Request to Demolish the Belleview Biltmore Hotel Submitted

Residents of the Town of Belleair are seeking help against the request to demolish the grand wood-framed 4-1/2 story hotel built for Henry Plant in 1896. Current owners want to demolish the hotel and guest cottages and build condominiums on the site. You can support area residents in their efforts to preserve this unique part of Florida’s history by attending the Tuesday January 17, 2011 Belleair Town Meeting at  7:30 p.m. at the Belleair Town Hall, 901 Ponce de Leon Boulevard. If you are unable to attend the meeting, make your opinion known by sending emails to local officials (see contact info here). In addition, preservationists ask the following:

Unfortunately KAWA (the current owner) has absolutely no interest in restoring the hotel themselves and is currently trying to sell it since they bought it.   Currently KAWA has plans to build 180 townhomes after demolishing the Biltmore.  There is a long legal process including rescinding the 2005 preservation ordinance that would have to take place for this to happen, BUT the important fact is that Belleair officials need to know citizens STILL want the Biltmore saved.

If you know of any investors, developers, hoteliers or real estate companies to contact to purchase the hotel OR if you know of investors who might be willing to help other investors in the renovation process, let me know as soon as possible!  We have spent a lot of time writing to possible investors, but we need YOUR help also again at this time to help save the Biltmore since the current owners unfortunately have NO interest in renovating this magnificent hotel!

Please, please contact any realtor in your area or email them from the web and let them know the Biltmore is in urgent need of a buyer.  Mention our web site www.savethebiltmore.com so they can contact us.

Our goal would be to help put together a team of investors to save the hotel in case one buyer does not have sufficient investors for its renovation in these challenging economic times.

The hotel offers an opportunity for the area to have a unique destination that would be an economic boon to the town if the right investor steps forward. Additional way you can help are also found on the www.SavetheBiltmore.com website as well as some background history.

News story from the Tampa Bay Times: http://www.tampabay.com/news/localgovernment/article1209820.ece with some more information.

2012 Florida Trust Most Endangered Applications

Florida Trust for Historic Preservation

Florida Trust for Historic PreservationKnow of a historic resource that we are in danger of losing through development pressure, demolition by neglect, or other means? Nominate it to the 2012 Florida Most Endangered list to help raise public awareness and hopefully save the resource. All applications are accepted online only.  The deadline for the Program Nominations is February 29, 2012. Tampa’s unprotected cigar factories have made past lists.

Tampa City Council Seek Applications For Historic Preservation Citizen Boards

The members of the City Council of the City of Tampa are seeking citizens to serve on several City of Tampa Boards, Commissions, and Advisory Councils/Commissions.

Citizens interested in seeking appointment must be residents and registered voters in the City of Tampa. However, there are several Boards, Commissions, and Advisory Councils/Commission that do not require citizens to be residents and registered voters of the City of Tampa. These positions are voluntary. Individuals being appointed to serve on these Boards, Commissions, and Advisory Councils/Commissions serve without compensation. Individuals being appointed may be required to file financial disclosure.

The deadline for submission of applications is 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday-June 1, 2011 in the Office of the City Clerk, Old City Hall, 315 E. Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, Florida

The City Council of the City of Tampa has scheduled three-minute presentations of the applicants on June 23, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. under Staff Reports and Unfinished Business during the regular sessions of Council. The meetings are held in the Tampa City Council Chambers, Old City Hall, 315 E. Kennedy Boulevard, Third Floor, Tampa, Florida.

Applications are available in the Office of the City Clerk, Old City Hall, 315 E. Kennedy Blvd., Third Floor, Tampa, Florida and are also available on the City of Tampa’s website at: http://www.tampagov.net/appl_tampa_Boards_and_commissions The application can be filled out on-line and can be submitted electronically. Directions for submission are listed on the application.

The Historic Preservation Boards, Commissions, and Advisory Councils/Commissions that have current openings between now and October 1, 2011 are:

Architectural Review Commission
Purpose:  The Commission has the authority to hear and grant variances in historic districts or landmark sites
designated by the Commission (except those areas under the jurisdiction of the Barrio Latino Commission) from
the terms and regulations of the zoning chapter relative to yard (setback), fence and buffer regulations, height
structures in certain residential districts, signs, etc. The ordinance that created this Commission was designed to
protect historically significant buildings and landmarks within the City limits.
Term of Office: Three Years
Special Requirements:

  • Members and alternate members shall have a demonstrated interest, competence, professional experience or knowledge in architecture, historic preservation, history, architectural history, planning, archaeology, development, real estate appraisals, real estate marketing, law or other related disciplines.
  • Oath of Office required.
  • Financial disclosure required.
  • All appointees shall be residents of the City of Tampa.
  • Members shall not serve more than two consecutive full terms.

