Old Town Fernandina Analysis and Guidelines Update - 2021
Fernandina's Old Town Spanish Plan: Revisiting Design Guidelines
Friday, December 18, 2020 | 6pm
Amelia Island Museum of History | Baker Hall | 233 S. 3rd Street | (904) 261-7378 | https://ameliamuseum.org/3rd-on-3rd/
This presentation will share the goals and preliminary results of a study to assess the preservation guidelines and development of Old Town Fernandina. Residents and others will have the chance to ask questions and to share their experiences and ideas.
The first task will involve laser scanning selected blocks where building density is highest in order to construct a precise 3-D model of the visibility corridors. This model will allow for the visualization of what up to now has been a largely abstract concept. An analysis of this model will also determine if the guidelines are meeting their intent or if changes need to be made to ensure that the grid becomes more visible as more structures are added.
Phase II: Conceptual Modeling of Solutions to changes in the Land Development Code affecting the District
In the current LDC, the media peonias are considered substandard lots. There is renewed interest in building on these lots, but no design examples now exist to aid rational discussion. The team will develop design drawings and three-dimensional models to support public discussion of this issue.
Accessory Structures are currently not permitted to be rented in Old Town. Some property owners have expressed an interest in exploring this possibility in the future. Given the smaller scale of the blocks, lots and streets in Old Town, a major concern is whether this move will inundate the District with vehicles. To date, there has been no study of this impact so discussion remains anchored in personal opinions. Maps and conceptual designs demonstrating various parking scenarios will be produced to illustrate the pros and cons of this potential change to the Land Development Code.
Although Town Gate Street, the original entry to Old Town, was vacated by the City prior to National Registry nomination and is now private property, the City is considering a plan to reopen a section linking Someruelos Street with the Historic Bosque Bello Cemetery and possibly adding a small visitors center at this extension. The proposed visitors center is planned to have a small exhibit on the history of the Cemetery and Old Town. The design team will develop design drawings and three-dimensional models to support public discussion of this plan. This proposal is important as it reconnects the town grid directly with the Cemetery.
Phase III: A multifaceted Education and Publication program
An illustrated history of Old Town that focuses on the legacy of the Spanish Grid and the importance of its preservation will be prepared by the team. A summary of key Guidelines illustrated with 3d models produced from the laser scans will be included along with a glossary of terms and bibliography for further reading.
This project has been fully funded by a Small Matching Grant from the Florida Division of Historical Resources in the amount of $48,000.