County historic board visits Ormond

Members get an update on local sites.

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  • | 8:23 p.m. March 22, 2016
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“This whole block is a cultural destination,” said Suzanne Heddy, executive director of the Ormond Beach Historical Society.

Heddy was explaining how The Casements, MacDonald House and Ormond Memorial Art Museum, all on East Granada Boulevard, make up a historic district, all within walking distance of each other.

“It’s a growing concern.”

JULIE ADAMS SCOFIELD, on cemetery preservation

Taking the tour was the Volusia County Historic Preservation Board, who paid a visit after their monthly meeting, which they held at the Historic Anderson-Price Building.

Historic Preservation Officer Julie Adams Scofield explained that the board meets at various venues around the county to give members a chance to see historic structures and meet people who are also involved in historic preservation. The board does not have jurisdiction inside city limits.


Rio Vista Arches


At their meeting, the preservation board received an update on one structure that is near the Ormond Beach city limits, the Rio Vista Gateway Arches on Calle Grande Street in Holly Hill. The arches, which look like they were part of the Roman Empire but were actually built by a developer in the 1920s, were damaged by a car crash in 2014. The county has worked to restore them.

Heddy told the board she had been by the arches and repairs have been made.

“They did a good job,” she said.

However, the arches are still on the “endangered” list by the Preservation Board, because of the passage of time, automobile activity and vibrations.


Gethsemane Cemetery


One of the goals for the board is to promote care for historic cemeteries, such as Gethsemane Cemetery, an uncared-for cemetery on County property within Ormond Beach city limits on South Orchard Street. Dating back to the 1800s, the cemetery has been vandalized in the past.

Scofield said an Ormond Beach Boy Scout troop has shown interest in a cleanup project for the cemetery. She said the scouts will use CRPT, which stands for Cemetery Resource Protection Training, offered by the Florida Archaeology Network.

Scofield said many people want to take of cemeteries, but don’t know how to properly care for them.

“It’s a growing concern,” she said.

Board members also noted that 2016 is the 40th anniversary for Pioneer Settlement for the Arts, about 28 miles west of Ormond Beach on State Road 40.

Scofield said creating a historic “settlement” was a trend in the 1970s, but is not done anymore. However, she pointed out that the Pioneer Settlement has been very successful because of the many volunteers who contribute. The next event will be the Spring Frolic.

In Heddy’s tour of the MacDonald Building, she pointed out the hurricane-proof windows and other strengths of the building.

“The interior is strong,” she said.

Heddy told the group about the historic society’s goal to convert the building into a city museum.

The city of Ormond Beach has initiated a search for a company to do a cost analysis on restoring historic properties in the city, as part of a goal to create a historic preservation plan.




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