CITY OF SARASOTA HISTORIC PRESERVATION, PLANNING, AND DEVELOPMENT

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HISTORIC PRESERVATION BOARD SUMMARY
Courtesy of the City Auditor and Clerk

The Historic Preservation Board was established for the purposes of recommending the designation of historically significant structures and archaeologically significant sites to the City Commission. The board also can recommend the designation of historically significant districts, approve applications for moving permits, and review recommendations for local properties being referred to the National Register of Historic Places. The board consists of 7 members who have demonstrated an interest in historic preservation and shall possess the skills necessary to make recommendations relating to historical properties. Meetings are generally held on the second Tuesday of each month at 3:00 p.m.in the City Commission Chambers. The board is assisted and supported by the Neighborhoods and Development Services.

View Historic Preservation Board Guidelines
View List Historic Preservation Board Members

CITY OF VENICE HISTORIC PRESERVATION BOARD

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Venice City Hall, Venice Florida

Courtesy of Venicegov.com

The City of Venice Historic Preservation Board recommends the designation of historic districts, identifies and recommends designation of historic landmarks and archaeologically significant sites, identifies and nominates eligible properties to the National Register of Historic Places and assists Planning Commission in administration of the historic preservation element in the city’s comprehensive plan. The commission is instrumental in furthering the public’s awareness of the city’s history. Members must be residents of the city, and have interest and knowledge in history, architecture and related fields, as well as a concern for the heritage of the City of Venice. The board meets the third Friday of the month at 9 a.m.

View HPB Members

FRIENDS OF ENGLEWOOD ARCHIVES

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Built in 2013 as part of the renovation of the Englewood Branch of the Charlotte County Library, the Archives for Englewood, Florida area is located at 3450 North Access Road in Englewood as part of Tringali Park complex. This special addition to the library was specifically built to house the archives and preserve documents, photographs, collections, etc. for future generations. The greater Englewood, Florida area community will use the Englewood Archives as a central repository for public records and historical documents which will permanently preserve our rich cultural heritage for future generations. The mission of FOEA is to support the Englewood Archives through fundraising, education, raising public awareness and establishing broad operating policies for the Archives.

Learn More & Get Involved

FRIENDS OF LITTLE SALT SPRING

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Courtesy of friendsoflittlesaltspring.com

The Friends of Little Salt Spring Inc. recognize the cultural and natural significance of Little Salt Spring and see the outstanding potential of the site and the surrounding area. Little Salt Spring Archaeological and Ecological Preserve is a 112-acre parcel of land located in south Sarasota County in the City of North Port. The site contains a 260-foot wide by 250-foot deep sinkhole where evidence of Florida’s earliest inhabitants has been found in the sediments of the 40-foot deep basin and the 90-foot ledge of the spring. FLSS Inc. is poised to provide volunteer opportunities for site stewardship, land management, maintenance, research, public outreach and local fundraising efforts.

Learn More and Join

FRIENDS OF SARASOTA COUNTY HISTORY CENTER

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Courtesy of foschc.org

Founded in 2005, the mission of the Friends Of The Sarasota County History Center, Inc. is to assist the Sarasota County Historical Resources (SCHR) through the support of programs, services, and activities that promote and enhance the use and enjoyment of Sarasota County’s cultural and historical heritage.

Its primary goals are to assist in promoting the use and enjoyment of the SCHR facilities and services, further efforts to assemble historical exhibits, preserve a constantly growing collection of artifacts and materials from our past, promote research for our future, based on the heritage of Sarasota County, actively direct activities that will develop funding for the facilities, and to design and implement policies and procedures to ensure its vision in perpetuity. FOSCHC manages the Historical Exhibits and Education Center at the Historic Chidsey Library Building in downtown Sarasota’s bayfront.

Learn More and Get Involved

HISTORIC SPANISH POINT

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Courtesy of historicspanishpoint.org

Historic Spanish Point is a 33 acre archaeological, historical, and environmental museum park located on Little Sarasota Bay. It is open to the public daily, and interprets 5,000 years of human habitation, including prehistoric shell mounds, a burial mound, a pioneer homestead, and gardens of turn of the 20th century socialite and real estate developer, Mrs. Potter Palmer. The museum also features one of the largest butterfly and native plant gardens on the suncoast, a working boat-building facility with reproduction watercraft rides, and areas for special event rentals.

