The City of Fernandina Beach is studying hundreds of historical and cultural resources with the help of a consultant paid for by a $40,000 grant from the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources.
According to the city’s Historic Preservation Planner Salvatore Cumella, the goal is to capture changes that have occurred since 2007, when the original 1985 study was updated, identify structures that now qualify for the survey, and capture data in digital format.
The work is being done in the city’s downtown and Old Town historic districts by Brockington Cultural Resources Consulting. Letters about the project were sent to historic district property owners and residents on Jan. 24.
Sheldon Owens, 35, a preservation specialist historian who works in Brockington’s Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina office, is doing the work. He was spotted on Centre St. around lunchtime on Thursday working on an iPad to update (according to Mr. Cumella) architecturally and historically significant buildings, structures, and complexes; designed landscapes, and historic properties that are at least 50 years old now or within ten years. He says he has about 600 structures to inventory and there are some he has to “find” — if they can be located.
“Some will be missing since the last time the study was done,” he said, pointing north along the waterfront.
He said the project will take about three weeks. And that it was his first time in Fernandina Beach.
“There are a lot of great buildings here,” said Mr. Owens. “I want to live here.”
Mr. Owens wore a reflective vest as he worked and was approached by couple to ask if the city had paid parking. They searched for meters and didn’t find them.
“I get that a lot,” he said.
For questions about the survey project, contact Mr. Cumella at (904) 310-3148 or firstname.lastname@example.org.