St. Augustine Beach Hotel, waterfront named to the National Register of Historic Places
After efforts spanning two decades, a beachfront hotel has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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 US National Park Service for the property’s national civil rights significance. and its local historical and architectural significance.
According to Christina Parrish Stone, executive director of the St. Johns Cultural Council, the Cultural Council helped 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 the dance. and art workshops.
The council is currently working with the City of St. Augustine Beach to develop plans to complete the second floor, and a community feedback workshop will be held in March.
On January 14, the National Park Service released information that the St. Augustine Beach Hotel and Beachfront in the town of St. Augustine Beach was added to the National Register of Historic Places for national significance as part of the rights movement civics 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 for nomination to the National Register, the St. Johns Cultural Council engaged consultant Leslee Keys Ph.D. and Keys and Associates of St. Augustine.
According to Keys, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. chose St. Augustine as the third in a trilogy of Southern cities to stage protests designed to draw attention when the U.S. Senate was debating and filibustering the very delayed Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The St. Augustine Beach Hotel property and the 16th Street waterfront north to the hotel were the scene of multicultural wading, which activists conducted continuously from June 17 to July 1, 1964, the day before of the signature of President Lyndon B. Johnson. the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.
The wade-in that happened on the beach on June 25, 1964 is best known for segregationists attacking protesters along the beach. Images of the Florida Highway Patrol breaking up the riot and standing in full uniform in the ocean to protect protesters were among the most widely broadcast of the entire St. Augustine movement.
The historical and architectural significance of the building includes its design by local architect Francis A. Hollingsworth as a timber 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 remaining building from a “St. Augustine Auxiliary Pier Project” by the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the Great Depression. he Anastasia Island coquina quarry location has been reopened for the construction of WPA buildings, specifically the Twin Beach Hotels.
“Historic sites and historic preservation are critically important to our community and to cultural tourism in St. Johns County,” said Parrish Stone. “Raising awareness of these sites through recognition like this and increasing access to funding for historic preservation are key parts of our efforts to support, promote and enhance the region’s arts, culture and heritage. The St. Johns Cultural Council and its supporters are thrilled with this recognition for a property that has played an important role in the work to support our vibrant cultural community.
The mission of the Cultural Council is to support local artists and arts organizations and to promote St. Johns County as a destination of choice for cultural travelers, ensuring that the lives of residents and visitors are enriched by art, culture, history and heritage.
For more information, contact Parrish Stone at 904-434-0959 or email christi[email protected]. The website is stjohnsculture.com.