For Immediate Release
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Contact: Brittany Lesser,
Secretary Detzner Announces National Register Designation of Florida’s First Traditional Cultural Property
Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced today that the Tarpon Springs Greektown Historic District, located in Tarpon Springs, Pinellas County, was recently listed as a Traditional Cultural Property in the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places. The Tarpon Springs designation marks Florida’s first recognized Traditional Cultural Property, and the first of its kind as a listed ethnic-based community in the United States.
“I am pleased to announce the listing of Florida’s first Traditional Cultural Property in the National Register of Historic Places,” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “The Tarpon Springs community has functioned as a center of commerce and trade for early Greek immigrants since the 1900s. Given that these traditions continue to the present day, the sponge docks, along with commercial and residential areas qualified for designation as a Traditional Cultural Property by the National Park Service.”
The National Register of Historic Places contains a wide range of historic property types, reflecting the diversity of the nation's history and culture. A traditional cultural property can be defined generally as one that is eligible for inclusion in the National Register because of its association with cultural practices or beliefs of a living community that are rooted in that community's history, and are important in maintaining the continuing cultural identity of the community.
The Tarpon Springs community features residents of predominantly Greek descent that are still active in maritime industries. The uniqueness of this community is highlighted by the fact that Tarpon Springs retains the highest percentage of residents of Greek heritage in the United States. The historic district encompasses a total of 140 acres with 296 contributing properties. Cultural activities include sponge diving and ship building, with many of these practices still visible on the docks and commercial strip today. The houses, churches, and restaurants within the community also reflect Greek traditions in the form of decoration, religious practice, and culturally-specific foods.
For more information about Traditional Cultural Property designations in the National Register of Historic Places, visit nps.gov/nr/publications/bulletins/nrb38. For information about the National Parks Service, National Register of Historic Places program, visit nps.gov/nr.
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About The National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is a list maintained by the National Park Service which includes historical or archaeological properties (buildings, structures, sites, objects, and districts) that are considered worthy of preservation because of their local, statewide and/or national significance. Nominations for properties in Florida are submitted to the National Park Service through the Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State. Florida has over 1,600 listings on the National Register, including 275 historical districts and 170 archaeological sites. To learn more, visit flheritage.com/preservation/nr/.
About the Bureau of Historic Preservation
The Bureau of Historic Preservation conducts historic preservation and folklife programs aimed at identifying, evaluating, preserving and interpreting the historic and cultural resources of the state. The Bureau manages a grants-in-aid program to help preserve and maintain Florida’s historic buildings and archaeological sites, and coordinates the State Historic Markers program and the Florida Main Street Program. Under federal and state laws, the Bureau oversees the National Register of Historic Places program for Florida, maintains an inventory of the state's historical resources in the Florida Master Site File, assists applicants in federal tax benefit and local government ad valorem tax relief programs for historic buildings, and reviews the impact that development projects may have on significant historic resources. The Florida Folklife program identifies and promotes the state's traditional cultures, and coordinates folklife apprenticeship and award programs. For more information visit flheritage.com/preservation.