The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall has been included on the Florida Trust of Historic Places 2023 Florida’s 11 to Save, a list of the most threatened historic properties in the state. The initiative highlights endangered sites throughout Florida as nominated by the public and is a step in advocating for their preservation.
The announcement was made at the Preservation on Main Street Conference in Ocala on July 19. The entire list has not yet been officially announced.
“These are the historic places that matter to people throughout our state and we’re optimistically enthused that the Van Wezel has been recognized as a vital property to protect,” said Erin DiFazio, program director for the Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation, in a news release. “We’re also pleased that the City of Sarasota is exploring future use options and storm surge protection measures for this iconic landmark.”
Along with the Florida Trust of Historic Places recognition comes access to the 11 to Save Grant Fund, which supports protection efforts of historic sites. Founded in 1978, the trust is a nonprofit that has collaborated to save historic properties. It is a partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation is a nonprofit organization incorporated in 1985. Its membership includes more than 500 residents and visitors of a variety of professions and interests in working to preserve significant landmarks.