Thursday, January 3, 2019

Preservation board reacts to St. Michael’s demolition

From Florida-

About a dozen people showed up Gainesville’s Historic Preservation Board meeting on Wednesday to talk about the destruction of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, a meeting that was originally scheduled to nominate the site as a local historic landmark.

Most expressed frustration with the process that played out leading up to last week’s demolition, with some pleaded that the board ensure a similar scenario doesn’t happen again.

Last week, the Episcopal Diocese of Florida, which owned the church at 4315 NW 23rd Ave., began demolishing the building the same day it was issued a permit by the city of Gainesville. A group of Gainesville residents were trying to nominate the site as a historic landmark through the city’s historic preservation procedures.

“The process seems extremely flawed,” said board chairman Jay Reeves. ”... I think we need to smooth it out and make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

The preservation board voted unanimously to send a letter to the Gainesville City Commission requesting it expedite future nomination processes and to amend loopholes in ordinances that the Episcopal diocese managed to bypass or expose. The board will also send a letter censuring the actions of the diocese, its attorney and CHW Professional Consultants, a local group working with the diocese and developers.

More here-

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