Mayor Russ Owen opened last night’s Nov. 16 City Commission meeting by presenting the 2021 Donnadine Miller Memorial Historic Preservation Award for a residential property to owners Randy & Angie Herman of 210 Palmetto St.
Upon receiving the award, Mr. Herman approached the podium to share three lessons learned while restoring the property.
“One is there’s a myth that restoring a historic house is constraining; you’re confined by paint color and all kinds of things, when in fact, actually, we found it to be pretty creative,” he said. “So for folks that are hesitant, it really is a creative process and, as you can see, the house really did turn out pretty well.”
He then added, “The second thing is house restoration is full of surprises, both costly and otherwise. Just one example is when we took up some floorboards on the stairs we found a child’s shoe and did some research and at the turn of the century it was not uncommon to put a child’s shoe in the floorboard for posterity. So it was kind of interesting but a little…”
“Cool, but creepy,” interjected Owen to ensuing laughter.
“And the last point, is there a certain amount of urgency? I do believe there is,” Herman continued. “You know, just recently two houses two streets from us were torn down. Both owners paid well over $1 million. Both houses were really amazing places that could have been restored. So, there is a sense of urgency because not everybody sees the value in that. So I think whatever support the city can give in relation to incentives, working with county, state, and even federal, and supporting establishment of the local historic districts because I do think it is what we talk about when we talk about the charm of New Smyrna Beach. So thank you all very much for this honor.”
Created in 2002 and named in honor of late Historic Preservation Commission Chair Donnadine Miller in 2009, the annual award recognizes buildings and historic sites aged 50 years and older that promote pride in the City of New Smyrna Beach's past and increase awareness and appreciation for its history and character. Other evaluation criteria include the degree to which the building reflects its original architecture, uses appropriate materials and colors, promotes sustainability and green design, incorporates native landscaping, and more.
Would you like to know more? Watch the award presentation along with the rest of last night’s meeting now at https://bit.ly/3nmXwxw and contact the Planning Department at email@example.com or (386) 410-2835.
Photo 1: From left, Zone 2 Commissioner Jake Sachs, Mayor Russ Owen, Randy Herman, Angie Herman, Zone 1 Commissioner Michael Kolody, Senior Planner Robert Mathen, Zone 4 Commissioner Randy Hartman
Photo 2: Front exterior photo of 210 Palmetto St.
Photo 3: Rear exterior photo of 210 Palmetto St.
Photo 4: Interior photos of 210 Palmetto St.