Learn More and Plan a Visit

HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SARASOTA COUNTY

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Courtesy of hsosc.com

The Mission of the Historical Society of Sarasota County is to foster public awareness of the rich historical heritage of Sarasota County and the state of Florida, encourage inquiry and research into this history, promote collection and preservation of memorabilia, develop a broader appreciation of its historical communities, and protect its historic sites and structures. Membership in The Historical Society of Sarasota County is open to any person interested in the history of this area and the State of Florida upon payment of dues. The Historical Society is a 501(C) (3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible.

Check out HSOSC Programs

LEMON BAY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

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The Society grew out of a Pioneer Days Celebration on September 4, 1983 honoring Englewood’s first newspaper editor, Josephine Cortes, author of History of Englewood and Pioneer Days founder. In May, 1984 an organizational meeting was held, and by the next Pioneer Days celebration on September 2, 1984, the Society had organized a mullet roast for 150 people! The mullet was freshly caught by members of the Platt family and Bill Davis and Bob Cashatt foraged some swamp cabbage, which was cooked using Eula Davis’ (Bill’s mother) famous recipe. In 1985, the Lemon Bay Historical Society was officially incorporated as a non-profit organization whose mission was “for the specific purposes of perpetuating the legacy of the past [and] honoring the pioneer settlers of the Lemon Bay area.” Bob Cashatt, also an artist, designed the logo for the Society.

Want to join the fun? Check it out here

SARA DE SOTO CHAPTER DAR

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Courtesy of sarasotadar.org

The timeless mission of the DAR is to promote historic preservation, education, and patriotism. This provides an incredibly wide range of opportunities for women of all ages to serve the Sarasota community and the nation. Committees include Conservation, Literacy, American History, Women’s Issues, Veterans Affairs to name just a few. The Sara Desoto Chapter is an active, involved group, with many events, activities and functions. We encourage our members to be good community stewards, while offering a range of activities that suit a variety of people. Discover how this century-old organization has grown and changed with the times. The Sara DeSoto Chapter leads the way in community service and we invite you to join our team. The chapter serve as stewards of the pioneer Whitaker Cemetery and the Whitaker Collection at Pioneer Park in Sarasota.

Learn more or join

SARASOTA ALLIANCE FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION

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The Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation, Inc., a non-profit, publicly-supported 501(c)(3) organization’s mission is to “preserve and enhance our historic places.” It was incorporated in 1985 to save architect Dwight Baum’s El Vernona Hotel, built in 1925 by owner Owen Burns, and which by the 1980s was known as the John Ringling Towers. The highly publicized effort to save the towers during the late 1990s raised the community’s consciousness and the ire of those interested in saving the historical integrity of Sarasota, Florida.

The Alliance is comprised of 203 residents, visitors, artists, architects, engineers, historians, builders, archaeologists, Realtors, planners, designers, and writers working together to preserve and encourage others to preserve – not only the remaining significant landmarks – but also the contributing structures that define Sarasota County. Benefits of membership include participation in historic homes tours, walking tours, rehabilitation projects, workshops, seminars and much more.

LEARN MORE AT http://www.historicsarasota.org/

SARASOTA COUNTY HISTORIC PRESERVATION BOARD

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The Sarasota County Historic Preservation Board is comprised of practicing or retired professionals in the fields of anthropology, real estate, history, conservation, architecture, historic preservation, land use planning, landscape architecture, general contracting and/or professional engineering with a demonstrated interest in historic preservation. The board is advisory to the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners. The board reviews applications for historic designations and issues Certificates of Appropriateness for changes to historically designated resources.

Purpose: Assist in the protection of significant historic resources within Sarasota County by reviewing historic designation nominations, Certificates of Appropriateness for historically designated buildings, and other duties assigned by the Board of County Commissioners.

Courtesy of scgov.net

Learn more or get agendas for public meetings

SARASOTA COUNTY HISTORICAL COMMISSION

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Courtesy of scgov.net

In 1958, the Sarasota Board of Commissioners established the Sarasota Historical Commission. The commission is an advisory board of fifteen volunteers with a demonstrated interest in local history. Their official activities include marking significant sites within the county with an official Sarasota County Historical Marker and the acceptance of grants and donations.

