• Historic Shed recently completed the installation of a custom garden shed in the VM Ybor Community Garden. Funded by a community grant from Hillsborough County, the small shed was designed in the Ybor City architectural vernacular; the shed features a gable roof design, lap siding, metal roof and other architectural elements common in the area. Area residents will use the shed to store communal gardening tools to tend the sixteen individual plots to grow vegetables and herbs. The garden plots are available free to area residents to plant as they please. The grant requires that the community members participate in the grant project; residents will paint the shed and install the foundation tie downs.  

  • We had a great time yesterday at the 3rd annual VM Ybor Neighborhood Historic Home Tour, stationed in the new Historic Shed-built Guest Cottage at 1314 E. 15th Avenue. We were joined by Steve Quillian of Wood Window Makeover, Suzanne Prieur of Through the Woods Fine Floors, and the homeowner, Judy Greer and her family, greeting visitors and talking about the Cottage construction. The tour was very well attended and blessed with perfect weather. The house that had been renovated by Tampa Preservation, Inc. received rave reviews, although most visitors hadn't been to all the tour stops prior to visiting the Guest Cottage so we won't declare it the tour favorite. For some lovely photos of the event see: http://www.813area.com/uncategorized/3rd-annual-vm-ybor-home-tour.html. We loved to hear the surprise in visitor's voices upon at learning that our little 14'x16' Guest Cottage was new construction. There were many compliments on the Cottage - enough to swell our heads a bit. Many thanks to Judy Greer for all her positive comments to visitors - we may have to hire her as our new head of sales! Our next event will be the Historic Kenwood Neighborhood's BungalowFest 2011 on November 5th.  We won't have one of our buildings there, but will have lots of photos and information, along with our smiling faces. After that, we will be at the free St. Petersburg Historic Homes Workshop where we will have a booth and speak on the Topic "Choosing Exterior Paint Colors". We'd love to see you at these events!

  • The Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission recently recognized 16 projects for their contributions to the quality of life in Hillsborough County at the Planning Commission’s 50th Anniversary Celebration and 27th Annual Community Design Awards. The Florida Department of Transportation, City of Tampa, and the Federal Highway Administration were among the Award of Excellence recipients for the Interstate 4 Historic Preservation Mitigation Project in the category of Historic Preservation/Restoration.Beginning in 1987, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) developed a master plan for much-needed interstate system improvements in Hillsborough County. After every effort had been made to minimize and avoid adverse impacts within the Ybor CityNational Historic Landmark District, 10% of the nearly 1,000 historic buildings would still have to be cleared to widen I-4. After almost three years of research and negotiations between federal, state and local agencies, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed in late 1996. The methods for minimizing the impacts were unprecedented in their magnitude and included the relocation of 64 historic buildings, with FHWA and FDOT being responsible for the rehabilitation of 35 of the buildings within the proposed highway footprint.Twenty-six of the buildings chosen for relocation as part of the Tampa Interstate Study project were located on the north side of I-4 in the most desolate part of the neighborhood. The single-family homes were moved to vacant lots within a five-block area, sited carefully to recreate the historic streetscapes. Design plans were reviewed by both the Florida Division of Historic Resources and the local Barrio Latino Commission and typically included rebuilding of deteriorated front porches, replacement of inappropriate windows and doors, new metal roofs, and structural repairs. Low walls, typical of the area, were constructed at each relocated site with plaques stating the building’s original location and date of relocation. Interior renovations removed modifications that had subdivided many homes into multi-resident units and to accommodate contemporary living requirements for kitchens, baths and closets. Once rehabbed, FDOT transferred ownership of the buildings to the City of Tampa, which then sold the homes to private individuals for appraised value. As a result of the project improvements, there has been a noticeable increase in private investment in the surrounding area, both from long-time owners now choosing to improve their homes and rental units and from outside investors purchasing vacant commercial and residential property.Five historic homes were part of the "Las Casitas" project and moved to land near the Ybor City State Museum, south of I-4, where the 7th Avenue commercial district is located. One two-story “camel back” house was relocated to a vacant lot adjacent to the State Museum and now houses the Museum Gift Shop, giving the Museum a larger street presence and allowing for expanded merchandise offerings. The other four homes were placed on an adjacent vacant block flanking a relocated brick commercial building to replicate a historic streetscape. These retail shops are rented by the Museum’s not-for-profit support organization to generate revenue for Museum programs.Preservation Resource, Inc. has been honored to have worked on this project with FDOT and FHWA personnel along with with project coordinator Elaine Illes of IPI and cultural resource consultants from Janus Research along with local renovation contractors, South-Co, Goldsborough and Semco.

  • Preservation Resource, Inc. has been extremely fortunate to have worked as Historic Preservation Design Consultants on the I-4 Improvement Project in the Ybor City National Historic Landmark District in Tampa, FL. The majority of the project was spent rehabilitating homes relocated out of the proposed highway right of way. However, one part of the project allowed us to design and construct a new free-standing structure: a bus shelter. While bus shelters typically do not make designer's hearts race, this one is one of my favorite projects to have worked on. In part, this is because it is the first completely new, free-standing structure I ever designed that was actually built. We have completed remodeling/ rehabilitation projects of existing historic buildings and have built many additions, but when these types of projects are done well, your work is rarely even noticed because it looks as if it was always there. Starting from the ground up gives a different sense of accomplishment. The shelter was first conceived when we were asked to create a commemorate monument for the long-vacant historic George Washington Jr. High School. The school was located within the proposed highway expansion right of way, and when relocation and leasing options for the building were determined not feasible, the school was demolished. Among multiple options proposed for commemorating the site, the idea of a bus shelter constructed out of materials salvaged from the school was chosen, to be operated by Hillsborough Area Regional Transport (HART). The marker utilizes salvaged brick, one of the original cupolas and reflects design elements from the school building while meeting ADA accessibility requirements. A commemorative plaque was installed on the structure educating passer-bys of the school's history. In addition, wood flooring, interior doors and other architectural elements were salvaged from the building to be reused at Woodrow Wilson Middle School, a still functioning school with the same original design as the George Washington. Other items were salvaged for use in Public Art Projects by the City of Tampa and HART.