History Houses Update

     I’d like your opinion on this:

     Should we be saving the important historical structures still alive in our community? – and by whom – and how?

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     Here’s a few examples of recent efforts, where they went right, and where they may be going wrong.

    #1 – Effort went right!

        

     It’s an historic Firehouse in Sailboat Bend, it’s a Fire Museum, and it’s a beauty!

     The historic renovation was a successful private effort, with very little City help. It was led by former Commissioner John Aurelius and friends. Aurelius was one of our best City Commissioners.

                         
                     Aurelius (picture courtesy of Cal Deal)

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      #2 –
Effort has been tough going


             

     
     The Shippey House.
 
    
Turn of the century bungalow once owned by infamous local Judge Shippey.
 
     There were good reasons to save the house for posterity, important and colorful City founder, good example of the architecture of the day.

     Just days before it was to be demolished, a small group of citizens banded together and fought to save it. The House was moved to a City lot in the historical district, just in time. 

     The effort has inched ahead in fits and starts. Even though some top citizens have participated, no one seems to be totally in charge, and it’s been hard to get a straight story on the progress (or lack thereof).  The move was somewhat controversial from the start, and the City seems to have been hot and cold over the house’s move and renovation since.

     Now, it’s been sitting on blocks for months, with plans for it’s foundation changing, even though the hurricane season is upon us.

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     #3
– Was good – now maybe in trouble.

                           
                                      new paint already defaced

     The Annie Beck House. One of our most important saved homes that was once on Las Olas. 

    
It was moved to the Middle River Terrace Park  a few years ago by the Broward Trust for Historic Preservation. The Trust was run very efficiently for a decade by it’s President Diane Smart, and the historic structure was always perfectly maintained.

     But now, with Smart gone, the House is going downhill.

                      

     The current Board of Directors has let the lattice surrounding the crawl space stay kicked in and broken for months. Now, local hoodlums are doing other damage ( the broken window theory !)

                   
                         firmly attached porch swing ripped from porch

 
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     So what role should the government play in preserving our history?
 
     Years ago, when the Riverfront downtown was built, the government got involved and insisted that one of the last remaining structures, the front of the old First Bank, be saved.


                    


     But this picture wouldn’t be it, because the developer “accidentally” backed over the original with a bulldozer.
 
     That’s the “recreation” the City made them build.

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     So what’s your opinion? Should we save any of the remaining important historic structures?

     Should the government take some sort of regulatory or organization role in the preservations?

      Or should we just knock it all down and forget them?