City Commission table repossessed

Lightner Museum Director Bob Harper tells Historic City News that they have discovered a use for a 14-foot long, six-foot across mahogany table that was purchased from the Blackstone estate by Chicago publisher Otto C. Lightner; sometime in the 1930’s.

That is unfortunate for the City of St. Augustine, who has been borrowing the table since 1972.

The great mahogany table that has dominated the City Commission chambers for almost 40 years will be returned to the museum’s new board room.

“Lightner Museum used the table in the old cut glass room from 1948 to 1972,” Harper says.

The museum still has the original twelve chairs, all made of solid mahogany. “These very straight and uncomfortable seats made the commissioners look quite dignified for decades,” Harper joked.

What is no joke is how the City will respond to the need for a replacement table.

The Department of Public Affairs publication is already advising that City officials see moving the table as their opportunity to completely redo the meeting room, “which could include construction of a dais to elevate the administrative table and seating, and repositioning of the door between the Alcazar Room and the adjoining conference room.”

No estimate was reported as to how much money they propose to spend on remodeling. Discussion of how to replace the table, and other modifications to the meeting room, are on Monday’s City Commission agenda.

If you are planning to attend — the regular St. Augustine City Commission meeting will begin at 5:00 p.m. Monday and will be held in the Alcazar Room; on the first floor of City Hall, located at 75 King Street in St. Augustine. It will be broadcast live on Comcast Government TV (Cable Channel 3) and is streamed over the Internet.

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