December 26, 1973
Mrs. C. D. Towers, Sr.
3500 Richmond Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32205
Dear Mrs. Towers:
As I told you this morning on the telephone, it appears that the federal
grant for restoration of the Montgomery Sister's House is well on the way.
Perhaps this is a good time to summarize the current status of the project.
This federal program is administered at the state level through the State
Historic Preservation Officer, who is Robert Williams, Director of the
Division of Archives, History and Records Management.
His office has informed me that the necessary clearances have been re-
ceived from the review within the state, a process which has to be satis-
fied before anything can move further.
Tallahassee has now asked Washington for approval to use $41,238 of funds
remaining from the 1971 allocations. As I understand it, this represents a
transfer of funds from some other project in the state which was not able
to get under way. They expect prompt approval of the request.
When this is received, they will be in a position to fund the restoration.
At that point we will have to be able to prove transfer of title to qualify
as the matching portion of the project. Then we will have to get to work
on the architectural plans for the restoration so that estimates and bids
can be obtained.
The actual funds are supplied to us on a reimbursable basis. We (the Board)
or the Department of State will have to use our funds for a phase of the
project, and upon completion of that phase, we will be reimbursed with the
federal funds, and so on, until the project is completed.
At this point I have only one concern. The appraised valuation of $42,500
for the total property, comprising the historic lot, was used as the match-
ing basis for the request. If the east portion of the property is held out
for other usage, we will probably have to get new appraisals for the remain-
ing portion, which may come to less than 50/50 matching with the federal
funds. In this case, we would probably have to submit a revised project
statement and go through much of the same approval process again. Also, if
December 26, 1973
the match comes to less than the $41,238 now being asked, we might be in
trouble in completing the project within available funds, particularly
considering the rapid rise in costs which we are experiencing at present.
One other possibility is that the presence of another structure on the lot
may be viewed as a disturbance to the integrity of the original setting.
I plan to get in touch with Hershall Shepard very soon to see if he will be
available for serving as restoration architect. He is the only practicing
architect in the state who has a reputation in this type of work, and plans
by an acceptable architect will be one of the necessary factors in release
There is still considerable red
a completed restoration, but it
worthwhile. It can stand as a n
permanent tribute to you and you
Best wishes for the New Year.
tape facing us before the house stands as
is such a gem that the trouble seems well
3odel of how to do the job right, and as a
John W. Griffin, Director
Historic St. Augustine
cc: John D. Bailey