Friday, June 24, 2016

From the Tampa Bay Times: "Belleview Biltmore one of five biggest preservation losses on national list"

Will Lake Worth's Gulfstream Hotel become a preservation loss too? Read about that below.

Tracey McManus has this article about the Belleview Biltmore in Belleair, Florida (near St. Petersburg):

     Cheezem [developer Mike Cheezem] said his project, which is salvaging 118-year-old heart pine floors, stained-glass skylights and other fixtures, is a way to preserve the spirit of the resort, even though deterioration made it impossible to save the entire structure.
     The Biltmore's original lobby and three floors of rooms will be remodeled into a 33-room boutique inn for weddings and events at the center of the condominium project.
     "To me, we are making a significant effort and are saving the history and the spirit of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel," he said.
     Cheezem said as developers bought surrounding land over the years, the resort shrunk from 250 acres to 17 and lost waterfront access. It had eight different owners since 1985, and none could transform it back to its glory days, especially as the aging structure began deteriorating. [emphasis added]
     Demolition is about 60 percent complete, and construction on the condominiums will begin in early summer, Cheezem said.

Here are the four other "biggest preservation losses" on the national list:
  • Park Hotel in Detroit
  • Portland Gas & Coke Co. Building in Portland, Ore.
  • Harry Sythe Cummings House in Baltimore
  • Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Morris Plains, N.J.
Hopefully, if all goes well, we won't see our iconic, historic Gulfstream hotel on that list of losses by the National Trust for Historic Preservation:
However, if some like Lake Worth Commissioners Ryan Maier and Chris McVoy, PhD, get their way our Gulfstream Hotel will get a date with the wrecking ball; all because of an additional 20' of building height on a tiny vacant parcel of land next to the hotel.