Beginning in 2009, the Florida Department of State initiated the conversion of The Grove property from a private home into a public museum.
Rehabilitation efforts at The Grove continue the stewardship and legacy of historic preservation established by the Collins family, who, for more than a half-century, dedicated their lives to preserving the home and its grounds.
Work by the State of Florida on the project has followed federal standards for historic preservation established by the Secretary of the Interior, with the ultimate goal of achieving LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. In 2016, The Grove became one of only a handful of similar historic properties in the nation to earn LEED certification from U.S. Green Building Council. The project team - the Florida Department of State, the Florida Department of Management Services, MLD Architects, and Allstate Construction - have been recognized with awards and honors from the American Institute of Architects, the Florida Trust, and the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation.
The photographs below provide a sample of innovative historic preservation approaches applied during the rehabilitation project, including the restoration and adaptive re-use of the historic cistern, the adaptive re-use of an existing structure, interior and exterior repair to historic masonry, and repairs to headstones in the family cemetery.
Archaeologists recovered several artifacts from the historic cistern during its restoration (left), including dog tags belonging to Lieutenant Joseph G. Azat (right). Gutters and downspouts from the house empty into the restored cistern, which now provides water for irrigation at The Grove. Photographs by Roy Lett, Division of Historical Resources
The carport built in the early 1980s by the Collins family on the east side of the house was converted into a bathroom pavilion. Repurposing the carport is an example of the adaptive re-use of an existing structure. Left photograph by Roy Lett, Division of Historical Resources, right photograph by Johnathan H. Grandage, Division of Historical Resources
Historic masonry experts completed substantial work inside the home. The photograph on the left shows one of the formal entertaining spaces on the first floor, the former dining room, during restoration. The photograph on the right shows the same room after rehabilitation. Note the arched pediments in the right photograph, indicative of the formal nature of the space. Left photograph by Roy Lett, Division of Historical Resources, right photograph by Gary Pettit, Division of Cultural Affairs
Structural work at The Grove included exterior masonry and stucco repair. The photograph on the left shows scaffolding erected during exterior rehabilitation. The photograph on the right shows the finished product. Photographs by Roy Lett, Division of Historical Resources
Damage to one of the headstones in the family cemetery required repair and restoration. The photograph on the left shows archaeologist Claire Tindal and Collins family member LeRoy Collins III piecing back together the damaged headstone. The photograph on the right shows the headstone after initial repair work. Photographs by Marie Prentice, Division of Historical Resources