Broward Trust for Historic Preservation

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Congratulations to the 2023 Broward County for Historic Preservation Pioneer Award recipients.

Theodore (Ted) Jay Arpin
Recipient of 2023 Pioneer Award.

Robert S. Carr
Recipient of Dr. Cooper C. Kirk Award

Robert Kesten
Recipient of Judge Clayton Nance Memorial Award

Florida Political News

The Resiliency and Safe Structures Act

Our historic coastal communities are safe… for now. Strategic planning is crucial to defeating this legislation at next year’s session successfully.This year’s battle to protect Florida’s historic commercial and coastal areas is over! Floridians across the state were concerned about the ramifications of the bill on Florida’s and the nation’s most historic coastal communities. The National Trust for Historic Preservation explained the threat of the legislation: “If passed as written, these bills could lead to the demolition of historic structures and construction of oversized and inappropriate replacement buildings in Florida’s coastal historic districts, including treasured areas of Key West, Miami Beach, West Palm Beach, St. Augustine, St. Petersburg, and Pensacola.”

Although SB 1346 was read for a third and final time, its companion bill, HB 1317, never received its second reading. The House sponsor, Representative Roach, admitted that the bill is dead for this session but vowed to bring it back next year.  continued below.

This follow-up information from last years session on the Resiliency and Safe Structures Act
is provided by The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation.

Week 4: Advocacy that Bridges the Divide

Week four of the legislative session has been impactful: SB 1526, introducing the Resiliency and Safe Structures Act was amended in the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee on January 29. This amendment reflected our advocacy focus of adding National Register Historic Districts to the list of exemptions under the provisions of the Senate bill. Its companion bill was also heard in the House where it passed favorably on Thursday, February 1. Additionally, House Bill 1183, introducing the Main Street Historical Tourism and Revitalization Act, received a new co-sponsor, Representative Michelle Salzman.

1. Amend the Resiliency and Safe Structures Act

Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez, Chair of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee. Thanks to the efforts of historic preservation advocates, Senate Bill 1526, Resiliency and Safe Structures Act, was amended during its second committee stop by Senator Brian Avila on Tuesday, January 30, exempting buildings contributing to National Register-listed historic districts. Previously, the bill only provided an exemption for individually listed resources.

“I wanted to thank Senator Avila for his efforts to balance the intention to secure the safety for our communities, while also protecting the historic places that make our communities unique and special,” said Melissa Wyllie, Florida Trust CEO & President. “The amendment today is a step in that direction.”

Its companion bill, House Bill 1647, introduced by Representative Spencer Roach, passed the Regulatory Reform & Economic Development Subcommittee. An amendment regarding a severability clause was added to the bill, and Rep. Roach informed the Committee he intends to work with stakeholders to reach a compromise, hoping to find a balance for historic preservation in Florida. It will be heard next in the Local Administration, Federal Affairs & Special Districts Subcommittee

 
2. Establish a Florida Historic Tax Credit

Florida Trust CEO & President Melissa Wyllie meeting with Rep. Salzman discussing the potential benefits the Historic Tax Credit Bill can offer Florida
 

Two weeks ago, Senate Bill 1166, Main Street Historical Tourism and Revitalization Act, passed unanimously in its first stop in the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee. Since then, the Florida Trust has been engaging with legislators to promote its scheduling in the Finance and Tax Committee.
Its companion bill, House Bill 1183, has received a new co-sponsor: Representative Michelle Salzman of Escambia County. The House Bill is currently in the House Ways & Means Committee, but it has not been added to the committee agenda.

We need your help getting the bill added to the agenda! Please reach out to Chairman McClain and ask him to put House Bill 1183 on the next Ways & Means agenda.
As a reminder, the bills introducing the Main Street Historical Tourism and Revitalization Act would establish a state tax credit to revitalize Florida Main Street communities, promote heritage tourism, generate well-paying jobs and revive vacant or underused historic structures. The proposed credit would cover up to 20 percent of eligible costs for renovating a certified historic structure and a 30 percent tax credit for eligible costs within the official boundaries on an active, certified Florida Main Street community. Both of these credits would be in additional to the federal historic tax credit. Learn more.
 
