For Immediate Release
Monday, February 9, 2015
Contact: Katie Kole
Secretary Detzner Announces Recent Designation of Florida Properties on National Register of Historic Places
Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced today that several Florida properties were recently listed on the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.
“I am pleased to announce the listing of these historic Florida resources on the National Register of Historic Places,” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “These properties represent the broad spectrum of Florida life and history, having served as homes or municipal centers, and as places of business, worship, recreation, and tourism.”
These Florida properties recently listed in the National Register of Historic Places include:
The Rogers Park Golf Course site, located along the Hillsborough River in Hillsborough County, encompasses the work of Willie Black, an African-American caddie and golfer who designed and expanded the golf course for local residents who were otherwise barred from white-owned facilities in the segregated south. With assistance from other caddies, Mr. Black built the first 9-holes in 1947. The golf course opened in 1952 and was expanded to 18-holes two years later. Garfield Devoe Rogers, a prominent African-American businessman for whom the park is named, donated the land. Following desegregation, the course became a golfing destination for amateur and professional golfers throughout the nation – a tradition it carries on today.
The Los Robles Historic District, located in Tallahassee, Leon County, was a planned residential development set between two major thoroughfares north of downtown. The subdivision was platted in 1926 on the site of a 37 acre farm which included a 19th century farmhouse that was relocated but still exists in the neighborhood. The district has 70 contributing residences of various architectural styles, in addition to one city-owned park. The Tallahassee Women’s Club, listed in the National Register in 1987, fronts the central park.
The one-room rural Strickland School, located near the Georgia border in Leon County, was constructed in 1888 to educate local children grades one through six. Classes ended in June of 1950 when the county school board consolidated classes to a larger, centralized facility. Although the building stands in deteriorating condition, local supporters are working to stabilize and restore this increasingly rare resource.
The Mai Kai Restaurant, located inOakland Park, Broward County, is an excellent example of the Polynesian-themed dining experience. Opened in 1956 under the vision of founders Bob and Jack Thornton, the Mai Kai was designed by Charles McKirahan and decorated by Wayne Davidson. Nationally-renowned designers George Nakashima and Florian Gabriel were used as consultants to ensure an authentic Tiki experience. The restaurant survived beyond the waning popularity of Polynesian-Pop in the late 1970s and is now experiencing a resurgent interest.
The City of St. Augustine Miniature Golf Course, located in downtown St. Augustine just south of the Bridge of Lions, in St. Johns County, is a technical miniature golf course laid out with 18 geometric shaped playing holes. Its construction primarily uses coquina concrete, a unique local building material. Opened in 1949 as a municipal golf course, it is the oldest miniature golf course in northeast Florida. By 1963, following protests by the local chapter of the NAACP, it was the first city-owned facility to be desegregated.
The Sunset Hotel, located in St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, overlooks Boca Ciega Bay and fronts the main thoroughfare of Central Avenue leading to downtown. Designed by architect George Feltam in the Mediterranean Revival style, it was built in 1915. It preceded the development of other well-known hotels such as the Vinoy Park Hotel, Don Cesar Hotel, and Snell Arcade, that would later call the “Sunshine City” home. In the 1970s, the Sunset Hotel transitioned into a retirement facility to meet the needs of a changing demographic. The three-story building, complete with loggias, stucco-clad exterior, and interior hardwood floors, is being renovated for a new use.
The Norman Film Studios, located in the Arlington community east of downtown Jacksonville, Duval County, is a rare example of a silent film studio that produced “race films” during the 1920s. Florida native and budding filmmaker, Richard E. Norman, purchased the original two-story wood frame building on-site in 1922 to establish a silent film studio solely focused on making films for black audiences. Soon expanding to five buildings, the studio covered every function, from film processing to prop storage. The exterior landscaped grounds and in-ground pool (now covered) served as a backdrop for many of his films. Norman hired all black casts to create films that bucked the stereotypical roles reserved for those actors at the time. Now owned by the City of Jacksonville, this property is experiencing a revival.
The Vagabond Motel, located on Biscayne Boulevard in Miami, Dade County, is a striking example of Miami-Modern (MiMo) architecture popular during the mid-century. Built in 1953 from the design of local architect B. Robert Swartburg during the post-war boom in Miami, this is one of thousands of road-side motels that sprang up along major transportation routes to cater to the newly mobile tourist and their car. Key features of the Vagabond have been restored, such as the front neon-entrance sign and corner fountain, while the rooms have been carefully brought back to a mid-century appearance. Revived to its former glory, the Vagabond Motel officially re-opened for business on August 23, 2014.
For more information about the National Register of Historic Places program administered by the National Parks Service, 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 dos.myflorida.com/historical/preservation/national-register/.
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 dos.myflorida.com/historical/preservation/.