirements were met through ramps added hugging the facades at the east (courtyard), north and west (parking lot) entries.
The Ferlita Macaroni Building – Tampa
In 1924, Sicilian immigrant Guiseppe Ferlita built a new brick factory building on the corner of 22nd Street and 6th Avenue, in the heart of the Ybor City Latin Quarter, to accommodate his successful macaroni business and to serve as his family’s residence. Designed with a beige brick facade and elaborate Colonial Revival detailing that included a Palladian-style Portico as the main entrance to the building, the factory reflected Ferlita’s growing prosperity in his new country.
The Ferlita Macaroni Factory building is situated in Ybor City, which was developed in the late 1880s as a factory town for production of Cuban cigars. The factory building is a significant example of a type of commercial industry that rose to serve the immigrant populations of Ybor City, Tampa. In addition to the largest collection of buildings related to the cigar industry in America, and probably the world, Ybor City contains a large inventory of workers’ housing, groceries, factories and ethnic clubs organized by its immigrant population of Italians, Germans, Cubans, and Spaniards. Ybor City presented a rare multiethnic, multiracial industrial community in the Deep South and illustrates manifold aspects of the history of human relations. Ybor City’s unique economic and social composition were a major factor in bringing recognition to the Latin enclave through a listing on the National Register of Historic Places (1974), establishment of a Local Historic District (1975), and distinction as a National Historic Landmark District (1990). Within this context, the Ferlita Macaroni Factory is a contributing historic resource in the Ybor City district, and is the last Italian built factory existing in the district.
Ken Ferlita, a preservation architect and the grandson of Giuseppe Ferlita, and a group of dedicated citizens worked with the City of Tampa and local preservationists to find a way to stabilize the building and help preserve a valuable piece of Ybor City’s rich history. As the Ybor City community searched for a solution, Tampa’s Italian Club (L’Unione Italiana) stepped forward and formulated a plan to assume ownership of the building through utilization of its status as a nonprofit entity. Through a mixture of skillful negotiation and public pressure, the owner agreed to transfer the building to L’Unione Italiana. Under the Italian Club’s stewardship and guidance of Joe Capitano Sr., it was then possible to stabilize the building, but much needed funding was still required to accomplish this. Once again, the community truly came together to save this building and its important history. Through a collaborative effort, the city’s Community Redevelopment Area Board was convinced to invest $100,000.00 in the way of a grant in order to fund the stabilization of the failing façade and make what was yet to come possible.
Following the successful stabilization, John and Chris Rosende, 3rd generation Ybor/Tampa residents, decided to extend their commitment to the Ferlita Macaroni Factory by becoming its new owner and rehabilitating it to house two of our businesses (TMD Windows & Doors and TMD Commercial), and to be meeting place for all of our customers.
Salt Construction company stabilized the property for the L’Unione Italiana and then TMD Properties purchased the property from L’Unione Italiana and developed an approach that would bring the Ferlita Macaroni Factory back to life. Necessary funding assistance was provided through the City of Tampa’s Historic Preservation Trust Fund.
Once a building up for demolition, the Macaroni Factory is back and provides a wonderful place of business for our customers and employees to enjoy. More importantly, the building tells a story; a story of community, history, hard work, dedication, aspiration, tenaciousness, vision, and success.
Bethel Gas Station – Gainesville
lThe 1920s Old Gulf Service Station was the second gas station to be built in Gainesville. According to a local newspaper, the Gainesville Sun reported that the service station was one of two in the State of Florida that represented this unique architectural type. It was built by the Gulf Refining Company in 1925 and first appears on Gainesville’s Sanborn maps in 1928. It has not been substantially altered as many gas stations in Florida either having been altered beyond recognition or demolished.
In 1976, the Bethel Gas Station was the only building saved and moved across the plaza in order to construct the Community Plaza that still remains Gainesville Downtown gathering place. The building is owned by the City of Gainesville and in 1989 was placed on the Local Register of Historic Places (Ordinance 3523).
Sunken Gardens Cultural Landscape Report
The Florida roadside attraction was a phenomenon that built on an idealized image of tropical nature to promote the State for tourism, just as civic boosters and real estate promoters built on that same image to promote the State for inmigration and development. This idealized image of Florida’s natural riches was and is a crucial ingredient in the State’s identity. It played a central role in Florida’s 20th‐century transformation from a sparsely populated, poor and rural Southern outpost to a major identity and force in our national culture. Today, a sense of connection to nature is greatly diminished, or almost altogether lacking, in the daily lives of many urban and suburban children (and adults), a fact that numerous researchers have noted as a detriment to both mental and physical well‐being. At a time when public health and environmental advocates wrestle with how to get people – especially children – outdoors, the phenomenon of early Florida tourism, which “sold” to people the wonders and beauty of plants and animals, the sensory pleasures of the outdoors and the unique beauty of actual, not virtual, places, is an important example of building that bond between people and nature.
Of the many roadside attractions that expressed this phenomenon, Sunken Gardens is one of the few that survives intact. It is also one of the most important. Originally a residential hobby garden combined with a fruit grove and nursery, Sunken Gardens was a family-run commercial enterprise from 1936 to 1999; it was one of the longest-lived and most successful of these typically mom-and-pop developments that intimately reflected the personalities of their owners. The Turner family, which operated Sunken Gardens through three generations, played an important role in the development of the tourism industry, and the history of their enterprise reflects the evolution of that same industry – an evolution that ultimately left their type of unique, highly personal attraction behind, in favor of larger, more calculatingly manufactured attractions. In its heyday, Sunken Gardens was an industry leader, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually and helping to make St. Petersburg the State’s second-most popular destination after Miami Beach.
