16 Responses

  1. Jan C Reed

    Wow, what a perfect month to start a Why Preservation class during National Preservation Month! I never knew there was a preservation month – it is a great idea and a wonderful way to celebrate Florida’s history and get more people involved in historic preservation efforts. The historic building that captivated my interest is the restored Florida Historic Capital, as I graduated from Florida State in Tallahassee and might have an opportunity to visit this historic building this summer when taking my son to football camp up there.
    When attending FSU, I remember the capital (or the “old” capital as it was called) building as being dilapidated and needing attention. Thankfully, through citizens’ action the art glass dome, red and white striped awnings and the Florida State Seal over the entry columns were all saved through the restoration efforts that were completed in 1982. The renovation was supervised in conjunction with the Department of State, which allowed it to be one of the most thoroughly documented projects in the country, which should be useful to other communities embarking on restoration projects.
    It is interesting to note that the very first Florida capital building was constructed in 1826 but was never finished. Instead of continuing the construction and preserving the partially completed building, it was demolished in 1839 and the replacement Capital building was completed in 1845, just before Florida was admitted to the Union as the 27th state. It is evident that Florida needed a historical preservation effort back then. Several additions were completed to the 1845 capital over the years. The first expansion was in 1902 when the classical style dome designed by Frank Millburn was added. New wings were added in 1923 along with a marble interior and large wing for the House and Senate chambers were also added.
    The Historic Capital building was restored to its 1902 appearance and now operates as a museum where visitors experience the events that have molded Florida into the state it is today. The museum offers not only beautifully restored architecture but a history of the government of Florida. I hope to be able to visit the Florida Historic Capitol Museum soon.

    About the Historic Capital, http://www.flhistoriccapitol.gov/

  2. maritza rodriguez

    your post made me go and research the florida historic capital and read its history, I also found it to be very interesting. I love the history of old building and or monuments. I find it facinating. The deomlition of this building would have been a history lost in the dust.
    In reading about the restorations of buildings I realize and am grateful for all the programs
    out there that are working hard to save our monumental homes and buildings. Its our history
    that we can pass down to the next generation.

  3. Sebastien Piquemal

    I think this movement is great for the state of Florida and the entire country. Just like for human beings it is important to know your past, the same is important for a culture to know its history. The architecture of a specific time period shows how the people were living and how they were thinking. For example, the picture of the Lincoln theater is a sample of Art Deco, which is an architectural movement that represents the spirit of that time period: happiness, prosperity, freedom and modernism.
    It is important for Americans to preserve their historical sites because it is a young society; therefore, it is easier to implement a preservation attitude and save buildings because they are not very old yet. For instance, saving a building that has been neglected for fifty years is easier than a building that has been disrepair for three hundred years; likewise, it is easier for a younger culture to make preservation part of its DNA.
    I grew up in France in Avignon, a city was called The Capital of the World because the Pope had his palace there for three hundred years. The Palace today is still intact and it was built in the 14th century, it is a beautiful place to visit. Now that I left France, when I return to visit my country I really enjoy places like the Pope’s Palace. I feel impressed and amazed about the care of these buildings and, as a result, of our culture as well.

  4. Jen Zegel

    Great blog, Lesa! Glad to see your preservation course is framing the theoretical around our local history – Brevard County & Florida. Your students are adding great insights too!
    I hope this effort leads to a greater awareness of how our built environment contributes to our collective social experience of our communities, both connecting us to our past, but also, and more important in my view, leading us to good decisions in the present to influence our future. A sense of place transcends time. Our built environment can create harmony with our natural environment yet still reflect the character of the people of the particular place and time. This is what makes our Florida architectural history so fascinating. As you said, the past is the prologue!

  5. Coral Moyle

    They say you learn something new every day and I can say today this phrase has shown some truth. I never knew that May was National Preservation month. This celebration is a great way for people who are uniformed about preservation of this nation’s historic buildings to get involved. Although I have been to Tallahassee a few times in the past, I have never taken the opportunity to stop and visit the capitol building, but after reading this blog and the proceeding responses, I will definitely make it a point to stop next time!
    Since one of the tips to get involved in this month’s celebration was to look in your own community and seek out historic gems, I started doing some research. Since I live in St. Augustine, a walk downtown gives hundreds of opportunities to learn about these historic sites and what we can do to make sure they are preserved for generations to come.
    But what about the places that many people don’t see or didn’t know they even exist? This is why on May 5th The Citizens for Preservation of St. Augustine (CPSA) hosted a tour to see the sites that are not recognized as much as they should (the gems of the city). Local historian David Nolan joined the “Know Your City” tour of the Nation’s oldest city. This celebration tour for May included the “streetcar suburbs”, Henry Flagler’s first train station, and the last remains of the mansion “Kirkside”. These are places I have never even seen nor understood what I was looking at and I have lived in St. Augustine for over 12 years. This was a great way for the city of St. Augustine to jump start the Preservation month of May and get people involved and aware of the preservation movement.

