Letter: Save the Dow Museum from wrecker ball
St Augustine, FL
While I am not bothered by Flagler College, for the most part, I am against tearing down our historical buildings to make room for new ones.
I have learned of a possible deal between Flagler College and the Museum of Arts and Sciences. Since 1989, MoSA, located in Daytona Beach, has owned the Dow Museum of Historic Houses.
Within the borders of the Dow Museum of Historic Houses, one city block contains more than 400 years of St Augustine history. Among the courtyards and gardens, visitors can view archaeological records of a sixteenth-century hospital and cemetery, an eighteenth-century Spanish Colonial defense line, and the site of the 1863 reading of the Emancipation Proclamation which freed all of the slaves in Florida.
I was shocked to learn that if Flagler College buys the property, said to cost $1.5 million, they intend to demolish the buildings to make room for dormitory housing for students.
St Augustine is all about history — but, lately it seems as though we are being overrun by college students partying, skateboarding, drinking, and disturbing our peaceful city.
I just hope if our citizens know of this deal, maybe we could stop it before our beautiful city just becomes another college city — being run by a bunch of teenagers.
In 1940, Kenneth Worcester Dow made St Augustine his permanent home when he purchased the oldest house on the property; the 1790 Prince Murat House. By the early 1950’s, Dow had acquired all nine historic homes on the block. He donated his entire collection of artwork, furniture and other antiques to the Museum of Arts and Sciences who invested 11 years in restoration. The Dow Museum of Historic Houses has been open to the public since 2000.