Save Florida’s Shipwrecks

Florida Shipwreck

The Florida Division of Historical Resources has submitted a project idea in the Pepsi Refresh: Do Good for the Gulf contest for $250,000 to help protect Florida shipwrecks.

Florida ShipwreckThe Save Our Shipwrecks project will save threatened shipwrecks, enhance environmental restoration, stimulate economic development and inspire and empower conservation through interactive learning opportunities. Florida boasts distinctive and historically significant shipwrecks. 23 sites have been located off the coast of Pensacola alone. Some are archaeological preserves, others like the USS Oriskany have become a “Great Carrier Reef” providing vitally important aquatic ecosystems and habitats for marinelife. These sites are popular destinations for fishermen, divers, historians and students and are an important economic investment for coastal communities.

You can vote once each day until August 31 at to help these significant resources.

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.

Tampa’s Photographers: Burgert Brothers

Rome Avenue

Rome AvenueEver wish you knew what a historic house or building looked like when it was first built? Thanks to the Burgert Brothers, you have a chance of finding out without tracking down relatives of the building’s early owners in search of old photos.

The Burgerts were three generations of photographers who captured Tampa images from the 1880s until the 1960s. The photograph legacy they provided gives insight into the people, places and events that made Tampa unique among Florida cities. Roughly 15,000 Burgert Brothers photographs are available at the main Tampa branch of the Hillsborough County Library, with most also available online.  While primarily professionally commissioned work for businesses, you may find a photo of your historic home among the collection since homeowners and builders did use their services.

An interesting history of the Burgert Brothers family and business can be found online at complete with many of their interesting photographs.

2010 Best of the South Preserving Southern Architecture

The Southeastern Society of Architectural Historians (SESAH) seeks nominations for the Best of the South: Preserving Southern Architecture Award. This annual award honors a project that preserves or restores an historic building, or complex of buildings, in an outstanding manner and that demonstrates excellence in research, technique, and documentation. Projects in the twelve-state region of SESAH that were completed in 2008 or 2009 are eligible. Nominations should consist of no more than two typed pages of description, and be accompanied by hard copy illustrations and any other supporting material. A cover letter should identify the owner of the project, the use of the building(s), and the names of all the major participants of the project. For more information please contact the Best of the South Award committee chair Virginia Price at Send three (3) hard copies of the nomination to Virginia Price at 3906 Vacation Lane, Arlington, VA 22207. If you do not receive confirmation that your nomination was received, please contact the committee chair. The deadline for submissions has been extended to July 31st, 2010. Winners will be announced at the 28th SESAH Annual Meeting in Chattanooga, Tennessee in October.

Spanish Colonial Heritage Trail

The Florida Spanish Colonial Heritage Trail is a 64-page, full-color guidebook highlighting more than 50 Spanish heritage and historical sites dating from 1513 to 1821. While St. Augustine and Pensacola are landmark areas, Spanish explorations and legacies are reflected in museums, forts, parks, shipwrecks, memorials and churches throughout the state.

The publication includes color photos and illustrations of sites and artifacts as well as biographical profiles and historical essays examining Native American and Spanish interaction, Spanish missions, forts and outposts, and much more. A timeline traces historical highlights from the periods of exploration, permanent settlement and missionization, and Colonial rivalries, British and Second Spanish Periods.

Important milestones include:

  • One of the first European settlement attempts in the United States was Spanish explorer Tristan de Luna’s 1559 arrival in what today is Pensacola Bay. In February 2009, HM King Juan Carlos I and HM Queen Sofia of Spain visited Pensacola in honor of Pensacola’s 450th Anniversary.
  • The 2013 Quincentennial Celebrations to honor the 1513 arrival and exploration of Florida by Juan Ponce de Leon and the 500th Anniversary of Florida.
  • St. Augustine’s 450th Anniversary in 2015 to acknowledge Pedro Menéndez de Avilés’ arrival and settlement in 1565.

The Florida Spanish Colonial Heritage Trail was produced by VISIT FLORIDA with funding from the Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development in cooperation with the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources. For more information on Florida’s Spanish Colonial history and cultural heritage visit

The guide book is available online at or may be purchased through