    Citizens for Preservation, http://cpsa-staug.org/

  6. maritzaq rodriguez

    Lincoln Roads image is of roller-blade, Euorpean syle cafes and art galleries and of course the lincoln Theatre. This historical landmark serves as a remimder that the art deco period was alive and well in miami beach in the 1930’s. Some of Lincoln road shows run in 1957 was The Bridge on the River Kwai, 1959 Ben-Hur, 1960 Pepe, the longest day in 1962 1963 Cleopatra, 1964 My Fair Lady, 1965 The Agony and the Ecstasy to name a few. If you want further Roadshows you can go to the Miami News at http://news.google.comnewspaper.com

  7. maritzaq rodriguez

    continuation of above post.

    the Lincoln Theatre clossed in the early 80’s and after sitting vacant for many years, the building was leased in 1988 by the New World Symphony which was founded by Michael Tilson Thomas. The organization was created to further develop gifted musicians for positions on orachestra all around the world. Although the building was resorted to ites original appearance the inside was completed demolish in 1990 and rebuilt to hold 713 seats and a stage with over 2000 square feet of space. Another monumental being destroy, with all the tourist we get in south miami with older folks looking for entertainment, this building could have very well be remodeled inside and continue to serve as a theatre and concerts.I’m positive that it would bring in great amounts of revenue and kept as what it was meant to be. And not a retail center. once again there goes history vanishing.

  8. Jamie Goodwin

    This is my first time learning about Historic Preservation in a formalized setting and I am pleased to learn that May is National Preservation month. I believe that it is very important to spread the word about the importance of preserving our great nations history. I think that history, which gives a sense of community can boost pride within America. In today’s fast paced world many new building are a result of cheapened materials and quick labor. The factor of pride in work has began to blow right out of America’s window. With that said, I further feel that in this current low economical time that many Americans are beginning to recognize that our fast pace is actually slowing us down. In result, folks are starting to become aware of preservation efforts and the strength in taking pride in previous efforts and hard work. I 100% agree with Sebastian’s comment above that Historic Preservation should be weaved into the fabric of the American DNA. He also made an excellent point that it is a much more simple effort to preserve a building of 50 years rather then when it is in ruins in 300.
    The meeting to jump start National Preservation month that took pace in the newly restored 1902 Rotunda of the Historic Capitol in Tallahassee, FL was a perfect place to host this event. It allowed the public to view this event seriously as they are able to see a real life preservation effort before their eyes. I think it was a wise choice to highlight our new stride in Preservation efforts.

  9. Bryan Mozo

    I honestly had no idea that there was a National Preservation Month! I think that is such a really cool and important thing to dedicate a month to just to get people to think about all the historic buildings in their area, I wish it was more common knowledge that May is National Preservation Month. I think if younger kids in school were taught more about preserving buildings and getting to actually learn about historic buildings in field trips that in the future a lot more of the population would be interested in saving old buildings from becoming dilapidated and torn down.

    I’ve been up to Tallahassee many times growing up to visit family and some friends that go to FSU and have been lucky enough to visit the “Old” Capital building. I think it is the perfect building to talk about in this article about finding the “gems” of old historic buildings in your area. It’s such a beautiful and amazing building to see architecturally, but if you’re just driving by it or walking around it almost gets dwarfed by the “New” Capital building that is just this huge modern sky scraper. I think this is such a shame because while the newer building is really massive and impressive the old capital building has so much more character and is just way more beautiful to me than the new one.

    Even in our own county I know a lot of people who haven’t even been into places like the Cocoa Village Playhouse which I think is a huge shame because as far as buildings in our county goes I think it’s really interesting historically.

  10. Kathleen Miron

    So this is preservation month, I didn’t know. I like the idea. It makes me more aware of what’s needed and how it will affect areas. I can recall as a child visiting historic sites but not realizing what they stand for other than the history lesson, and boy did I get some history lesson. I visited a restoration in New York it gave me a sense of just how hard life was for the settlers at that time. I was able to compare that to one in Virginia that was a little different. Even though some homes were two story they were small, very close in quarters. I learned this was because of the climate with cold winters made it easier to heat the house and keep warm. This gave me a sense of appreciation for what we have today. Different areas need different growth. I also saw a battle field in Pennsylvania that was a larger area and with a re-creation of the original battle and seeing just what they had to do to survive while fighting for this land , I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride and honor to be living here in this country. These places are true landmarks. When we think of preservation we need to think landmark, it’s a statement of history that identifies a place, a time, and the people. We need to take pride in this. I think it’s important and interesting that these restorations are all over the United States. When your traveling look one up for a side trip, you’ll be glad you did.

