Title: St. Augustine Historic District Strategic Plan Steering Committee meeting report
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091502/00002
 Material Information
Title: St. Augustine Historic District Strategic Plan Steering Committee meeting report
Uniform Title: St. Augustine Historic District Strategic Plan Steering Committee meeting report
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Creator: Facilities Planning and Construction, University of Florida
Publisher: Facilities Planning and Construction, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: June 24, 2008
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00091502
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Meeting Report: June 24, 2008

St. Augustine Historic District Strategic Plan Steering Committee
1:30 PM 3:30 PM
The St. Augustine Record, The Center Conference Room
One News Place, St. Augustine, FL 32086


Members present:

Members absent:

Others present:
Steve Martin
Martin Gold
Wiley Deck
Gladys Humphreys
Maury Keiser
Toni Wallace
Michelle Vijgen

Glen Hastings
Michael Gannon
Chris Silver
Roy Hunt

John Regan
Roy Graham
Tracy Upchurch

Kathy Deagan
Ed Poppell
Gordon Wilson


Linda Dixon
Jess Childre
B. J. Kalaidi
Michelle Barth
Dean Quigley
George Gardner
Gale Burnick
Leslee Keys

Miles Albertson
Maureen Ortugus
Jill Ziebell
Hal Holton
Dwight Hines
Peter Roman
Eric Johnson
Bill Leary

Dr. Susan Turner
Bill McRea
Jock Ochiltree
Jeff Damus
Greg Tranous
Susan Parker
Peter Rumpel
Mark Schmitt

1. Welcome and Introductions- Vice President Poppell welcomed attendees, and
members introduced themselves.

II. Review Meeting Report, May 20, 2008 -The meeting report was distributed for review.

III. Project Status Report -
a. Vice President Poppell reported that the project funding is in the final State
b. Linda Dixon reported that the consultant selection process is underway with
submittals due on Friday, June 27th. The project has generated a good amount of
interest from potential consultants.
c. Linda Dixon reported on the UF Technical Work Group Meeting that was held
June 3rd in Gainesville, and was primarily attended by UF faculty and staff.

St. Augustine Historic District Strategic Plan Steering Committee
Meeting Report: June 24, 2008

Page 1 of 6

d. Other Studies Updates: Glen Hastings provided a status report on the
Destination Master Plan. The County is still reviewing the proposals and then
will enter into the contract negotiation phase. Everyone agreed that the
Strategic Plan consultants should be retained, and the consultant teams for the
two projects should be brought together to clarify roles and collaboration. John
Regan reported on the AIA Pedestrian Crossing Study that was presented to the
City Commission on June 23, 2008.

IV. Discuss a Vision for Historic St. Augustine Linda Dixon facilitated a discussion about
visioning framed around three conversation questions. Every committee member was
asked to respond to the questions. A detailed summary of this discussion is attached.
During the conversation, the group also discussed the role of the University of Florida,
physical planning, and plan coordination.

Ed Poppell commented that the University did not want to "get in the way" of local
efforts. John Regan suggested that the group could develop community acceptance of
performance indicators, for example, the City has reviewed the mission statement of
the Spanish Quarter. Tracy Upchurch commented that the City has been struggling with
these issues since the Carnegie studies in the 1930's. Kathy Deagan noted that UF's
proper role is as a partner with the community; while Roy Graham cited UF's potential
as a catalyst for change.

A member of the audience asked Tracy Upchurch to respond to whether Flagler College
could be the venue for the DSO since it has a local presence and track record. Mr.
Upchurch responded that the directive from the state legislature is to UF. He said that
the University and Flagler College will build on their existing partnership and
institutional strengths and expertise. He noted that Flagler College is a teaching
institution and does not have research graduate programs. Ed Poppell commented that
the DSO is a framework for receiving gifts and is written into the law. This is the
framework used at University of West Florida for managing the historic village
properties in Pensacola. Leslee Keys mentioned a recent survey that found one reason
students attend Flagler is because their parents are impressed with the college's
stewardship of the historic buildings. She also noted that most of their benefactors are
from the Northeast Florida region.

St. Augustine Historic District Strategic Plan Steering Committee Page 2 of 6
Meeting Report: June 24, 2008

In a brief discussion of physical planning for the historic area, members agreed that
accessibility, walkability and circulation were key concerns. Members noted that the
450th Celebration Task Force will be recommending physical improvements to be made
in advance of the celebration. John Regan is on the Task Force and will be a liaison for
the Steering Committee. Mr. Regan also noted that the city budget includes projects
such as street re-bricking that he can report to the committee. He offered site visits for
the committee to conduct fact-finding if needed.

V. Discuss Public Participation Process and First Public Workshop Linda Dixon described
the first public meeting that will be held later the same day at City Hall. Attendees at
the steering committee meeting were encouraged to attend the evening meeting for
more input opportunities. The public was then invited to comment, and the following
input was received:

First impressions are lasting ones: Guide the tourists; Typically tourists start at the
parking garage and visitor's center; New tourists typically take the trolley and decide
where to go from that experience; Need to tie tourism planning into the trolley
This is a port city do not forget to include the maritime history and resources.
Link the fort to the Spanish Quarter with better pedestrian crossings.
Expand on trades and apprenticeships: this links education and industry; use the
historic buildings to teach these trades.
Experience heritage tourism as recreation: tie this to eco-tourism trends; reach
different markets including children, scholars and international travelers.
Tie the 450th Anniversary celebration to getting the deferred maintenance money
for the state-owned buildings.
Consider appropriate roles for UF: Is UF getting into the heritage tourism business?
What are the implications of that?
Be careful that the planning does not focus on heritage tourism at the expense of
cultural tourism, eco-tourism, etc.
Use UF's multidisciplinary expertise to solve local problems and properly celebrate
the 450th Anniversary.
The experience needs to better engage tourists in living history. St. George Street
(HP3) needs to be more than a "front".
Williamsburg model may not work in a living city.