The Turners were founding members of the Florida Attractions Association, which strove to raise the professional standards and reputation of the industry and guard against “tourist traps,” and they pioneered aggressive and widereaching advertising techniques as well as an ever-expanding program of enticements to draw the visitor.
The City of St. Petersburg acquired Sunken Gardens in 1999, after the Turner family’s third generation of managers made clear their desire to sell the property and exit the business. By this time most of the State’s old nature-based attractions had succumbed to the pressures of competition from large theme parks which offer a more intensive, theatrically-created experience, and the shifts in public taste away from the homier, often subtler experiences of unusual and beautiful plants and animals, uniquely “Florida” landscapes and whimsical design elements that the older attractions offered. The City had initially struggled with the potential cost of acquiring and operating Sunken Gardens.
Asked their opinion in a referendum, the citizens of St. Petersburg voted to authorize an additional penny tax to buy and protect this property that figured so prominently in the history, development success and identity of their community.
The Cultural Landscape Report being recognized tonight was commissioned by the City as a first and formative step in the development of a Master Plan to guide Sunken Gardens’ management and operation as an educational and historic, public garden attraction. Funded by a Preserve America grant from the National Park Service, the completed CLR will serve as a guiding framework for the development of a Master Plan and long-term management plan for Sunken Gardens.
Tour Venice Architectural Guide – Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation
The design tradition in the Venice area includes not only noteworthy individual buildings, but also a comprehensive effort, over many decades, to create a thriving community through high quality city planning, infrastructure, landscape, and innovative use of public land and waterways.
The scope of “Tour Venice Architecture” was thus expanded to include a much larger view of the role of “Architecture”, and the potential of such community design to improve the quality of life for residents and visitors. It is hoped that Venice will continue to build on its city planning tradition, and inspire other Florida cities and counties to devote similar energy and talent to community design.
Citizens and organizations in Venice were generous, insightful, and a delight to work with in sharing information about Venice architecture and history. Key participants are listed, with gratitude, in the Project Team section of the “Tour Venice Architecture” booklet.Because Venice is such a pleasant environment, physically and socially, there is a real spirit of interest and shared pride in the city. One of the organizations that encouraged this project was the Venice Area Historical Society, who invited the project team to present initial ideas at their annual meeting in 2010. Their expertise and insight was invaluable in helping to focus the scope of the project. Out of that meeting came the project tag line – Building the Dream.
This project represents a focused effort over a period of two years to define and fine-tune the project scope, gather community and financial support, engage in a detailed study of Venice area development history and architecture, and write, photograph, design, and produce the publication.
The dedicated team of experienced volunteers and professionals worked with efficiency and a collegial approach that led to a high level of productivity. Because this project was so visually and conceptually engaging, all of the professionals involved worked at substantially discounted rates, considering the project an opportunity for community service. The volunteers managing and overseeing the project utilized their extensive organizational abilities, insight, and interpersonal skills to see the project through to completion.
The final publication includes a 56 page booklet and large scale cover/map, 85 new photographs – all digitally optimized for publication, and 72 historical images illustrating design ideas and the sustainability of high quality architecture through time. 81 sites were featured, arranged in 4 conceptual/time-period categories, with explanatory text as well as orienting historical information.
1,200 copies were printed on a state of the art press with high quality paper. As the publication was supported by public tourism development funds, it has been made available to the public free of charge. The intention has been for maximum distribution and usefulness in the community – to get it into people’s hands so they may learn and be enthusiastic about Venice’s design. In fact, by the time of the opening reception, all the copies had been distributed and it has been necessary to immediately go to a second printing.
The Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau is to be commended for supporting this project financially and organizationally. The SCVB, with its mandate to promote tourism, realizes that heritage tourism and arts tourism (here the “building arts”) are economic drivers. They are supporting strong content and not just advertising, and this helps promote and solidify Sarasota County’s arts, heritage, and design identity.
For the first time, the Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation has utilized its Revolving Fund to support a project other than “bricks and mortar” restoration. The funds were derived from mitigation of a historic building that was demolished in the area. The Alliance considered this community education project to be a greater leverage of limited funding in this case than would be accomplished in a physical preservation project. The success of “Tour Venice Architecture” to date strongly validates that decision.
Jack West Archival Project – Sarasota County History Center
Ambitious and encompassing in scope, this project combines archival work with thoughtful interpretation resulting in an engaging public presentation. The project was accomplished within tight constraints of time and funding, and was made possible by a dedicated team that included the friends and family of Jack West, many of his colleagues, volunteers, professionals, and private and public organizations.
The exhibit is the community’s recognition of the creative work and passionate involvement that West devoted to Sarasota during the entire second half of the twentieth century. Through this exhibit, thousands of people have had the opportunity to learn of these creative expressions, and the leading role of design and the creative arts that defines the culture and physical environment of Sarasota.
The Jack West Archive represents a unique opportunity to expand the scope of knowledge about the historic preservation of modern architecture in Sarasota. Staff, volunteers, and professionals devoted a huge effort to making sure that West’s archive is cataloged and protected in public ownership for future generations. While West was a prolific designer and active citizen-architect, he was also a private and reserved individual, and did not overtly promote his work.
In Fall 2009 Jack West, evidently planning for the future, donated a portion of his archive to the Sarasota County History Center. Staff and volunteers with the Friends of the Sarasota County History Center immediately began reviewing these materials, creating a database of the documents, and planning for an educational presentation of the work.