  11. Clair Brown

    National Preservation month is a good way to energize folks to get involved within their communities about to historical structures and landmarks. Most people either know of at least one historic structure due to family connection or simply passing a dedicated land mark sign. Knowing the history of a structure or an area can help connect to it in some way. Community functions and or fundraisers are frequently held all over the country to bring awareness to communities about history making events and structures round them.
    There is a beautiful house in the downtown section of Titusville that I’ve passed by for years known as the Historic Pritchard house built in 1891. The Pritchard family was known for growing sugarcane and citrus in the 1800’s. After a freeze destroyed their crops, they turned to real estate, utilities and started the first bank in Titusville in 1888. The Pritchard house was a Queen Ann style house with a wrap a round porch, veranda and steep gables. “On the first floor is the main entrance hall, which has a fireplace, the stairway to the second floor, a parlor, which has a fireplace, and the dining room which has a built in “china closet” and pantry. The kitchen was separated from the main living area by an open passage, now closed with an entrance door on the south side.” (nbbd) “The second floor has four bedrooms and the maid’s room, all with built-in closets.” (nbbd)
    Brevard County and the North Brevard Heritage Foundation have received a $350,000 grant for the restoration but more funding, supplies and skilled labor is need to complete the house.


  12. Alison Carver

    Well, it’s taken a few years to catch on, but it seems like the momentum is picking up. Preservation Week was declared in 1971 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, 34 years later, in 2005, Preservation Week was extended to a month long event establishing May as National Preservation Month. Adding 3 additional weeks was a great idea. Having four different weekends to venture out of your own neck of the woods and explore various historic sights throughout the state. Each weekend can be a new adventure with a new destination. Compared to the initial 34 years interval, it only took a measly 7 years for Florida to jump on the bandwagon and recognize the importance of historical preservation by additionally declaring May as Historic Preservation month in Florida. All fun aside, I am truly please to see such an important subject brought to the forefront of societal view. I would like to see all states continue on this path and establish Preservations Months as well. I would like to see further involvement on the local level with cross-references to other counties and cities. More activities focused on local Historic Preservation sights including, tours, events, fairs, etc. published throughout each county would help educate people about places across their state and in their own backyard. I have faith, with the recent support at the state level, and the continued economic recovery, the Historic Preservation movement will continue to grow each year.

  13. David Scott

    I was not aware of the United States ever having a National Preservation Month or even associating a theme with it too. After reading the article and realizing that it was recently officially declared, in the state of Florida, gives reason as to why I could not find any information on any events from a Google search. With its declaration in 2012, I figure that many more wide span events are to come for this year in order to spread awareness and get more people involved in historic preservation. I think the theme chosen for last year’s preservation month, “Discover America’s Hidden Gems” was a perfect initiating title and concept towards introduction and continuation for present and future preservationists.

    The advice given by the National Trust for Historic Preservation consisting of variegated interactive activities was very detailed and could be expounded on in many ways. Planning tours of little-known historic sites might not turn out to only be tours but also historic lessons that people could learn and piece together as to why certain places have to be preserved. This goes along with the plan of scheduling lectures, films and slideshows about places saved and threatened. A combination of several of these events and activities would grasp the public’s interest even more than just a single event. This brings along the thought of having a Preservation Fair of some sort, where people could gather and share stories, experiences and recruit people interested in preservation while having fun with games and rides.

  14. Chelsea Pushman

    First of all I did not know that there is such a thing as National Preservation Month here in Florida. I have lived here my whole life so I am kind of surprised to not know this. Mrs. Lorusso, I just thought I would say that I appreciate this class a lot. I know it is required for my major but it is interesting and I am continuing to learn so much about preservation. I really enjoy the images of different locations and projects you have shared and the class has shared. I am excited to have taken this class and got to see things I probably would have never heard of or seen without it.

    I never knew the significance of restoring. I more so saw it as a chance to make money by establishing tours and museums etc. But, through my study I have seen that it is more than that. It is even clearer now that preservation is so important because we have a whole month dedicated to preservation. The support and efforts made by so many people is very humbling. It is so nice to see an extraordinary passion shared amongst a group of people. It is these same people who make all the difference when it comes to saving specific buildings and areas that might otherwise be torn down if not for these supporters of preservation.

    I am a huge fan of Cocoa Village. I love to go there with my friends and I love to support local, small business. Places like this help keep Florida wealthy in many ways other than money. I also love the Florida Keys. I like the culture and style that has been created because of the architecture and people. Culture and integrity of different historic places/buildings get to live on in Florida thanks to Preservation.

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