Purpose: Advise the County Commission regarding the acceptance of grants and donations; the marking of historic sites with County historical markers; the History Center annual budget; and historical material and data.

 

 

Learn more or get agendas for public meetings

SARASOTA COUNTY HISTORICAL RESOURCES

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Historical Resources collects information and artifacts related to the history of the county from prehistoric times to the present. These collections are stored in the center’s archives, where they are made available for public research.

The Historical Resources Library is a comprehensive research center that contains:
  • Non-circulating collection
  • Volumes on archaeology, architectural history archives management, and historic preservation.
  • Publications written by local authors.

No appointment is required to view original papers, vintage photographs, newspaper clippings, aerials, city directories, obituaries, maps, architectural drawings, or ephemera.

Learn more about SCHR

SOUTHWEST HISTORICAL ORGANIZATION OF RESOURCES AND EDUCATION (SHORE)

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Housed in the 1928 Lampp House in Englewood, SHORE provides research assistance, heritage tours, and fundraising support for the town of Englewood, Florida. They participate in local events, and offer free tours of the historic home on the first Saturday of the month from November through March. Call 941-475-2696 for other tours and events.

SUNCOAST CHAPTER NATIONAL RAILWAY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

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Courtesy of suncoastnrhs.com

This group’s mission includes; preserving railroad history and promoting interest in all forms of rail transportation, exchanging information about rail transportation past, present and future, and contributing to preservation of rail-related artifacts. They produce a bimonthly chapter newsletter called “Flyer” and members receive the NRHS publication “The National Railway Bulletin”. Fans of railway history or train engineering will enjoy membership.

The Suncoast chapter was organized in 1989. There are presently more than 170 chapters of the National Railway Historical Society in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The Suncoast has a rich history of rail service and present day Bradenton, Sarasota and Venice owe much to the early railroads. During most of the twentieth century the Atlantic Coast Line and the Seaboard Air Line railroads provided service for the Suncoast to the rest of the country. Celebrities such as Bertha Palmer and John Ringling used the trains for business and pleasure. The Ringling circus wintered in Sarasota and Venice for over 60 years by using the railroad as the means of transportation. A railroad labor organization provided the financial backing for the city of Venice in the 1920’s and the concept remains much the same as it was then.

The chapter meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month from September through April at 7:00 PM in the public meeting room of the Sarasota Fire Station, 2070 Waldemere St., Sarasota, Florida.

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TIME SIFTERS ARCHAEOLOGY SOCIETY

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Courtesy of timesifters.org

Time Sifters is a non-profit association of over 100 professional and amateur archaeologists and interested citizens, dedicated to discovering and preserving our archaeological heritage. Since its inception in 1986, the society has assisted trained archaeologists in major Calusa Indian digs, participated in creating the unique ‘Window to the Past’ exhibit at Historic Spanish Point, sponsored and/or participated in outreach programs “Trail of the Lost Tribes” and “Looking for Angola”, and provided significant support contributing to the preservation of local archaeological resources.
A local chapter of the Florida Anthropological Society, Time Sifters has twice hosted the FAS Annual Meeting, most recently in 2015, and participates with and supports local college anthropology programs including sponsoring a paper competition for college students. Each year, Time Sifters sponsors monthly lectures on archaeological topics, all of which are open to the public without charge.

Check out the calendar of meetings and learn about Time Sifters

VENICE AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

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Courtesy of veniceareahistoricalsociety.org 

The Venice Area Historical Society (VAHS) was founded in 1991 as the Venice Historic Preservation League, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, in order to celebrate and preserve the history of Venice, Florida and surrounding areas.  The service area of the Society is South Sarasota County, Florida, including Venice, South Venice, Nokomis, Laurel, and Osprey.  VAHS’s mission is to promote a public awareness and understanding of the historic heritage of Florida, Sarasota County, and the Venice area, within the context of our nation’s history, and to encourage inquiry and research into this history. The Society sponsors a wide variety of educational programs and initiatives focusing on local and state history—a lecture series, a newsletter, outreach to schools and other local organizations, tours of the Historic Venice Train Depot, a historic plaque program, scholarships for graduating high school seniors, and research into area history. The Historic Venice Train Depot, built in 1927 and renovated in 2002-2003, was central to the founding and development of Venice, Florida.  Volunteer docents from VAHS provide free public tours of the Depot and surrounding campus.  Panel displays and artifacts in the Depot’s two waiting rooms illustrate key events in Venice history and the history of the Depot itself.

