Historical figures in the banner are (L-R):  Rev. Jesse Knight, Frank Higel, Bertha Honoré Palmer, Dr. Fred Albee, John Nolen


Historical figures in the banner above are (L-R): 

Rev. Jesse Knight, Frank Higel, Bertha Honoré Palmer, Dr. Fred Albee, John Nolen

Newsletters

 

A Message from the President





July 2022


We enter summer with lots to update you on. 

The Train Depot has reopened after two years, and our circus car is now open for the first time for tours. (The Depot is open only on Saturdays and the circus car on most Saturdays.  Check the calendar on the website before visiting.)  I am humbled by the dedication and hard work by so many VAHS members to prepare and preserve these historic assets. I encourage all of you to stop by the depot campus and say hi to the volunteers who are there to bring the stories of these resources to life for visitors. 

On another front, the Board of Directors held a special meeting in June to authorize the President to present to the Venice City Council a position statement concerning the Land Development Regulations (LDRs) currently pending before Council. As you may be aware, the LDRs dramatically change the way the city deals with, among other things, preservation of historic properties. A copy of the statement is below.

This continues a fine tradition of VAHS in advocacy on historical matters. Many of you already know the name on our charter: "Venice Historic Preservation League."  We have adopted the d/b/a (doing business as) of the Venice Area Historic Society to reflect a wider horizon than just preservation. Nonetheless, preservation of our community's historic resources remains a top priority of the organization.

If you share the concerns in our position statement, or if you have other concerns, you should consider making them known to Council. You can find names and addresses at this website:

https://www.venicegov.com/government/mayor-city-council


STATEMENT TO VENICE CITY COUNCIL

June 13, 2022

Mayor R. Feinsod and Members of the Venice City Council

City Hall

Venice, Florida 34285

Dear Mayor Feinsod and Members of the Venice City Council,

We are writing today on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Venice Area Historical Society (VAHS) to provide input on the Land Development Regulations.  Since 1991, two goals of the Venice Area Historical Society have been “to create a public awareness of the historical heritage of the Venice area,” and “to develop an appreciation of the history and historic sites of the Venice area and promote historic preservation.”

During the past 31 years, VAHS has addressed these goals by:

  • supporting the restoration and preservation of historical buildings in Venice such as the 1927 Historic Venice Train Depot
  • supporting the creation of the Gunther Gebel-Williams statue at the Depot
  • supporting the Lord-Higel House project through donations over the years to the Lord House Restoration fund, the cost of a new roof, the thermometer sign in Centennial Park, pest control at the site for a number of years, and other cash donations
  • financially supporting the Old Betsy project and the Fred Albee Exhibit at the Venice Museum
  • creating educational exhibits about Venice’s general history and railroad history in the waiting rooms of the Train Depot
  • providing tours of the Train Depot to over 40,000 visitors
  • placing informative plaques on deserving historic buildings in Venice, with the financial support of the Erhart Family Foundation
  • providing free monthly lectures to the public about Venice and Florida history
  • providing a cadre of speakers about Venice history for local organizations
  • restoring a former Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus train car and placing it on the Depot campus
  • creating a museum in the circus train car celebrating Venice’s circus history and circus legacy.

From our experience, we can testify that Venice’s special history has great appeal to the public.  The City’s unique, attractive, and historic built-environment lures visitors to our community, enticing them to make Venice their home. 

As you revise Venice’s Land Development Regulations, the members of the VAHS Board of Directors urge you to:

  • Keep the height of downtown buildings at 35 feet
  • Keep the Historic Preservation Board separate from the Architectural Review Board
  • Retain the ability to designate local historic districts in the future, such as Edgewood, a unique historic district that was included in the John Nolen Plan of Venice
  • Ensure that Venice becomes a Certified Local Government.

Respectfully submitted,

Franklin Wright, President                      

Betty Intagliata, Chair, VAHS Historic Preservation Committee

Sincerely, 

Frank Wright, President

“Come!  Celebrate history with us!”

Venice Area Historical Society

president@veniceareahistoricalsociety.org



VAHS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and has registered with the State of Florida to solicit contributions.  A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES AT WWW.800HELPFLA.COM OR BY CALLING TOLL-FREE WITHIN (800-435-7352) OR OUTSIDE (850-410-3800) FLORIDA.  REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.” Ch 32089

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