HomeOpinionGuest columnA little history

A little history

I’m amazed at those who continue to cloak themselves in the Pollyanna notion that the Anna Maria City Pier should be repaired. A notion that last week was furthered by this newspaper in The Sun survey.

Let me offer a little history since many of you may not have been here in the late 80s. In December 1987, the City Commission granted permission to the Anna Maria Civic Association to proceed with trying to have the city pier recognized as a Florida and national historic site. Civic association members worked tirelessly to gather documents and photos regarding the pier’s appearance and significance to accompany the nomination form.

On Nov. 4, 1988, the state Division of Historical Resources recommended the pier to the National Register of Historic Places. Shortly after that recommendation, Tropical Storm Keith blew through the bay and destroyed two-thirds of the wharf and the restaurant building.

Fast Eddie, who leased the restaurant at the time, had the damage repaired. However, after a subsequent inspection, the state found that the repairs “substantially altered the appearance and character of the building” and denied the nomination.

The letter from the state said, “The structure as a whole retains its original dimensions, and the reconstructed building does resemble the original as viewed from the shore side. But the reconstruction does not reproduce the earlier building in either its original or pre-hurricane form and detail, and presents a substantial different appearance as seen from the water sides, due in large part to the loss of the cross gabled configuration that was a major distinctive feature of the original structure. Thus it no longer reflects the historical appearance and character of the early 20th century steamboat landing.”

So now we have a structure that has lost its historical significance and has been unmercifully battered over the years by storms, most recently Hurricane Irma, which caused significant damage. For many months, City Commissioners considered all the possibilities from repairs to replacement, and after weighing all the facts, decided on a replacement. Isn’t this what we elected them to do?

Pat Copeland

Anna Maria

Most Popular

More from Author

Letter to the Editor: Parking lot raises question

Reading about the idea of having 90 parking spaces (for 12...

Letter to the Editor: Commissioners stall library board appointments

On Jan. 23, I listened to the Manatee County Commission meeting....

Letter to the Editor: Climate Champions awards

I am writing to express my appreciation for this year’s Climate...

Mayor responds to OPPAGA study changes

HOLMES BEACH – Mayor Judy Titsworth is reacting to the state’s decision to include a fourth option in the ongoing Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability study – eliminating the three Anna Maria Island cities and folding the Island into unincorporated Manatee County. “It’s concerning that...

Cortez founded on mullet

CORTEZ – A visit by Dr. Angela Collins to the Cortez Cultural Center furthered the organization’s mission to “preserve the past and protect the future.” The University of Florida Sea Grant marine extension agent told visitors last Thursday all about mullet, the reason Cortez was founded in the...

Commissioners discuss expanding city boundaries in ICW

BRADENTON BEACH – Commissioners reached no conclusions on Feb. 15 while discussing expanding the city’s boundaries in the Intracoastal Waterway to increase jurisdiction over the city’s mooring field. The discussion arose from Bradenton Beach Marina’s offer to partner with the city to act as harbormaster, provide pump-out service...

Police investigate gunshots in Holmes Beach

HOLMES BEACH - Shots were fired, but who fired them and exactly where they were fired remains a mystery after all of the Island’s three police departments participated in the search for the shooter. The incident began on Feb. 10 at 10:03 p.m. when Holmes Beach Police Department...

School zone speed cameras could be coming to AME

HOLMES BEACH - Excessive speed in school zones is a serious safety issue that can be addressed by cameras, according to a recent Manatee County Commission vote. Cameras will be installed at some Manatee County schools, possibly including Anna Maria Elementary School (AME). The vote was unanimous to move...

Commission considers paid parking in residential zones

BRADENTON BEACH – Following commission approval of temporary use parking lots in the footprint of the planned Bridge Street resort hotel/restaurant/retail complex, commissioners discussed applications for paid parking lots in residential zones. Building Official Darin Cushing said the city received four applications for temporary parking lots in areas...

Thousands stream to Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival

CORTEZ - There was something “fishy” going on in Cortez on Saturday as thousands of people streamed to the 42nd Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival. Although heavy rain forced the cancellation of Sunday festivities, Saturday was cool and rain-free, and the party was in full swing. “It was...

Form 6 lawsuits filed

FLORIDA – The Weiss Serota law firm has filed two lawsuits challenging the Form 6 financial disclosure requirements now placed on all Florida mayors, city commissioners and city/town/village council members. Both lawsuits were filed on Feb. 15. In January, Fort Lauderdale-based Weiss Serota attorney Jamie Cole reached out to...

Craft fair prompts CBD sales discussion

ANNA MARIA – Because she sells CBD products, Edibles N More owner Mel Wendel wasn’t allowed to partici­pate in the Feed the Island art and craft show at Roser Church on Feb. 9-10. Danielle Lynch owns and operates Blue Ribbon Events, a company that organizes arts and craft...

Vacation rental bill lagging in House of Representatives

TALLAHASSEE – As part of the Florida Legislature’s efforts to preempt local vacation rental regulation to the state, House Bill 1537 has not yet passed through the House of Representative’s Commerce Committee. On Feb. 1, the Florida Senate approved Senate Bill 280 by a 27-13 vote. For proposed...

Horseshoe pitching has long history in Anna Maria

ANNA MARIA – Every Wednesday and Saturday, a few dozen men gather to pitch horseshoes in a small park located on the Anna Maria City Hall property. According to longtime horseshoe pitcher and former Anna Maria City Commis­sioner Tom Skoloda, this local sporting tradition has taken place in...

Letter to the Editor: Parking lot raises question

Reading about the idea of having 90 parking spaces (for 12 months at least) instead of building a hotel might sound weird - but if you can charge $15 per hour for each space - it multiplies! It raises the question: why not start building? The landowner is...