Plan a visit or join VAHS

VENICE HERITAGE INC

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Courtesy of veniceheritage.org 

Venice Heritage Inc. (VHI) is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the Venice area’s rich cultural heritage, including the surrounding communities of Osprey, Laurel, and Nokomis. As an advocate for historic preservation, VHI educates the public about the area’s history and provides financial and logistical support to the city-owned Venice Museum & Archives. A primary focus of VHI is to maintain and support the City of Venice’s Museum & Archives (VMA). The museum contains a collection of more than 21,000 photos, objects, published materials, and archives. Another primary objective is supporting the Lord-Higel House. Saved from demolition by the City of Venice’s Historic Preservation Board, restoration of the Lord-Higel House is being completed by preservationists and VHI volunteers, and will eventually provide a glimpse of life for early settlers to the area. Built in 1896, the Lord-Higel House is the second oldest residence in Sarasota County and once served as a residence to entrepreneur Joseph Lord and grove manager/newsman George Higel. Having occupied several locations during its lifetime, the historic home is now located behind City Hall on Granada Avenue. VHI is operated totally by volunteers who appreciate Venice’s unique heritage and the role it plays in defining who we are as a community.

Volunteer, Join, or Donate learn more about VHI 

VENICE MUSEUM & ARCHIVES

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Courtesy of venicemuseum.org

The mission of the Venice Museum & Archives (VMA) is to collect and preserve historical and archaeological material relating to Venice and the communities of Nokomis, Laurel and Osprey, whose histories have all been interwoven from 1867 to the present time. The City of Venice (COV) is the parent organization of the VMA. Museum staff are COV employees under the Department of Historical Resources. The Venice City Council is the governing authority for the VMA with legal and fiduciary responsibility for the museum and for approving museum policy and its annual budget. In July 1991 the Venice Area Historical Collection was housed in a storage space on the first floor of the newly renovated City Hall in downtown Venice. That same year, the name of the collection was officially changed to the Venice Archives and Area Historical Collection (VAAHC). The collection was moved in September 1996 to the restored and renovated historic 1927 building known as the Triangle Inn. The name of the Venice Archives and Area Historical Collection was changed to the Venice Museum & Archives in 2012.

Along with its preservation efforts relating to historic properties and landscapes within the City of Venice, the Department of Historical Resources also manages the Venice Museum & Archives (VMA). The mission of the VMA is to collect and preserve historical and archaeological material relating to Venice and the communities of Nokomis, Laurel and Osprey, whose histories have all been interwoven from 1867 to the present time. The VMA has a collection of 30,000+ photographs, archives, objects, and publications pertaining to area history. The museum processes new donations into the collection and is working to upload a significant portion of the collection records online for greater, external public access. The entire museum collection database is accessible to the public on an internal network. The museum engages the public in local history through changing and permanent exhibits, tours of the Triangle Inn, special events, newsletters and social media, as well as onsite and offsite educational outreach programs to youth and adults. Additional services offered also include assisting the public with research requests and assisting with image request orders. The museum’s gift shop offers books, DVDs and other merchandise pertaining to local history available for purchase.

Learn more and plan your visit

WMS/LSS ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY

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The Warm Mineral Springs-Little Salt Spring Archaeological Society is a chapter of the Florida Anthropological Society and represents Sarasota County and Charlotte County. The WMS/LSS Archaeological Society is a group of local citizens interested in the cultural heritage and history of our state, country, and world. Our focus is on education and historic preservation and we support professional research. We provide analysis workshops; field trips to museums, archaeological sites tours, etc. Members are informed when volunteer opportunities are available on professionally supervised projects and encourage participation. WMS/LSSAS works with city and county government on local preservation projects and generally try to have fun while learning about history and archaeology and the importance of preserving our cultural heritage for future generations. Monthly meetings are held January through May on archaeology, history, paleontology, and related subjects.

Read more about tours and meetings