Realizing that a comprehensive presentation of West’s architecture must include all of his work, the team approached West, who was in ill health, about providing additional images. West granted complete access to his studio (above left) and project documentation.
Hundreds of original drawings, renderings, photos and slides were scanned or photographed, and many were digitally restored for presentation purposes. Journal articles, manuscripts, and West’s autobiography were reviewed, and interviews were conducted with West, his colleagues and his clients to provide the necessary knowledge for interpretive text and exhibit organization. Jack West died in Sarasota on October 24, 2010.
The exhibit was installed in February 2011 at the Sarasota County Visitor Center and History Center Museum, a facility that represents an innovative collaboration among the interests of cultural experience, heritage education, tourism promotion, and hospitality. Both residents and visitors make extensive use of this facility. The West exhibit has been especially well-received and its installation is now being continued into its second year.
The exhibit contains 194 images organized into 17 interpretive sections, printed on 25 graphic panels each 36“x72”, totaling 450 square feet of archival quality, high resolution printing. All the frames and stands, fabricated for this exhibit, are built of re-milled historic cypress that was salvaged from the demolition of a local modern building. The exhibit contains a 1980’s monumental sculpture by West’s collaborating sculptor Jack Cartlidge, as well as two original models built by West in the 1970’s.
The collection will be an invaluable resource for future preservation of West’s buildings, as it includes design sketches, presentation drawings, and in many cases full construction documents. This documentation will additionally assist county staff in the adminstration of Sarasota’s resource protection programs as related to West’s work.
The photos of the opening reception illustrate the high level of interest in West’s work. It was gratifying to see original clients admiring drawings of their homes, and clients and friends sharing experiences about West. The West family was especially generous in encouraging the project and contributing the remaining archival material to the History Center where it will continue to serve the public, through education and preservation, long into the future.
“MiMo on the Beach – City of Miami Beach Planning Department
The “MiMo on the Beach” website (www.MiMoOnTheBeach.com) provides a comprehensive introduction to the tropical, resort-style form of postwar modern architecture, locally dubbed “Miami Modern” or “MiMo.” It also features four historic districts in Miami Beach that contain high concentrations of MiMo style buildings, ranging from glamorous resort hotels to modest garden apartments. A companion brochure is distributed to hotel guests and visitors, encouraging them to tour the MiMo architectural districts while they are visiting South Florida, as well as to direct them to the “MiMo on the Beach” website for detailed information. The website and companion brochure were completed by the City of Miami Beach in September 2011 with assistance from a federal grant administered by the State of Florida Bureau of Historic Preservation.
“MiMo on the Beach” approaches the challenges of public education with the tag line, “Futuristic, Flamboyant and Fun.” It uses sharp period-themed graphics, vivid photos and appealing narrative to capture the viewer’s imagination. The “MiMo 101” page on the website not only describes what MiMo architecture is, but it relates it to the context of the popular culture of the 1950s and 1960s, capitalizing on the current popularity of “Retro” design in the fashion, furnishings, television and movie arenas.
The website contains a wide breadth and depth of information that is efficiently organized for the viewer. Casual visitors to the website may simply enjoy the photos and graphics or find maps and MiMo tour information. More motivated viewers can find in-depth information about the MiMo style, the districts, individual buildings, prominent architects, preservation resources and news. There is an extensive glossary of MiMo architectural terms that is cross-referenced by hotlinks throughout the website. There are photo galleries and links to the district designation reports for each MiMo district. To supplement the one monthly guided tour offered in the North Shore District, there are self-guided tours for each of the four MiMo districts that can be downloaded and printed for visitors to use at any time.
The visual imagery, variety and layers of information on the website are designed to appeal to local residents and property owners as well as to an international audience. As noted previously, one objective is to motivate property owners and/or potential investors to preserve and rehabilitate MiMo buildings; another is to promote heritage tourism, especially in the lesser known North Beach neighborhood. By choosing the internet as the principal vehicle for this message, the city hopes to capitalize on the international popularity of the Miami Beach, South Beach and Art Deco “brands.” As people surf the internet looking for cool, hip things to do and see in South Beach, they may find “MiMo on the Beach” to be the most unexpected “futuristic, flamboyant and fun” new attraction.
Florida Civil War Heritage Trail – Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources
Since its release in June of 2011, coinciding with the national commemoration of the American Civil War, the Florida Department of State / Division of Historical Resources’ Florida Civil War Heritage Trail has become one of the most requested and popular of the Florida Heritage Trail publications to date. Produced to serve as a contemporary historical record of Florida’s Civil War related resources, the document provides a statewide reference guide for educators, heritage tourists, citizens and scholars in Florida and nationwide, and is especially popular with a growing community of Civil War enthusiasts and reenactors throughout the state.
This attractive, well-organized and well-researched publication represents the very best of public / private partnership efforts. It was created with public funding for distribution to the public at no cost, produced in partnership with a statewide organization of museum professionals, researched and written by Florida-based historians, and designed and printed in-state. In less than six months of distribution, the Florida Civil War Heritage Trail has been recognized as an outstanding publication representing the history and historical resources of our state.
The Florida Civil War Heritage Trail examines the state’s role in this epic period of American history through the state’s historic sites and museums. The Trail includes a background essay on the history of the Civil War in Florida, a timeline of events, 31 sidebars on important Florida topics, issues and individuals of the period, and a selected bibliography. It identifies over 200 battlefields, fortifications, buildings, cemeteries, museum exhibits, monuments, historical markers and other sites in Florida with direct links to the Civil War. Readers are encouraged to visit these historic sites and museums that reflect the Civil War experience in Florida. With increased public interest in the Civil War commemorations, the historic sites, state parks, and museums featured in the publication can expect to benefit from the increased exposure.
