Town’s Program Seeks Participants for Historic Plaque Program

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Owners of historic structures on Fort Myers Beach will soon be receiving invitations to participate in the Town’s Historic Plaque Program. In fact, the first fifty invitations have already been mailed.

The Plaque Program was initiated several years ago to recognize structures fifty years of age or older within the town. According to Matt Noble, Principal Planner for the Town of Fort Myers Beach, every structure that turns 50 becomes eligible.

The Town of Fort Myers Beach has tasked the Historic Advisory Committee (HAC) members with drafting the invitation and sending it to owners of historic structures. Invitations will be sent out in staggered batches, as there are an estimated 150 structures in the town that are eligible to receive a plaque.

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Lee County’s First Public Library, now the Sea Gypsy. Built in 1946.

Noble and the HAC want property owners to know that the Plaque Program carries no restrictions for the owner or the structure. The plaque itself is an attractive, weather resistant piece of art that may be affixed to the outside of the structure. Obtaining historic recognition is easy, according to Noble. The owner need only complete a brief application. The application may be obtained at Town Hall or on the town’s website, fmbgov.com.

Beach Cottage at 226 Ohio, built in 1945.

Noble also said the HAC is planning several informational presentations at the Library about the Plaque Program. Eligible owners will receive notice of the events. They will be able to obtain applications at these presentations and if they want, assistance in completing the form.

Several historic structures were recognized as part of the Town’s initial plaque program begun in 2010. They include St. Raphael’s Episcopal Church, Fort Myers Beach Elementary School, the Carter Cottage at 251 Pearl St., the Smith Cottage at 385 Estero Blvd. and the two historic cottages and rain barrel that can be found at the Historic Cottage on Bay Road at the entrance to Matanzas Pass Preserve.

historic cottage, fort myers beach, plaque program
Beach cottage at 5664 Estero Blvd, built in 1948. Owner Joanne Shamp displays a Historic Plaque.

Since passage of the Town’s new Historic Plaque Program in 2016, a number of properties have already been recognized, they include: Silver Sands Villas at 1207 Estero Blvd., First Lee Public Library/Sea Gypsy at 1698 Estero Blvd and the Privateer Condominiums at 6500 Estero Blvd. Private homes have been recognized at the following locations: 231 Pearl St., 5664 Estero Blvd, 160 Coconut Drive, 226/232 Ohio Avenue. Each property owner has been presented with a historic plaque to mount on the outside of their historic property.

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Historic St. Raphael’s Episcopal Church at 5601 Williams Drive was built in 1952.

Any property owner on Fort Myers Beach whose home is over 50 years old is invited to apply for a historic plaque. Stop by Town Hall for an application or visit their website.