DUNEDIN – A structure built in 1921 has served the community well for its value to the arts and town history.
It should come as no surprise, then, that the designation of the Weaver Park chalet as a historic monument received the full support of the city commission and other city stakeholders.
The commissioners unanimously approved an order calling for the appointment at their January 7 meeting.
“We commend the city for considering designating the bungalow as a historic structure,” Dunedin Fine Art Center President and CEO George Ann Bissett wrote in a letter.
The Craftsman-style cottage at 1141 Broadway was used as a home for JR and Bea Williams. Dunedin’s Mail Superintendent in 1960, JR Williams spent 25 years working for the town’s post office and was a World War I veteran.
The structure is currently rented by the Dunedin Palace of Fine Arts as a Cottage Campus. The center holds classes in printing, stone carving, woodturning and outdoor painting on site.
Bissett thanked the city in their letter for allowing the Dunedin Fine Art Center to use the bungalow for their visual arts education program.
“This partnership is very beneficial to us and over the years has received accolades and hundreds of students who enjoy working in this unique environment,” she wrote.
“Classes on the Cottage Campus are an integral part of the Dunedin Fine Arts Center curriculum,” she wrote.
She and the city’s director of parks and recreation, Vince Gizzi, thanked Commissioner Deborah Kynes for her role in recommending the chalet as a local historic landmark.
“The Weaver Bungalow has been a tremendous asset to the Parks and Recreation Department and the Fine Arts Center,” he said at the commission meeting.
The city’s Historic Preservation Advisory Committee held a public hearing on September 10 and unanimously recommended approval of the historic designation.
The committee may recommend the designation of individual properties as historic monuments if the main structure is at least 50 years old and meets certain criteria.
Included are that its value is an important reminder of the cultural or archaeological heritage of the city, state or nation. The architectural style and values are also listed in the criteria.
The cottage occupies 0.35 acres and is the second home in Weaver Park to receive the designation, joining the Willis Blatchley House, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Williams and his family have held several functions on the property, such as the First Presbyterian Church Circles meetings and the Dunedin Garden Club meetings.
The chalet is in need of loving care, said Gizzi.
Quotes will be obtained for improvements, such as painting and landscaping.