Library Box and Keeper in the Classroom – Ponce Inlet Lighthouse
For decades, the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse has offered free admission to all Volusia County school students, both private and public. Traditionally, a school visit was arranged, and trained lighthouse docents guided the tours of the light station and museum. Pre and post visit information and follow-up academic activities were provided to the classroom teacher. Once mailed to teachers in advance of the visit, and now available for download on the website, these activities and written lesson plans are comprehensive, with follow-up, and grade-level-appropriate student essay writing, worksheets, and activities consistent with Sunshine State Standards and multiple modalities and the variety of learning styles.
Planning and development of “The Keeper in the Classroom” program and “The Travelling Lighthouse Library Box” program began in anticipation of restricted transportation funding for public school field trips. Initially, two programs were created to serve as substitutions for students who could no longer travel by school bus to the lighthouse. One called “Keeper in the Classroom” brought trained, volunteer tour guides wearing replica United States Light House Service 1930’s uniforms to the classroom. The second, the “Travelling Lighthouse Library Box” is an exact reproduction of the nineteenth century United States Lighthouse Establishment Library Box, first introduced in 1876, and sent to isolated lighthouses once each quarter for the “edification and entertainment of the keepers and families.” The museum staff constructed two full-scale replicas to be circulated to Volusia County elementary schools on a loan basis. The library boxes contain a plethora of grade-level fiction and non-fiction books about lighthouses, lighthouse families, famous lighthouse keepers, and lighthouse living. It also contains a wealth of teacher/student primary and supplemental materials in Language Arts, History, Social Studies, Science, and Mathematics, all with lighthouse, navigational, nautical and maritime interests and themes. The Library Box teacher and student materials, like the pre and post visit resources, coordinate with Sunshine State Standards and the multiple modality needs of learners.
Teachers across the area quickly learned of the quality of the programs from other educators. Their popularity grew to become a pleasant problem of PILH outreach staffing, solved by the joining of the two programs into one offering.
Architectural Resource Surveys – City of Fort Lauderdale
The first step in any community’s efforts to preserve its heritage is to identify its historic resources. In the South Florida developer-driven environment, the pressure for growth has put many historic buildings and neighborhoods at risk. In this area, many efforts at saving historic buildings have come at the 11th hour due to the lack of sufficient documentation of local historic resources. The public is just not aware of what makes its community unique…until it’s too late.
The City of Fort Lauderdale has taken a giant step towards better planning by beginning a survey process to identify its architectural resources. With limited funding, Historic Preservation Planner and Survey Director Patricia Garbe-Morillo utilized in-house resources to cost effectively produce three architectural resource surveys encompassing four very important neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale’s development:
• Sailboat Bend Historic District – This is Fort Lauderdale’s oldest neighborhood and was designated as a historic district in 1992 and is home to the first fort that gave Fort Lauderdale its name
• Central Beach – Much of what made Fort Lauderdale famous is located in the Central Beach area. Midcentury modern is well represented as the beach developed into a mecca for tourists and college students on Spring Break.
• Colee Hammock + Beverly Heights – It’s hard to think of Fort Lauderdale without thinking of the famous Las Olas Boulevard shops. Running through the two neighborhoods, Colee Hammock to the east and Beverly Heights to the west, Las Olas Boulevard brings vitality from all around the region. What many people may not know is that, north and south of Las Olas Boulevard, there is an eclectic mix of notable architecture in a tree-lined neighborhood fabric that honors its history, even as redevelopment pressures constantly threaten its character.
The process of identifying historic resources citywide is critical to how Fort Lauderdale proceeds to develop in the future. The surveys help to understand what makes a community and documents it in a way that can be a useful planning tool. Only if we respect our architectural heritage can we develop in a way that is meaningful and preserves our sense of place, while enhancing our quality of life.
Manatee County Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
When Manatee County voters elected R.B. “Chips” Shore Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller in 1976, they may not have realized that they also elected a man who believed strongly in the importance of historic preservation and heritage education.
Each year, as Comptroller for Manatee County, Shore publishes a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (also known as the CAFR). Rather than produce a document that only lists the county’s financial status, each year, Shore chooses a different theme for the report. The artwork and text are used to educate Manatee County’s leaders and residents about more than numbers. He views the CAFR as a way to teach people about other ways the community is special. Because he loves history, several of the CAFRs in recent years have featured aspects of Manatee County’s past. CAFR’s have highlighted the architecture of the historic Manatee County Courthouse, displayed the historic postcard collection at the Manatee County Historical Records Library, showed scenes from the Village of Cortez and Natural Resources parks, and exhibited historic citrus labels from the Manatee County Agricultural Museum.
For 2011, Shore chose to promote how historic preservation is also environmentally friendly. The 2011 CAFR gives statistics on how much energy and landfill space is saved by keeping historic buildings and promotes the county’s use of historic buildings. It highlights seven historic buildings owned by Manatee County that are serving new purposes through adaptive reuse.
Interspersed among financial data, the readers of the CAFR, the Port Authority Report and the Utilities Reports learn about the importance of historic preservation and about Manatee County’s history. A photograph of a historic building and its water cistern remind residents accustomed to a modern water system that provides clean fresh tap water, sewer systems and reclaimed water for irrigation are reminded that not long ago such utilities were a luxury. As they read about the county’s efforts to balance its budget, they may be surprised to find that the Powel Crosley Estate, a historic building slated for demolition until Manatee County stepped in, is now a revenue generator for the community.