Terms Expiring:

  • One Position – Due to Resignation:
  • Alternate – Term expires on February 3, 2014

Meeting Schedule:

  • First Monday and Wednesday of every month at 6:00 p.m.
  • Location: Tampa City Council Chambers, Old City Hall, 315 E. Kennedy Blvd., Third Floor, Tampa

Historic Preservation Commission
Purpose: To recommend designations, conservation districts and historic districts. The Historic Preservation
Commission is eager to access Tampa’s historic resources and has incorporated into its work plan the goal to
systematically survey and hopefully, protect previously un-surveyed areas of the city.
Term of Office: Three Years
Special Requirements:

  • Oath of Office required.
  • Financial disclosure required.
  • Must be residents of the City of Tampa

Terms Expiring:

  • One Position: Architect – Term expires on May 31, 2011

Meeting Schedule:

  • Second Tuesday of each month at 9:00 a.m.
  • Tampa City Council Chambers, 315 E. Kennedy Blvd., 3rd Floor

Board Coordinator: For further information contact: Dennis Fernandez at (813) 274-8920

For more information, contact the Office of the City Clerk at (813) 274-8397.

Oldest House in Tampa for Sale

Oldest house in Tampa

Oldest house in TampaMany thanks to James Singleton for letting TPI and others at the Preservation Roundtable meeting know that what may be the oldest house in Tampa is up for sale. Located at 3210 E. 8th Avenue, the house was built in 1842, at the tail end of the Second Seminole War. It was originally built by a Dr. Stringer, and in 1914, bought by Imbodin Stalnaker who had it disassembled and transported to the town of Gary, where it remains today. The Gary Post Office was established in 1898 and the official plat was filed in 1903. The City of Gary was incorporated between 1915 to 1919 and was annexed by the City of Tampa in 1923.

The house has been altered over the years but the overall form is intact. The asking price has been reduced to $22,000. Ideally it would be purchased by someone who appreciates the history of the house and would restore it.

For some interesting research on this house, please see this post on the Tampanian blog.

Threatened Historic Kress Block

Newberry and Kress Historic Buildings

Newberry and Kress Historic Buildings

At its Thursday, August 26, 9:00 a.m. Regular Meeting, the Tampa City Council will vote on whether to approve a resolution that will dissolve an agreement between the City and Kress Square, the owner of the block that includes the Landmarked Kress Building and the adjacent Woolworth Newberry Buildings. At the request of Mayor Pam Iorio, the City and the property owners have worked together to draft a Mutual Termination of a Memorandum Summarizing Development Review Process for the Kress Block.

The 2006 Memorandum is an agreement between the City and the property owners that summarized the specific criteria and that review process to be applied in carrying out the terms of the block’s zoning. The zoning conditions for this block state that the northwestern corner storefront portion of the façade of the JJ Newberry Building, which fronts both Franklin Street and Cass Street, and the southwestern corner storefront portion of the façade of the Woolworth Building, which fronts both Franklin Street and Polk Street, both would be incorporated into the Kress Square Development, effectively preserving the historic façades of these buildings. The 2006 Memorandum details the distinctive features of the façades and outlines how they are to be preserved.

The façades of the Woolworth and Newberry Buildings were designated as Landmarks in March 2006, along with the Kress Building, but the City Council rescinded the façades’ designations as part of the 2006 Memorandum agreement. This was a compromise agreement proposed by the owners and agreed to by City Council, to the dismay of many preservation proponents. While façade preservation has been a trend around the nation over the past decade, it is less preferable than the preservation and reuse of the entire historic building. The Kress Building remains protected by its Landmark status.

The Art Deco façades of the Woolworth and Newberry Buildings are unique in downtown Tampa. Along with the Woolworth Building’s architectural significance, it is notable for its role in African-American history. The Woolworth lunch counter, along with the counter at the W.T. Grant store, was the site of civil rights sit-in protests in 1960.

Note that this is not a public hearing item on the Council’s agenda, so those wishing to speak to this item should be present for the public comments at the beginning of the meeting. For more information about the City Council, including current members contact information and agendas, go to http://www.tampagov.net/dept_City_Council/.

For local news coverage of this topic please see the following articles:
Tampa council to revisit issue of Woolworth, Newberry buildings
Preservation of Woolworth facade sparks a battle
Long hard road: The evolution of Tampa’s Franklin Street
Free Kress block of harmful mandates
The cost of keeping facades
Kress Owners Ordered To Fix Site
Crumbling Kress Building Stressed By Code Violations

Exhibit Featuring Tampa Historic Buildings

An exhibit at the USF Centre Gallery features photographs of historic buildings in a state of decay by student Nicole Abbett, entitled, Elsewhere. According to Abbett, the photos are intended to be “reminders of the lives of the buildings, their history and why they no longer have a purpose”. The exhibit runs through August 6. For more information see the Centre Gallery website.