Dana Pollitt and Julie Ruffolo Bring Home Prestigious Historic Preservation Award
The Key West Historic Seaport recently took home an award from the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, honoring the Bight District’s commitment to historical accuracy at the working waterfront. The seaport received a meritorious award for organizational achievement from the nonprofit at the 40th annual Florida Trust awards last week.
The award honors achievement in preservation done by a group, corporation or neighborhood, according to the FTHP. “Dating back over 200 years, the Key West Historic Seaport remains a thriving engine of commerce, supporting many industries vital to the economy and overall way of life in Florida and Key West,” the award states. “With dozens of events planned each year, the site offers a unique opportunity to capture the history of old Key West while serving as a perfect location for events and special occasions.”
The district was honored alongside the North Florida Land Trust for its role in acquiring a 1898 Spanish-American War Fort in Jacksonville, The Dade Heritage Trust for its preservation work in Miami and the Woman’s Exchange of St. Augustine, which manages and preserves the historic Peña-Peck House built in 1750.
The award is a culmination of recent rebranding efforts with the assistance of public relations firm ADEPT, designed to bring more tourists to the area and make the seaport a destination within a destination. ADEPT Partners Dana Pollitt and Julie Ruffolo accepted the award Friday at the awards show in Jacksonville and thanked the efforts of city staff Doug Bradshaw and Karen Olson and the district’s advisory board.
“The tremendous efforts (of staff and board members) has resulted in record fiscal performance of the Historic Seaport,” Pollitt said. “It’s wonderful to receive this historic preservation recognition from such a highly regarded organization like the Florida Trust.”
Mayor Craig Cates said it is nice to be recognized for the preservation work the city spends much time and effort to complete. “It is truly is an honor to have the Key West Historic Seaport recognized for all of the preservation efforts that have gone into not only protecting its heritage but its evolution over the years as well,” Cates said. “Key West is proud of its record of preservation and will continue with more projects in the future.”
The award may result in a tourism boost for the area as well, as Adept is organizing a trip for a group of 50 to 100 historians and preservationists to visit the seaport in September. Although the tour is still in its planning stages, the aim is to have events around many of the city’s historical buildings, according to Pollitt. “It will be really a good opportunity to highlight and elevate Key West with all the historical gems that it's got."