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Downtown Bonifay eyed building for preservation

NEW PORT RICHEY – The site of the old Bonifay Hardware store located at 119 Waukesha Street has been named on the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual “Florida’s 11 to Save” list, an initiative aimed at preserving the state’s most threatened historic properties.


The announcement was made in New Port Richey at the recent Preservation on Main Street Annual Conference in collaboration with Florida Main Street. The organization states inclusion on the Florida’s 11 to Save is a starting point for the Florida Trust’s advocacy and education efforts and is intended to be part of a collaborative effort to identify custom solutions for each property. The Florida Trust partners with each location to determine what is most needed for the place and community.


Maria Gomez, President of Bonifay Main Street, states inclusion on the list is a “true honor.”


“It is a true honor for the City of Bonifay with so many valuable historic places in Florida competing to be recognized at the annual conference,” said Gomez. “We believe in the historic preservation of Bonifay, one building at a time. Our goal is to preserve history for the next generation. A special thank you to Alissa Slade Lotane of the Florida Bureau of Historic Preservation, who has supported the City of Bonifay’s efforts to revitalize Main Street. We also want to recognize the City of Bonifay Council, specifically Mayor James Sims and Councilman  Roger Brooks for their continued support for restoration and preservation efforts in the business corridor of Bonifay.”


Built in 1940, the building first served as Bonifay Hardware and then as the site of Carps Department from the 1960s to the early 1980s before being used by Dollar General in the 90s. Now vacant, the building is owned by Gomez and her husband, who have plans to rehab the site and bring it back to life as a restaurant and retail space.


Florida’s 11 to Save is designed to increase the public’s awareness of the urgent need to save Florida’s historic resources, and to empower local preservationists and preservation groups in their efforts to preserve Florida’s rich history, the organization stated in a press release.


“We are grateful to those in communities throughout Florida who shared the historic places that matter to them through 11 to Save nominations,” said Florida Trust Board President Friederike Mittner. “We are excited to get to work with our 11 to Save partners to find solutions to preserve these special historic places in order to build communities, drive economic growth throughout the state and protect the past.” 


In addition to the building in Bonifay, this year’s list includes historic properties in Duval, Jackson, Lake, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Volusia counties, covering hundreds of years of history and a variety of cultural resources. The complete list may be viewed by clicking here.

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