Most importantly, they learn that historic buildings can be adapted and reused in creative and environmentally friendly ways encouraging them to continue the efforts begun by Manatee County.
For the past thirty-two years, the Manatee County Comprehensive Annual Financial Report has won an award from the Government Finance Officers Association for excellence. However, the 2011 CAFR is much more than a financial report and demonstrates how the message of historic preservation can be presented in a different and creative fashion.
“Make No Little Plans” DVD – Historic Lakeland, Inc.“Make No Little Plans” tells the Lake Mirror story from the park’s glory days in 1934 (check this date) to the decline of the park due to encroachment and neglect, to ambitious plans to restore the park to its original design. The historical research had been thoroughly documented by Thomas A. Cloud and James H. Edwards in their National Register nomination which they titled “Make No Little Plans” The Development of Lakeland’s First Civic Center. Combined with a videotape produced a number of years ago containing interviews of prominent Lakelanders providing testimony of Lake Mirror’s importance, the DVD offers fresh memories of the restoration, connects historical photos and construction drawings to contemporary photos illustrating such things as the Lake Mirror Classic Auto Show, Mayfaire’s Art Festival Saturday night event at Lake Mirror, Hollis Garden, and Barnett Park.
As the DVD is utilized throughout the community, the importance of the Lake Mirror Promenade throughout its history is demonstrated to newer residents of Lakeland. Since Lake Mirror is the venue for many concerts, shows, and public events, the community is able to relate to its importance in the early days of Lakeland as well as its modern day usage. This DVD educates and supports the value of preserving Lakeland’s unique history for future generations.
Southeast Volusia Chamber of Commerce – New Smyrna Beach
The Southeast Volusia Chamber of Commerce has been a three year effort to bring a dilapidated local historic landmark back to its former 1930’s glory as a business and social center for the City of New Smyrna Beach. Sited on Canal Street, the historic downtown `main street’ of New Smyrna Beach, the building exterior was completely restored by the City of New Smyrna Beach and will continue to be operated as the Chamber of Commerce, as it has for the past 78 years. The preservation of this building is a direct result of the efforts of many people throughout New Smyrna Beach and Volusia County, and the project is deserving of our highest recognition.
The Chamber Building was designed in the Art Deco style so popular at the time, but with significant local influences. The facade is primarily composed of painted stucco, but with many rich details, such as cypress wood trim between the windows, pilaster columns at the side elevations, and a stucco sunburst frieze running along the top. Large double hung and casement windows provided cross breezes, cooling the building naturally in a time before air conditioning. The building was a center of the community, with the Chamber of Commerce located at the first floor, and a large auditorium, complete with stage, at the second floor. The interior was detailed with pecky cypress paneling, another local material. A porch is located at the second floor, at the corner of the building. Historic photos show that political speeches were given from this porch.
Quarried coquina stone was used extensively on the exterior and interior of the Chamber of Commerce building. A band of coquina stone was used to create a majestic base for the building. The same stone was used around the main entry, and on a flight of steps at the front corner of the building. A large coquina stone fireplace and chimney is centered on the rear facade.
The building opened in 1934 to great fanfare, and has been used as the area’s Chamber of Commerce ever since. During World War II, thousands of soldiers and airmen were stationed in the New Smyrna Beach area. The Chamber of Commerce building was used as a USO during this time, providing entertainment for the thousands of soldiers stationed there. Dances were held in the second floor auditorium. The post war years brought an expanded era of prosperity to the area, and the Chamber Building continued to be a center of economic development for the region.
By 2006, the building had begun to show its age and in 2007 the City of New Smyrna Beach made the decision to restore the building to its former glory. The restoration team was fortunate to have access to a wealth of historic photographs and in 2010, the restoration process was begun. The hip roof was replaced with a new metal shingle roofing system closely matching the historic roof. The historic ventilators on the roof were recreated from photos. New copper downspouts were installed in their original locations. The historic corner porch was reopened, restoring the symmetry of the facade. Demolition revealed that much of the original painted cypress siding was intact. This siding was restored, and missing areas of siding were reproduced. The coquina stone detailing on the building was restored. The windows and doors of the building presented a particular challenge. They are an important part of the historic nature of the building. A single remaining double hung window had survived the many renovations over seven decades. This window, along with many photographs, was used as a pattern to create the new double hung windows from heart cypress. The new windows are exact matches of the originals. New casement windows were also created at the second floor, where the original windows had been removed. Finally, the building was repainted in its original colors
Without the diligence and dedication of the local community, our heritage would be lost. The preservation of the Southeast Volusia Chamber of Commerce building is a direct result of the efforts of many people throughout New Smyrna Beach and Volusia County. The City of New Smyrna Beach deserves commendation for having the foresight to begin the long restoration process, including the obtaining of grant funding.
Vizcaya Museums and Gardens – East and West Gate Lodges – Miami
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens was built between 1913 and 1916 as one of the country’s finest private residences, inspired by the Italian villas along the Mediterranean coast. Recently designated as a National Historic Landmark, the museum and gardens are now open to the public as a visitor’s attraction. The complex includes a group of service outbuildings designed to resemble an Italian farm village. Service buildings originally included a Garage, Dairy Building, Mule Stable, Chicken Coop, Blacksmith Shop, East and West Gate Lodges and Staff Residence.
Having been abandoned for many years, the East and West Gate Lodge buildings were recently restored in accordance with the Vizcaya Master-Plan. Simultaneously both the East and West Gate Lodge buildings were fully restored to be used as administrative offices.
