“Green Gables nonprofit receives grant to buy, save Melbourne historic house”

“Green Gables nonprofit receives grant to buy, save Melbourne historic house”

Photo: Tim Shortt, Florida Today

“Constructed as a cutting-edge showpiece mansion in its era, Melbourne’s aged Green Gables estate has slowly structurally deteriorated over the generations — within the looming shadow of a wrecking ball.

Volunteers have spent the past dozen years fundraising and trying to strike a deal to buy the six-bedroom, 1896-vintage American Four Square/Queen Anne house — which features a distinctive octagonal porch — to refurbish as a public asset.

Finally, their historic-home quest has proven successful.

A $482,500 Florida Division of Historical Resources matching grant to help buy Green Gables has been approved in the state budget, said Nicole Hu, historic preservation grants specialist…

Marion Ambrose, president of the preservation-minded nonprofit Green Gables at Historic Riverview Village Inc., described her reaction as “stunned.”

‘I believed we would get it. I was sure we could get it. After all this time, to actually have it happen was pretty mind-numbing. But I’m very excited,’ Ambrose said.

Photo: Tim Shortt, Florida Today

The initial goal: Stabilize the home’s foundation, which has sunk a few inches near the octagonal porch. She said volunteers will also partner with the Marine Resources Council to plant mangroves and install oyster beds along the lagoon shoreline.”

— Rick Neale, Florida Today

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“Alachua county reaches agreement to preserve Native American land in Micanopy”

“Alachua county reaches agreement to preserve Native American land in Micanopy”

Video and Text: myCBS4.com

“During a meeting on March 22, Alachua county commissioners passed a motion to buy a parcel of land at the intersection of U.S. 441 and Tuscawilla Road, in order to preserve Native American history.

A developer wanted to turn the 5-acre property into a Dollar General store. The land holds historical significance because it is where the second Seminole war started. Micanopy resident Aaron Weber has been fighting to preserve this land since March of 2020.

‘Everyone told us we couldn’t do it, from former county commissioners to hired experts, and something just kept us persevering and pushing along. It was like the spirit of Osceola was with us, that spirit of never surrendering and never quitting,’ Weber said.

Weber said along the process more people joined like Micanopy resident Robert Rosa.

‘It was a difficult process. Most of our people are unseen, our voices are invisible or even ourselves are invisible to the common people, the government. They just don’t realize that we are still here,’ Rosa said.

Martha Tommie, member of the Seminole tribe, feels thankful.

‘He said, we won. And I just started being humble and just respecting our elders and our ancestors and our Seminole tribe of today,’ Tommie said.

Weber said with this gesture the board of county commissioners in Alachua county showed they care.

‘The county motto is Where nature and culture meet and they exemplified that and they care about nature,’ Weber said…”

— Massiel Leyva, myCBS4.com

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“Selby Gardens To Launch New Boat Tour Between 2 Campuses”

“Selby Gardens To Launch New Boat Tour Between 2 Campuses”

Photo: Selby Gardens via Patch.com

“The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens soon will offer visitors a brand-new, ‘Old Florida’ way to experience both of its bayfront campuses, according to a news release.

Starting in January, Selby Gardens will launch Selby Gardens by Boat, a boat tour that includes a narrated, round-trip cruise between its Downtown Sarasota campus and its Historic Spanish Point campus, access to both sites for self-guided touring, and lunch at the Historic Spanish Point campus…

‘Selby Gardens’ two sanctuaries are so significant and beloved in large part thanks to their bayfront locations,’ Jennifer Rominiecki, president and CEO of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, said. ‘The water is central to the history and appeal of our two campuses, so it only makes sense to connect them by boat. This tour is going to offer an immersion into native nature, our regional history and the ecology of the area…’

Highlighting the full-day experience is roughly three hours of leisurely cruising with educational narration from Sarasota Bay to Little Sarasota Bay and back.

‘It’s 10 miles of beauty — a kind of aquatic garden, if you will,’ said John McCarthy, Selby Gardens’ vice president for the Historic Spanish Point campus. ‘Then you’ll arrive at our Historic Spanish Point campus the way people did 100 years ago — by boat’…”

— Tiffany Razzano, Patch.com

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“Museum, urban park reveal diverse heritage of Tampa’s Ybor City”

“Museum, urban park reveal diverse heritage of Tampa’s Ybor City”

Photo: Joy Wallace Dickinson

The Ybor City Museum at 9th Avenue and 19th Street in Tampa is housed in the historic Ferlita Bakery building and is part of the Florida State Park system.

…People from Cuba, Spain, Sicily and other locations arrived to form what Florida historian Gary Mormino has called ‘one of the great immigrant communities in America’ in the late 19th and early 20th centuries…

The Ybor City Museum State Park is an urban park and historical museum in the heart of the National Historic Landmark District at 1818 9th Ave., Tampa. It’s about a 90-minute drive from downtown Orlando and consists of a main exhibit space, housed in the historic Ferlita Bakery building, as well as a Mediterranean-style garden and a recreated cigar worker’s house…”

— Joy Wallace Dickinson, Florida Flashback in the Orlando Sentinel

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Alachua’s Scenic Preservation: “Micanopy’s Tuscawilla Road gets scenic label”

Alachua’s Scenic Preservation: “Micanopy’s Tuscawilla Road gets scenic label”

Photo: Alachua County
” County commissioners voted to designate it as a scenic road, allowing it additional protections and regulations.

Alachua County got its first scenic road designation since 2004 — the county’s sixth overall — Tuesday, with Micanopy’s Tuscawilla Road.

County commissioners voted unanimously to give the designation to the two-lane road between Cholokka Boulevard in the Micanopy town limits and U.S. Highway 441, which brings the road additional protection.

Commissioners also voted on a different motion that would have granted an exception for a planned commercial property, a Dollar General, that would allow trucks weighing more than 25 tons to use the roadway for access. That motion failed 3-2, with commissioners Chuck Chestnut and Mary Alford in favor of the exception.

‘I support the scenic highway, but now I’m not sure of what rights we have to do this,’ Chestnut said of limiting access to the planned business. “So I’m just going to leave my comments at that. I’m not in favor of any other development … but I do feel different about this one because they went through the process and now we’re making it a scenic highway. I just feel fishy about it…’

Tusawilla Road meets several of the criteria for designation, as outlined by the county, including scenic, archaeological and historical significance. Its located about 5 miles south of Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, and the location of the Village of Cuscowilla and William Bartram’s visit in 1774.

A Native American preserve is located on the road within town limits and is a protected area, purchased by the Town of Micanopy with state funding. Other research on the Battle of Micanopy documents significant sites on private land in the vicinity, an attraction for tourists.

Whooping cranes, sandhill cranes and gopher tortoises are among some of the wildlife that inhabit the area.

The road has been designated as one segment of a state scenic highway since June 2001.

The designation protects the area along the corridor within 100 feet of the right of way, and any new commercial activity is prohibited within the protected area.

Most outdoor advertising signs and overhead utilities are also prohibited…

There are five other county roads that carry the scenic road designation: Millhopper Road, Fort Clarke Church Road, Crown Road, Old Bellamy Road and Dusty Trail.”

— Emily Mavrakis, The Gainesville Sun

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Citizens for a Scenic Florida