Friday, January 13, 2012

Visual Ephemera's Most Threatened Sites for 2012

The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation is publishing their call for the 11 most threatened historical places in Florida, so I thought I'd come with my own. Introducing the Visual Ephemera Top 12 Threatened Places in Florida. To qualify it has to be a subject I've blogged about, or at least closely related. Drum roll please....

12. McNamera Pontiac Sign(s), Orlando
I've blogged about vintage stuff in my town before and this is one of our best neon signs. There is also a great service sign around the corner. This dealership has been vacant for quite some time now and I see these signs ending up in someone's collection...

11. Firestone in St. Augustine
Every time we return to see the nation's oldest city, I am surprised to see this mid-century dealership still hanging in there, as it is prime real estate. It would be fun to see it re-purposed into something cool, but that seems unlikely.

10. Wreck Bar
A certain mermaid has been working hard to keep the Wreck Bar relevant while the Sheraton chain considers remodeling. One of the few porthole bars left in this country, it would be a shame to lose.

9. Tomoka State Park sculpture
Created by renown artist Frederick Dana Marsh, this monumental sculpture needs some loving in a big way. With our underfunded State Parks as caretakers, I don't see it happening soon.

8. Orange City Historic District
Historic District advocate Dallas Wittgenfeld says "most historically significant houses in Orange City are going to be demolished soon and right across the street from our historic founding hotel. Very sad."

The Marion S. Whaley Citrus Packing House, Rockledge
Despite being on the National Register of Historic Places, this future looks grim for this complex on US 1.

Bob White Citrus Packing Plant, De Leon Springs
What does one do with an old citrus processing facility? This complex of buildings on US 17 continues to deteriorate.

5. Glen Springs pool, Gainesville
Three Elks club members are doing all that they can, but without some help, the pool will eventually start to cave in.

4. Lake Worth Shuffleboard Courts
See previous post. The meeting to determine the future of the courts is later this month.

3. North Florida lakes
Drought+overuse of the aquifer=dry lakes. Livelihoods are being destroyed as it is difficult to fish where there is no water.

2. Florida Springs
Artist Margaret Tolbert says "although flow in the Itchetucknee has declined 15 percent, and White Springs, Nassau County no longer flows, it has scarcely excited notice..." in her book "Aquiferous". The quality and quantity of the water is at big risk, and the current political climate has made their preservation even more perilous.

1. Belleview Biltmore
The real reason for this post. I've blogged about Henry Plant's Tampa Hotel and the PICO building but never actually seen his former Hotel Belleview near Clearwater. Florida's last operating grand wooden hotel, the city of Bellair meets to consider a demolition permit next week. Want to help try to preserve it? Send an email to: the Mayor and commissioners:,,,,


  1. Good post! I like you added water. There are too many straws in my Floridan aquifer!

  2. I too am a resident of Central Florida. In my years (so many), I have seen old landmarks disappear in the name of progress. It feels like I was born out of time. I would much rather have lived my life before Disney World came to Central Florida...

  3. Great summary. Thank you so much for listing it and taking care!

  4. I thought that the Bob White packaging complex had burned down this past year? Any status on it?

  5. As far as I know it is still there, although I haven't seen it in some time. It has been on the Florida Trust's most endangered list for a couple years now...