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
 

1.  Reach out via email or phone call to the House Ways & Means Committee Chair Stan McClain and ask him to agenda HB 1183. Let the other members of the committee know you support the bill.
2.  Please reach out to your local lawmakers, or any lawmakers you have a relationship with and encourage them to support the Main Street Historical Tourism and Revitalization Act. Specifically, ask them to join as co-sponsors for the bill. The more interest and support the legislation receives from other lawmakers, the more likely it is to pass.

 

 3. Fully Fund the FY2025 Historic Preservation Special Category Grant List
The Florida’s Division of Historical Resources Historic Preservation Grant program is crucial in safeguarding our historic sites, fostering community resilience and bolstering local economies. These grants are instrumental in supporting significant local, regional and statewide initiatives aimed at preserving historic and archaeological treasures, aiding major archaeological research endeavors and facilitating the development of noteworthy museum exhibits that illuminate Florida’s rich history.

 

House of Refuge, one of the projects included in the Division of Historical Resources FY2025 Special Category Grants. The Florida Historical Commission meticulously evaluates and ranks Special Category grants to compile the annual list, which is then reviewed and approved by the Florida Secretary of State before being submitted to the legislature for funding. This year’s grant list included 36 projects with a price tag of nearly $9.6 million. 

Please reach out to your local lawmakers, or any lawmakers you have a relationship with, and encourage them to fully fund the Special Category Grants for Fiscal Year 2025. Feel free to use our one-pager

FIND YOUR LEGISLATORS

Stay tuned for updates on our advocacy efforts as the bill progresses through the legislative process. Don’t forget to sign up for our advocacy newsletter to receive weekly briefings during Session!

This follow-up information from last years sessions on the Resiliency and Safe Structures Act
is provided by The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation.

Week 6: Advocacy that Bridges the Divide

Protecting Florida’s Coastal History.

Lifeguard Stand near Delray Beach, Florida. Photo: Kelly Paras

Today the National Trust for Historic Preservation joined preservationists from around Florida in voicing its concerns towards the Resiliency and Safe Structures Act (Senate Bill 1526, House Bill 1647).

In support of a coalition of preservation partners in Florida, the National Trust is concerned about two bills pending in the Florida legislature, HB 1647 and SB 1526. If passed as currently written, these bills would remove protections for hundreds of historic structures in Florida’s coastal communities.
 

Thanks to the efforts of historic preservation advocates, Senate Bill 1526, introduced by Senator Bryan Avila, was amended in the weeks prior to exempt contributing resources in National Register of Historic Places Districts.

Despite the amendment, concerns remain. For example, Miami Design Preservation League Executive Director Daniel Ciraldo indicated that most extant buildings don’t adhere to current construction standards and would thus be labeled non-conforming if the bill passes. 

“There have been some big amendments that have been added and changes to this bill from last year so we can protect our historic places and our citizens,” said Florida Trust CEO & President Melissa Wyllie. “But I am speaking today because I am sharing the concerns of our stakeholders that without amendment this bill would allow unnecessary demolition of historic places.” 

In the weeks ahead the Florida Trust will continue to work with the sponsors and stakeholders to ensure all voices are heard. 

Seeking Full Funding of Florida’s Historic Preservation Grants

Christ Episcopal Church in Jefferson County, one of the projects listed in the Department of Historical Resources’ FY2025 Historic Preservation Special Category Grants. If funded, the church will be able to repair its brick foundation and façade that have deteriorated due to water intrusion.
 

Florida’s Division of Historical Resources Historic Preservation Grant program is crucial in safeguarding our historic sites, fostering community resilience and bolstering local economies – and we are asking lawmakers to fully fund all projects on this year’s grant list: 36 projects with a price tag of nearly $9.6 million. These grants are instrumental in supporting significant local, regional and statewide initiatives aimed at preserving historic and archaeological treasures, aiding major archaeological research endeavors and facilitating the development of noteworthy museum exhibits that illuminate Florida’s rich history.

Funds for the grants were included in the Senate budget, but not the House. Contact your lawmaker today!

The Florida Trust would like to thank The Coalition for Florida’s Historic Places for their continued support and advocacy for the fulfillment of the Special Category Grant List.
 
 

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In 2022 Broward Trust for Historic Preservation
prevailed with the historic designation of
Fort Lauderdale's New River Castle.
(AKA Tiny Castle)