The restored Gate Lodges serve as the visual welcome to one of Miami’s most beloved tourist attractions. These once grand structures have been brought back to functional use, at the same time that their original architectural beauty has been returned to harmonize with the rest of this major historic complex.
Freedom Tower – Miami
The Freedom Tower has been an icon of downtown Miami since it was built in 1925. Originally the home of Miami Daily News, the Shultze and Weaver designed building, which was the tallest in Miami at the time, represented the exponential growth and thriving economy of Miami.
The building gained its name and its enduring place in US history for the role it played during the mass immigration of Cuban exiles in the 1960’s. Over a 12-year period the U.S. government occupied most of the facility and provided in-processing services, basic medical and dental services and relief aid to thousands of exiles.
In 1979, the Freedom Tower was listed in the National Register of Historic Places for its association as the Cuban Refugee Emergency Center and the offices of the oldest newspaper and plant facilities in Miami. It was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 2008.
After multiple owners and extended periods of time during which the building remained vacant, ownership of this landmark was transferred to Miami Dade College in 2008. Under the stewardship of the college the Freedom Tower serves as an educational, cultural and community center. Since Miami Dade College acquired it, the iconic building has been used for major art exhibitions, such as the complete set of master Goya’s etchings for the first time in the United Sates, drawing a record crowd. Committed to the preservation of the Freedom Tower as a place where people from all over the world can learn about the history of South Florida’s community and its role in the political fabric of the country as well as a place to enjoy cultural treasures, Miami Dade College secured funding and assembled a qualified design and construction team to perform urgently needed restoration work.
Though the Freedom Tower had undergone several restorations in the past thirty years, this was the first time that a thorough “top to bottom” exterior restoration was performed.
The restoration also included replacing over 350 original windows with historic replica impact windows, which would meet current hurricane codes, replacing the copper dome roofing, structural repairs, painting, coatings, and waterproofing the entire exterior envelope as well as interior restoration of the ballroom, which included plaster restoration, interior carpentry work and painting.
The project team devoted significant time looking at other buildings from the time period and studying their building plans, learning about techniques, material and construction methods to assure that the restoration work would be as historically accurate as possible. At the same time, the restoration addressed current building codes and provided long-term solutions that will significantly expand the life of the structure, using available funds judiciously and effectively.
After a thorough investigation, detailed planning and many hours of precision craftsmanship work by dedicated contractors, often working suspended 14 floors above the streets of Miami, The Freedom Tower once again stands in all its beauty, ready to welcome new generations to learn about a significant period in Miami’s history and a symbol of freedom and democracy.
Soho Beach House – Miami Beach
A new addition to the historic Sovereign Hotel, accompanying the restoration of the existing structure, the Soho Beach House strategically fills a gap on the rapidly-urbanizing oceanfront of Miami Beach and addresses the public frontage of the boardwalk while maintaining the hotel’s characteristic patio. The Sovereign, a prewar oceanfront hotel in the John S. Collins Waterfront Historic District of Miami Beach, (National Register designation pending) was restored in the context of the site’s reuse by the London-based boutique hotel and social club Soho House. The infill tower addition was placed deep within the site, accommodating the need for density within a compacted site, and allowing for a vastly enhanced program. The design resolved the dual challenge of restoration and expansion. The design maintains the hotel’s historic character within the context of Collins Avenue, while preserving the Sovereign’s historic interior and exterior public elements.
The Sovereign Hotel was designed by architect Roy France, built in November 1941, and was the last Miami Beach hotel completed before the Pearl Harbor attack. As a site within the Collins Waterfront Architectural District, the hotel terminates a long row of midsized and “skyscraper” prewar hotels, Miami Beach’s traditional hotel row, stretching from South Miami Beach, 30 blocks away. The Sovereign’s massing predicts France’s later postwar work, although its height, scale, and layout of interior spaces (although perhaps not its height) mesh seamlessly with its prewar neighbors. In many ways the Sovereign is a representative example of prewar Miami Beach hotel architecture which the area typifies.
Necessitated by a program much larger than that of original hotel, which required a multiplicity of highly specialized spaces, a new 15 story tower was added to the rear of the Sovereign building. This structure, in a derivation of postwar modernism to differentiate itself from the original building, fits squarely within the patrimony of hotel growth and expansion in Miami Beach since the 1930s. The addition feeds off of a pattern seen in its neighbors – hotels like the Lord Tarleton, Versailles, and Cadillac – of prewar hotels greatly enlarged by additions of the early postwar period, typically in a postwar, International. The tower sits lightly on the site, suspended on pilotis at the end of the Sovereign’s guest room block, avoiding the historic axis of street, porch, lobby, courtyard, pool, garden, and ocean, and providing a contrasting verticality to the Sovereign’s conservative horizontal massing.
Forming a tower that would maintain its presence in the context of the site, while being differential to the historic hotel, was a key obstacle of this project. Placed on the ocean side, the urban realm is left untouched by the tower. The west side by contrast, towards the direction of the city, connects the tower with the hotel in a juncture that defines the two as distinctly separate.
Big Cabin at Camp Chowenwaw – Green Cove Springs
Big Cabin is the last remaining structure that was built in Clay County under the federal relief program of President Herbert Hoover’s administration. This program was known as the Relief Construction Act of 1932. This program was started in 1932 and ended in 1933. According to the Girl Scout Council Board minutes from 1932-1933, they received federal funds for labor assistance to build the log cabin and other structures. This is one of the factors that motivated the preservation along with the fact that this is a unique structure, a real log cabin.
