Florida’s Rich Heritage

When I think of places enriched by historical sites and buildings, I rarely think of Florida. Generally I am thinking of places like New York City, Rome, Paris, and etc… What a wonderful surprise, though, that Florida does, in fact, have so much to offer with the rich heritage that has been passed down through the years. Florida was officially admitted to the Union in 1845. Prior to its admittance, it was still inhabited by people that were referred to as Seminoles. Florida was once a Spanish territory, prior to being acquired by the Union in the Transcontinental Treaty. Florida, due largely in part to this fact, has a rich Spanish heritage.


Restoring and Preserving

I had the opportunity to visit Florida about eight years ago. I learned that it is an extremely beautiful state but that its weather can be brutal. Obviously there are hurricanes and other such natural disasters in the state; but even day-to-day, residents of Florida suffer through sometimes intolerable levels of humidity. Weather can greatly affect the integrity of historical buildings and sites, especially when these sites are exposed to the elements for an extended period of time.

The city of West Palm Beach alone has thirty-seven historical sites and about sixteen historical districts. Over the last several years, West Palm Beach residents and officials have begun to fight to restore and preserve these historic locations. This would be an extreme challenge due to the fact that Florida has such extreme weather throughout the year. There are many things that must be known and considered in order to restore and preserve any landmark.

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  1. Inspect the building/ location
  2. Research the building/ location
  3. Learn about the previous owners and the history of the building/ location
  4. Determine if the building is part of an historic district or if it has been designated a historical building/ structure.
  • This will help determine if you need approval to change the appearance of the property in any way.

Once the aforementioned list has been completed, the location is ready for restoration and preservation. One key thing to remember is that the building should be restored back to its previous original purpose and any original features should remain. Also, keep in mind that any structures are a result of the time period they originated from. Preservation is all about protecting and cherishing the heritage and history.


The Necessity

Extreme weather patterns have a way of affecting, mostly negatively, the integrity of old buildings. The humidity alone can contribute to water damage and mildew growth. In order to properly restore historic sites, one must take on the challenge of battling the water damage in West Palm Beach. The reason why this is a necessity is that water damage can have many underlying effects, especially when a location suffers from these damages repeatedly and they are not addressed. Problems such as compromised structural integrity, mildew, stench, and warped appearance are only a few that result from water damage. Restoring and preserving these wonderful historical sites is very difficult, and even more rewarding.