Mid-Century Survey

The City of Gainesville has been awarded a Small Matching Category grant from the Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources for fiscal year 2017-2018 in the amount of $40,600. The grant will be used to support a comprehensive survey of mid-century neighborhoods and buildings and to update the city’s existing Historic Preservation Rehabilitation & Design Guidelines. The project will be a collaborative effort between the City of Gainesville Department of Doing, Planning Division, the University of Florida’s Historic Preservation Program and local non-profit organization Gainesville Modern.

Gainesville’s original surveys of historical and cultural resources were undertaken in 1980 and the early 1990s and focused on late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century architecture, typical of historic districts such as the Duckpond and Pleasant Street. This survey will focus on buildings constructed from 1930 through 1970, as these were not assessed previously given that they were not yet 50 years old. Gainesville’s dramatic growth following the Second World War was accompanied by a transformation of the city’s architecture, as mid-century modern design began to appear in suburban homes, commercial properties and motels, among other vernacular building types. Because mid-century architecture represents such a large departure from architecture that came before it, the survey will increase knowledge and awareness of Gainesville’s Modern architecture, and provide a basis for updating historic resources inventories and the city’s Design Guidelines.

The survey teams will be augmented with students from the Historic Preservation Program and with community volunteers through Gainesville Modern. The teams will visit and photograph properties selected for the survey and will record basic information such as building type, style, date of construction, architect and/or builder, if known. Once the survey is finalized, the properties will be evaluated and prioritized for significance. Forms for the Florida Master Site File, the state’s official inventory of historical and cultural resources, will be filled out for the top priority properties, estimated to be in the range of 500-1,200 sites. The UF student team will also review the existing historic preservation guidelines, and update them to take into consideration the mid-century modern buildings. The revised guidelines will also address possible changes to historic buildings and sites to meet sustainability goals. Lastly, the project team will provide three public forums: a kick-off in early fall, a mid-project presentation to share preliminary findings and a final presentation in May or June of 2018 to announce results.

If you have questions about the mid-century survey, please contact the Planning Division at 352-334-5022 or cogplanning@cityofgainesville.org.

Follow our progress on this webpage.