Clay County Board of County Commissioners purchased Camp Chowenwaw Park in 2006 with funding assistance from Florida Communities Trust. The property had been a Girl Scout camp since 1933, and this building is the original structure remaining from that initial camping season. Key to the acquisition and restoration of Camp Chowenwaw and Big Cabin was the commitment of Clay County to preserve the historic setting that the Scouts had enjoyed for over 70 years. This now public park offers the users a chance to experience the low-impact style of outdoor recreation the Girl Scouts experienced and promoted, and educates on the significant history of the property and structures. In addition, its situation on a crest overlooking Black Creek emphasizes the long —standing human connection to land and water. Archaeological evidence extends the history of human settlement at the site of Big Cabin back to the Woodland cultural period (500 B. C. to 900 A.D.). The county’s intent is not only to tell these stories to the public, but to allow future generations to share experiences similar to those of their predecessors by maintaining the building in its original configuration as a venue for social gatherings and educational functions.
It is not very often that a unique structure comes along enabling a us to gain experience and insight into construction details of the past. This proved a challenge for the architect, engineer and contractor. Some of these challenges included accessing the condition of the logs which looked good on the outside but were rotten on the inside. This required the exploratory drilling of all logs to make a log replacement schedule. Replacement logs could not be purchased from a lumber supplier, local land owners agreed to sell timber for the project. Once all the trees were selected, they were delivered with the bark on. At this point the crew used 19th century draw knives to skin all 150 logs. Once skinned, the logs were examined for appearance to determine which sides would be seen from the exterior or interior. Additionally, the 1933 construction details were brought up to up to the current building code requirements without compromising the exterior appearance of the building. This included ADA, life safety and structural stability. The attention to detail in the stabilization and restoration of this unique structure are most deserving of an outstanding award.
Villa Serena – Miami
Restoration has recently been completed on Villa Serena, a historic waterfront mansion built in 1913 as the Miami winter home of William Jennings Bryan, famous orator, former U.S. Secretary of State and three-time Presidential candidate. The house has the distinction of being one of the first residential structures in the country built of poured reinforced concrete and one of the earliest examples of Mediterranean Revival architecture in Miami. Villa Serena was spared demolition when it was purchased by a noted Miami philanthropist with the intention of restoring it as her private residence.
The project included complete architectural and engineering services for the exterior and interior restoration of the main house, guest house, landscaped grounds, seawall and dock. Unsympathetic alterations, such as bedrooms partitioned off to accommodate new closets, bathrooms and cathedral ceilings obscured by flat dropped ceilings, were reversed and details were brought back to their original appearance.
Custom-made impact resistant wood windows exactly replicated the original units and the historic green Ludovici tile roof was faithfully reproduced. [Photos # 8-10] The original multi-colored Cuban floor tiles were restored throughout the ground story of the house. One of four ornate marble fireplaces that had been previously removed was re-sculpted, accurately replicating the other original historic fireplaces. Kitchen and bathrooms were brought up to modern standards of comfort and convenience, while remaining within the historic context.
Right down to the landscaping, the historic restoration of Villa Serena has re-created a setting evocative of the quiet, more genteel days of Miami at the turn of the twentieth century. It has brought this former grande dame up to the highest, most up-to-date standards of luxury residential living, returning it to a place of prominence as one of the finest waterfront estates in Miami, while preserving its historic integrity.
Hosford Wesleyan Methodist Church – Hosford
On July 6, 1901, Mr. and Mrs. O.W. Ferrell deeded this site of the Hosford Wesleyan Methodist Church as a place of divine worship of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Planning and construction for a permanent sanctuary is believed to have commenced in the early 1900s. Judge Robert Flournoy Hosford oversaw the construction, with materials provided by the sawmill of Truman Edward (T.E.) Thomas, the sawmill that built the historic Graves Brothers Mill, which was located behind the church.
The Sanctuary served as the place of worship for the Hosford Methodist Episcopal Church South until 1958, when it was purchased by the Hosford family. In 1960, it was conveyed to the American Wesleyan Methodist Church, and continued to serve as a place worship. The last service held on November 17, 1991.
In 1992, Kenneth L. Hosford, an attorney and great-grandson of Judge Robert Flournoy Hosford, reacquired the church for the family from the Florida District of the Wesleyan Church, the successor of the American Wesleyan Methodist Church, conveying it to a family-controlled, non-profit corporation. The family entered into a lease agreement with Liberty County to preserve the building and dedicate its use to public purpose. Restoration was completed in 2009 with the assistance of a state historic preservation grant.
The church is reputed to be the oldest standing structure in Liberty County, Florida.
Barry Huber – Lake City
To understand the craftsmanship that went into the roof restoration of the Cherokee Lodge is to understand its uniqueness. Somewhere in the early 1900’s, house designers, in an effort to make the English, or Cotswald, Cottage style homes more desirable, relaxed the overall appearance with faux thatch roofs. These faux thatch roofs were the merging of cedar shingles and curved roof framing to create ‘rolling’ edges, and softened valleys and hips. This style of roof was principally promoted by a company from North Tonawanda, New York: the Creo-Dipt Company. Most of the homes of this style were designed and built in the 1920’s.
The Creo-Dipt Company, primarily a stained shingle provider, did more than promote, they produced specific guidelines for framing and roofing of what they specifically called the ‘Thatch Effect’ Roof. They then, also provided pre-bent and stained shingles. Sometimes even in a multicolored blend with a thatch color scheme.
