Board hears demolition request for 100-year-old building

400-DEMOLITION-80-MARKLANDHistoric City News has been notified that a one-time prominent home in the Model Land Company Historic District, is set to be demolished if the owner receives the approval being sought from the Historic Architectural Review Board.

The Marian N Rice Revocable Living Trust, represented by the law firm of McClure & Bloodworth, has requested a permit to demolish the building located at 80 Markland Place, that had been converted to a professional office building.

The demolition notice on the site says the building, which is also known as 108 King Street, was constructed in 1907; but, according to the property appraiser’s rolls, it was built much earlier, in 1890 — in either case, it’s not disputed to be over 100-years-old.

400-DEMO-BLDGS-80-MARKLANDHarry and Rose Nussbaum Rice, who also owned property along St George Street south of Hypolita Street, operated St Augustine Men’s Shop until after Harry’s death, and Rose became too feeble to manage the day-to-day operation.

One of their sons, Frederick Leon Rice, an area attorney, and his wife, Marian Neal Norris, were married November 22, 1967, and eventually became owners of the property; until his death on May 6, 2008. He was 72-years-old.

Five years later, 70-year-old Marian Rice, who still lives in San Jose Forest in Jacksonville, has apparently decided that the building, which has been vacant for several years, is no longer serviceable and should be demolished. The total market value, or “just value” according to the St Johns County Property Appraiser, is $270,418. The property taxes for 2013 are $6,221.93.

The elected St Augustine City Commission appoints the five-member Historic Architectural Review Board; who, among other things, consider and act on applications for demolition permits for structures 50-years-old, or older, within the city limits.

The Board, which meets on the third Thursday of each month, has given notice that when they convene on Thursday, November 21 at 2:00 p.m. in the Alcazar Room, they will hear the demolition application. The meeting is open to the public and public comments are part of the regular agenda. The Alcazar Room faces the courtyard on the ground level of City Hall, located at 75 King Street in St Augustine.

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