Preservation investigation and recommendations for Ocala, Florida


Material Information

Preservation investigation and recommendations for Ocala, Florida
Physical Description:
Black, James B.
James B. Black
College of Architecture, University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, FL
Publication Date:


General Note:
AFA Historic Preservation document 270

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the source institution.
System ID:

Full Text


james b. black
march 1979
arc 5800

Immense growth and productivity have been equated with pro-
gress in American society. Recent experiences have shown
us that unrestricted and unchecked growth has not only its
own problems,but many other associated problems,as well.
Massove and complex technological systems have floundered
in energy shortages that have occurred due to an over commit-
ment to energy resources; all in the name of progress.

Progress also found fuel in many of America's Historical
Resources. An historical preservation plan can be the start
of a process of growth management, for a community. Effec-
tive management should generate the highest and best use
of a system through the fullest utilization of all potential
resources; existing and proposed. A preservation element
to a city's comprehensive plan, could represent the commit-
ment to an attitude of improved growth management. Ocala,
Florida is typical of many communities that would benifit
greatly from an ongoing process of growth managemnet. When
a preservation plan is seen as part of a large framework
for growth and development, then the time tested best and
most visible qualities, of a community, become the organizers
for the future.

At the present time Ocala has insufficient controls over
its own growth and development. Like most small cities that
large scale natural resources or industry, Ocala has had
to rely on progress from areas of sponstaneous and often
limited growth. As a means of encouraging this type of
progress, restrictions of any kind on a landowner were
seldom considered. Generally it was up to the owner to be
responsible for his actions and it was assumed that the best
interests of Ocala would be respected. The process has

worked for many years as evidenced by a successful community.
However, lately, new issues and concerns have arisen that
indicate that perhaps Ocala's best interests are not being
served, everywhere. This seems indicative of Ocala's need
to become aware of its resources and potentials and develop
them within a framework of growth management. Historic
preservation should be considered as a major direction for
this evaluation and action.

There are four major issues that delineate the general
impact that historical preservation can have on a community.
These issues are educational, inspirational, aesthetic and
Educational- Preservation, restoration, and
protection of historic and cultural resources
create an environment for the painless of
three dimensional living history-teaching
us to respect the past by giving us an under-
standing of our origins.

Inspirational- Preservation gives us sense of
community identity and pride, a sense of orien-
tation and appreciation of differences, a sense
of historic continuity through awareness of
our roots and links with the past.

Aesthetic- Historic artifacts have intrinsic
value as art (after all, we preserve our paint-
ing and sculpture-why not our buildings?),
they provide a refreshing comparison to con-
temporary sameness or ugliness, and weave a
thread of continuity; and scale through the
environment, particularly at the neighborhood

Economic- Preservation promotes increased
tourism, recreation, and an improved business
community; creative reuse allows valuable sites
and structures to be put to economically viable
uses that are different from but comparable
with their original function; preservation of
older housing provides a valuable homeowner-
ship resource, needed family housing, increased
real estate values, and an opportunity to control
growth through higher utilization of existing
urban resources. **

A community growth management process, that presents attitudes
generated from these concepts, should meet with success.
Success would however, require a great deal of commitment
to this philosophy, through governmental processes. A muni-
cipality's commitment to an historic preservation plan,would
develop a public and private priority for concerns about
positive cultural and physical elements, as the built

While Ocala has not received the stimulus to develop a frame-
work as discussed, it does have many resources, public and
private, that make development and implementation much
easier and more productive than in many other communities.
There are many legal presidents and alterations, as well as
organizational priorities that should be developed as an
Historical Preservation Plan for Ocala.

A municipality should develop a legal framework for their
preservation efforts. The State of Florida has enabled cities
and counties to draft and enforce legislation that deals
with preservation and related concerns. Municipal legisla-

** Little, Arthur D.,Inc. Historical Preservation Plan
,for Santa Rosa,Planning Department: Santa Rosa, California.

tion should provide for the designation of historic resources
and the protection of them. Such legal mechanism could be
in the form of historic district ordinances or landmark
commission ordinances. Both types of ordinances deal with
preservation but they each deal with different areas of con-
trol. The ordinance would specify and delegate authority.
It is up to the city or county to decide their level of con-
trol, enact their legislation and maintain their position
behind it. The nature of the resources and the problems
that they face will have a big influence on the type of

It should be realized that these preservation programs can-
not be initiated and maintained without finicial support.
An agency should be developed to research and apply for
these preservation funds. It is possible that grantsmen
from other departments can fulfill this requirement. Legis-
lation must provide programs to administer these funds and
ensure their proper application. Matching-fund grants are
available from state and federal sources and their require-
ments and guidelines are often very extensive, but not impos-
sible. Individual applications should also be a priority.
While this may not have the financial impact as larger
requests, it provides positive publicity and results. Cities
have the power to provide tax benefits for people engaged
in preservation development. The Federal government has
several tax incentive programs for many different applica-
tions. Public awareness of these types of programs are most
important as it is public action that will support the
greatest portion of the funding.

A survey must be made to determine what preservation organ-

izations or concerns exist. The community must be reviewed
to see what potential organizations there might be. Certain
neighborhoods might generate their own organizations, and
develop the information and criteria necessary for district
designation. These types of groups act as stimulus for
other groups to organize. It might be necessary for a govern-
mental agency to be set up to develop these potential
districts and organizations. This same body might act as
the main representative for all districts, groups,and in-
dividuals, to the city or county commission.

There is a great deal of potential for preservation concerns
in Ocala. Ocala has many of the resources and organizations,
as mentioned. There are many interested individuals and
several groups have shown support for preservation projects.
But there have also been some unfortunate projects that have
either eliminated valuable buildings and resources or
misused them beyond recognition. Ocala needs effective >
organization and stimulus to develop the its preservation
potential. The municipality needs to assume its role and
responsibility in the preservation process, in order to
protect and enhance Ocala's Historical Resources.