St. Augustine Historic District Strategic Plan Steering Committee Page 3 of 6
Meeting Report: June 24, 2008

UF can provide process mapping: funding (Federal, grants, etc.); identify a lead
agency and UF grant writing capability; tie to eco-tourism; ensure consistency of
message to the heritage tourist (e.g. tour guide certification).
There is great donor support potential: UF has a proven product; these historic
properties tie to the educational mission; St. Augustine community has experience in
historic building preservation and fundraising (e.g. Flagler College).
Stewardship of the state-owned buildings will benefit all historic entities.

VI. Next Steps Members agreed to meet again on July 14, 2008. Agenda items will
include a report on the consultant selection process, and outcomes of the visioning

VII. Other Business-There was no other business to discuss.

VIII. Closing Comments and Adjourn Vice President Poppell closed the meeting by
thanking the participants.

St. Augustine Historic District Strategic Plan Steering Committee
Meeting Report: June 24, 2008

Page 4 of 6

St. Augustine Historic District Strategic Plan Steering Committee
Visioning Session: June 24, 2008

What should the heritage tourism experience be in the St. Augustine of the future? What would a
tourist in historic St. Augustine see and do and learn?
Organized and Comprehensible: The pieces of history should be tied together into an organized
experience with comprehensible content.
Authentic: The public/visitor is generally better educated about American history (i.e. cable
television-History Channel, Discovery Channel, internet, etc); the experience must be authentic
to compete with other historic locales.
Immersive: The experience should not be static.
Engaging and Captivating: Utilize technology and new ways of engaging visitors. There are
financial implications of doing this right tourists will come back for more.
Preserve the Physical assets: structures and gardens; these are branding elements; the eclectic
mix is a defining feature of St. Augustine.
Understand this is a living city. Do not interrupt the quality of life for residents.
St. Augustine has a continuum of history including civil rights, fine arts, etc.
St. Augustine should be experienced on foot.
Ensure the authenticity of tour guide scripts.
The experience must be organized physically and simplified from what it is today: where to start
and stop; where to park; where to go/what to see; not haphazard; visitor should come away
with an understanding of St. Augustine's historic significance.
People want to come back if they understand the significance and the depth/breadth of historic
resources in St. Augustine (i.e. you can't see it all in one afternoon).
The 2016 NPS Anniversary and St. Augustine's 450th Anniversary are an opportunity to "put St.
Augustine on the map."
Understand St. Augustine as unique, eclectic and multicultural.
Heritage tourism needs a shopping experience too, but it must also be authentically tied to the
area's history.
The experience must also appeal to the short-term visitor including local/regional "day-
Understand St. Augustine as a destination; part of American history.
Capture the multiple layers of history in St. Augustine. This will appeal to a broad audience and
diverse tourist markets.
Link the past to the present: there should be a storyline such that the present can learn
something relevant from the past.
The search for authenticity leads to the need for more research. Education and interpretation
are always evolving.

St. Augustine Historic District Strategic Plan Steering Committee Page 5 of 6
Meeting Report: June 24, 2008

Is there a single, most important action that the University could undertake or facilitate to "hit the
home run" and make a positive impact in historic St. Augustine? If so, what is it?
Create a single place to get information and orientation linked to the Fort.
Focus on visioning and marketing.
Leverage state, local and federal resources
Provide leadership, credibility and a long-term presence
Provide unification, credibility and technical expertise: This manifests physically with faculty and
students in office and lab environments (e.g. Whitney labs in Marineland), and with an
administrative office with an executive director, staff, mission statement, job descriptions, etc.
One result of this presence will be a combined and more effective lobbying effort.
Save the state-owned buildings and add education/interpretation to them.
Focus on the Spanish Quarter. It has the potential to rise to an international attraction stature.
Organize the DSO as an umbrella organization with an executive director, board, staff, etc.
Bring multidisciplinary education programs including graduate programs in collaboration with
the City and Flagler College.

If the University had $5 million dollars to spend in the St. Augustine historic downtown area, how
should it be spent?
Develop the first phase of a central orientation facility that includes both civil and military
history. (NOTE: two members cited this priority)
Crystallize the vision and market it via consultant support.
Complete the deferred maintenance and capital upgrades on the state-owned buildings perhaps
starting with Government House, but recognize that this requires a commitment for recurring
maintenance funding. (NOTE: two members cited this priority)
Organize the operational/administrative entity as a DSO with an executive director, staff, etc.
Develop pilot projects with seed money for local initiatives supported by UF (e.g. linking the
history of the Fort).

What is the appropriate role for the University of Florida in St. Augustine?
Members recapped discussion points related to the University's.
Leadership and Unification:
The UF DSO as an umbrella organization for multiple historic resource entities.
UF as a key financial partner: facilitate a combined lobbying effort; leverage state, local and
federal resources; grant writing and donor support.
Credibility and Technical Expertise:
UF as aid in the search for authenticity
UF as collaborator with Flagler College, the City, NPS, and other partners in multidisciplinary
education for varied audiences.

St. Augustine Historic District Strategic Plan Steering Committee Page 6 of 6
Meeting Report: June 24, 2008

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