Today, with no record of how they bent and processed the shingles for these roofs, it all needed to start from the beginning. To fit the otherwise flat cedar shingles onto these softened edges would require steam bending of the wood to the various shapes and radii. Steam-bending and fitting is the most challenging aspect but not the only unique challenge. The shingles themselves are installed in wave course patterns to further lend to the randomness of the thatch roof.
To address the challenges the nominee started first with boiling shingles to see what would work best to soften and bend the wood. Next, he looked to steam bending. Then came the necessity to design and build the equipment needed to shape and not only to shape but to bend in such a way that the curve would be retained. The next step was to find the best grain of wood for bending to cut down on waste due to broken shingles.
In the case of the Cherokee Lodge, the shingles were installed in wave coursing
patterns with an average exposed face of approximately 3”. A 16” shingle was used originally and would be used for the restoration. A 16” shingle is specified to be installed at a 5” exposure. This difference creates the need for 67% more shingles then the roof area would entail.
Barry Huber of Huber & Associates has been known over three decades as a roofing professional of unparalleled skill and diversity. His company has repeatedly received national recognition for their craftsmanship and expertise. They are frequently contacted within the industry to supply technical information, and have written numerous articles for trade journal publications. Over the years his pursuit of excellence has led him into challenging and intricate projects demanding the highest levels of craftsmanship. For this talented artisan, a wide array of roofing materials have been elevated from simple function to mediums of artistic expression.
Frank Willis – Tallahassee
The Willis Family Estate is an Historic Restoration / Adaptive Reuse project that serves as a private residence, woodworking shop and a setting for receptions, weddings and events. It includes a village “compound” of (5) buildings and (3) outbuildings + 5 covered porches, a terraced runnel fountain, pool terrace, and extensive gardens. The site is defined by several large Live Oak trees. One in particular (a multi trunk Patriarch Live Oak) has been a special place for a number of generations in the owner’s family. This tree is the focal point of the overall site design and generates the axial connection between itself and the public entry gate at the street. The axis is marked with the terraced runnel watercourse that follows the slope of the land. There are 2 historic buildings that were restored and integrated into the new design: one is the Emma Kate Historic Cottage (located closest to the primary public street) and the other is a metal shed that was part of a dairy farm that the family operated on the property. The old “dairy shed” is adjacent to the new Barn / Woodshop. The other new buildings, the Carriage House and Primary Residence, form a courtyard around the pool terrace. Excellent craft in woodworking and masonry in both restored and new construction is evident throughout the project.
Frank is a licensed builder with over 32 years of experience. Frank has restored and remodeled his grandparents homestead located on the scenic Canopy Road – Centerville Road in Tallahassee, FL. It is on a 3 acre parcel with 300 year old Live Oak trees that was once part of a 100 acre dairy farm.
The Carl Weinhardt Award is given to an individual, to recognize his or her significant achievements and leadership in non-governmental state historic preservation arenas. This year the award is given to:
Arthur Ivan “Buddy” Jacobs – Fernandina Beach
Next year Buddy Jacobs will have been a resident of Fernandina Beach for 70 years. He graduated from UF and following Law School there, at age 26, became dean of University Relations and Development for UF. Though he accomplished a number of actions related to that position, in regard to historic preservation he is credited by Florida Trust founding member Roy Hunt with “almost single-handedly saving the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings House, Cross Creek.” Since 1977 he has served on the advisory board and for more than a decade served as chair for the Preservation Institute: Nantucket, including guest lecturing during many summer sessions.
He served as chairman of the State Arts Council of Florida and was a member of the National Council of the Arts for a decade under Presidents Reagan and Bush. He chaired the Advocacy Committee of the American Arts Alliance in Washington.
A decade ago he led the successful battle in Fernandina Beach to avoid construction of a Super Wal-Mart. He has lectured throughout the country about historic preservation and how to restore towns and cities with Fernandina Beach as his model.
Currently, he is working pro bono with the citizens of Apalachicola for a solution to Progress Energy’s newly-installed overhead power poles through the heart of that community’s downtown, a National Register Historic District.
Thank you to Roy Hunt of Gainesville, Susan Hardee Steger of Fernandina Beach, and Thomas Daly of Apalachicola – representing two coasts and central Florida – for coming together to nominate Buddy Jacobs as Florida Trust’s 2013 Carl Weinhardt Award Winner.
The Evelyn Fortune Bartlett Award is given to an individual whose life exemplifies the guardianship of Florida’s historic properties through philosophy and actions. This year the award is given to:
Jerry Ross Spinks, posthumously
After completing undergraduate and law school education at Florida State University and eight years in the US Coast Guard Reserve, Jerry Ross Spinks moved to Jacksonville in 1972. He spent the next forty years supporting historic preservation and community activities there.
In the field of historic preservation, he was active in the historic Good Shepherd Episcopal Church where he secured gifts for restoration of the stained glass windows, and he participated in the Riverside Fine Arts Association. As member and past president of Riverside-Avondale Preservation he helped start the incredibly successful holiday luminaria event and secured the donation of the Buckman House which is the organization’s headquarters. He served as president of the Jacksonville Historical Society and chaired the Old St. Luke’s effort to create a major repository for Jacksonville’s history. He orchestrated the rescue, relocation (twice) and restoration of the Merrill House Museum. Jerry chaired the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission which recognized him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. He helped plan the Florida Trust conference in Jacksonville in 2001 and was a member of the Circle of 100 program to benefit the Florida Trust House.
Photographs from the 2012 Statewide Preservation Awards are now online. Please click here to view. Thank you to Richard Clarke, photographer, for these wonderful images.