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St. Johns Cultural Council obtains "National Register of Historic Places" for historic beach hotel
The St. Johns Cultural Council has worked for more than 20 years to restore and preserve the historic St. Augustine Beach Hotel, which has now been recognized by the U.S. National Park Service for the property's national civil rights significance.
By: St. Johns Cultural Council
According to Christina Parrish Stone, St. Johns Cultural Council's Executive Director, the Cultural Council helped to save the structure from demolition and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants and private donations to stabilize the building and restore the first floor, which now houses dance and art studios. The Council is currently working with the City of St. Augustine Beach to develop plans to complete the second floor, and a workshop to receive input from the community will be held in March.
On January 14, the National Park Service released information that the St. Augustine Beach Hotel and Beachfront in the City of St. Augustine Beach has been added to the National Register of Historic Places for importance nationwide as part of the civil rights movement known as the St. Augustine Campaign. The Hotel is located at 370 State Road A1A.
To establish the significance of the historic property and prepare the National Register nomination, the St. Johns Cultural Council engaged consultant Leslee Keys, PhD, and Keys and Associates of St. Augustine.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. selected St. Augustine as the third of a trilogy of southern cities for staged protests designed to generate attention when the U.S. Senate was debating and filibustering the much-delayed Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The historical and architectural significance of the building includes its design by prominent local architect Francis A. Hollingsworth as a wood building with coquina block veneer, and additional period materials to support commercial use. The Hotel, which opened on Labor Day in 1940, is the only building remaining from a "St. Augustine Auxiliary Pier Project" by the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the Great Depression. The Anastasia Island coquina quarry location was reopened for construction of WPA buildings, specifically the twin beach hotels.
The mission of the Cultural Council is to support local artists and arts organizations and to promote St. Johns County as a premiere destination for cultural travelers, ensuring that the lives of both residents and visitors are enriched through art, culture, history, and heritage. For more information, contact Christina Parrish Stone at 904.434.0959 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the website at https://stjohnsculture.com.
Christina Parrish Stone