For Immediate Release
Monday, August 15, 2016
Contact: Meredith Beatrice,
Secretary Detzner Announces Designation of Florida Properties on the National Register of Historic Places
Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced today that six additional Florida properties have been listed on the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.
“I am pleased to announce the addition of six Florida properties on the National Register of Historic Places,” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “These sites represent the variety of historical resources across our state, and include a National Cemetery, a place of worship, a Woman’s Club and three distinctive historic homes.”
The St. Augustine National Cemetery in St. Augustine, St. John’s County, has served as the cemetery for Fort Marion and later as a National Cemetery. The site was a Franciscan Friary during the first Spanish period, but was converted to military use following the English occupation of the area. When the Spanish regained control of the region, the site continued to be used for military purposes. Today, the cemetery may be best known as the home of the Dade Pyramids, which are believed to be the oldest memorial in any national cemetery.
The Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Palatka, Putnam County, is an excellent example of Romanesque Revival architecture. The exterior of the structure is rusticated concrete block, with prominent arched windows, and a four-story tower that is a local landmark. The church was built through the labor of the members of the congregation, and their ministers J.S. Braswell and E. F. Williams, between 1905 and 1908. The church’s figural stained glass windows, fabricated by Empire Glass and Decoration Company in Atlanta, were created in a rare and antique way known as enamel painting.
The Davie Woman’s Club meeting hall in Davie, Broward County, was erected in 1947. It has been the site of Club meetings for nearly 70 years, and has served as the site of community gatherings, religious meetings and entertainment. Club founders wanted an up-to-date building large enough to serve residents of the community for many years to come. Today, the Davie Woman’s Club is the oldest formally organized women’s social service organization in the area, and continues to serve the purposes envisioned by club founders in 1922.
The Alonzo “Jake” Gaither House in Tallahassee, Leon County, was the home of Jake Gaither, who served for 25 years as head football coach of the Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) football team, where he amassed one of the most successful college football coaching records in history. In 1969, FAMU played the first integrated collegiate football game in the South against the University of Tampa, and won. Under Coach Gaither’s leadership, his athletic program was able to promote civil rights for African Americans during the years of enforced segregation in the South. Noted political and community leaders often sought his advice, and many prominent African-American and white sports and public figures frequented the Gaither home during the Civil Rights era. In 2015, a Florida Historical Marker was placed at the home, which is now being restored as a museum celebrating Coach Gaither’s accomplishments.
Green Gables, in Melbourne, Brevard County, is significant for its unique architecture. Also known as the William Twining (W.T.) Wells House, the home was constructed by Mr. Wells in 1897. It began as a large two-story Frame Vernacular style dwelling, and was redesigned around 1901 to conform to the popular Queen Anne style (1890-1910) by adding a distinctive hexagonal two-story tower that was integrated into a hexagonal one-story porch. Wells was owner of the Wells Rustless Iron Company, a manufacturer of oxidized iron in New Jersey, and in 1896, brought his family to Melbourne for the healthier Florida climate.
The Arthur Milam House in Ponte Vedra, St. Johns County, was constructed in 1962 as a private residence. It was the last of the Florida houses designed by famous modernist architect Paul Rudolph, who is identified with the Sarasota School of Architecture, a regional post-World War II architectural style that emerged in and around Sarasota. The front of the Milam House is oriented toward the Atlantic Ocean, with the rear of the home hidden in a massive stand of woods off Highway A1A. The building is constructed primarily of poured concrete and concrete blocks, with expansive windows on the coastal side. The house contains stylistic elements of the Sarasota School of Architecture while hinting at the Brutalist style of architecture, which was later developed by Rudolph.
For more information about the National Register of Historic Places program administered by the National Park 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 including 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 Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources. Florida has over 1,700 listings on the National Register, including 291 historical districts and 172 archaeological sites. There are more than 50,000 sites contributing to the National Register in Florida. For more information, visit flheritage.com/preservation/national-register.
About The Bureau of Historic Preservation
The Florida Department of State’s Bureau of Historic Preservation (BHP) conducts historic preservation programs aimed at identifying, evaluating, preserving and interpreting the historic and cultural resources of the state. The Bureau manages the Florida Main Street Program, and under federal and state laws, 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. For more information, visit flheritage.com/preservation.