Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: Government House, Local Projects
Title: [Letter to H.E. Wolfe]
Full Citation
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 Material Information
Title: Letter to H.E. Wolfe
Series Title: Historic St. Augustine: Government House, Local Projects
Physical Description: Correspondence
Language: English
Creator: Matthews, D. R.
Publication Date: 1964
Physical Location:
Box: 8
Divider: Government House - Projects & Exhibits
Folder: Government House, Local Projects
Subject: Saint Augustine (Fla.)
48 King Street (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Government House (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- Saint Augustine -- 48 King Street
Coordinates: 29.892465 x -81.313142
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00095479
Volume ID: VID00037
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text


Congress of tfe aniteb states AN 1964
louse of Representatibes
Miasington, 0B. C.

January 7, 1964

Mr. H. E. Wolfe, Chairman
National Quadricentennial Commission
St. Augustine, Florida

Dear Herb:

Please let me thank you for your good letter of
December 31, outlining the tremendous progress that has
been made with the work of our Quadricentennial Commission.
I do not believe there are many of our friends who realize
just how much work has been done, and it is more amazing
because, as you know, we nave been operating on a budget that
is most thin, to say the leastL

Herb, I have become very much concerned about the
opposition that is coming apparent over the building of a new
Post Office. I have received some telephone calls, and have
noticed the opposition in the paper on the part ofsome of our
merchants, I received a telegram today from Mr. Fred Akras,
Chairman of the Retail Mercnants Committee, stating, and I
quote the telegram: "The Retail Merchants Division of the
Chamber of Commerce of St. Augustine wishes to go on record as
opposing the moving of the Post Office until the purpose is
further explained. In our opinion it is a waste ofthe taxpayers
money. It is not beneficial to the town or Post Office, Would
appreciate delaying this project until the opposition can be
herd. Please confirm wire. Advise project schedule and if
project will he delayed." This telegram was signed, let me
say again, by Mr. Fred Akras, Chairman of the Retail Merchants

Immediately upon receipt of the telegram, I telephoned
Mr. Akras and explained to him the tremendous problems we were
facing in not having any money to promote our great celebration,
I told him, as I have stated several times in Commission meetings,
that the House of Representatives simply will not approve any
direct appropriation for the Commission, and that I felt that
the best way we could get Federal financial participation would
be through the existing Agencies, such as the Post Office
Department and the Department of the Interior. I further related

Mr. H. E. Wolfe
January 7, 1964
Page Two

the thoughts of the Commission in making the present Post
Office Building the Federal Exhibition Building.

Incidentally, Herb, today I have a call in for the
General Services Administration to ascertain what steps will
have to be taken if and when the Post Office Department vacates
its present facilities to obtain possession of the building
for our Federal Exhibition Building. As I have stated before
in the Commission, we still will have some problems in gaining
possession of the building. I have had an experience in
Palatka where a new Post Office building was built, and then
the City and County both moved to obtain the old Federal Building.
They ironed out their differences and cooperated so that one
local government agency made the bid for the building, and was
successful. As I recall, the bid was only a fractional amount
of the real cost of the old Federal Building.

Some local government agency in St. Augustine, I expect,
will have to be in a position to make a bid for the abandoned
Federal Building when the proper time comes. I hope at our next
Commission meeting to have more detailed information about this.

I have talked with officials of the Post Office Department
in Atlanta, and have asked them to notify me as soon as they
have selected the site for the new Post Office building. I told
Mr. Akras in our telephone conversation that as soon as that
site had been announced, I would make it public and I think then
is the time when our community must make up its mind as to
whether or not they are going to cooperate with us in the
obtaining of the old Federal Building and in the building of
the new Post Office. It is my understanding that the several
sites that are now under investigation by the Post Office Department
are within four or five blocks of the present Federal Building.

I know how busy we all are, and I realize that each of
us has far more responsibilities in the development of our
Commission work than we have proper time to give. However, if
in the next few days some more public relations work could be
done on the local level, I think it would be very helpful.

Mr. H, E. Wolfe
January 7, 1964
Page Three

I am back on the job here in Congress, and it seems
now that we are going to have another 12-months year. Our
friend, Earle Newton, had written me about the Commission
meeting in St. Augslne on February 1, and I told him I just
didn't see how I could possibly make a special trip down for
the meeting. H-owever, Herb, it is so important to us that
I am going to do my best to be there on February 1, and in fact,
am counting definitely on it unless some unforeseen emergency
arises. Perhaps by that time we can know definitely the
location of the Post Office and other details that will have
to be ironed out so our local people can be given as complete
information as possible.

With warm personal regards, and best wishes for the
New Year, I am




/cc: Mr. Earle W. Newton
P. 0. Box 484
St. Augustine, Florida

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