New artwork will be installed along the Avenue of the Arts beginning Sept. 23rd, celebrating the 9th year for the Avenue of the Arts outdoor exhibit. While the Rickie Report shares the details about new installations of Art In Public Places, we introduce Warren Adams, the man behind the app, for Boynton’s Historic Treasures. Kudos to Boynton Beach, “America’s Gateway to the Gulf Stream”! The public is invited to the festivities!
B O Y N T O N B E A C H
A R T IN P U B L I C P L A C E S
The City of Boynton Beach has many arts and cultural advocates, which is lucky for the rest of us! Art merged with technology at the International Kinetic Art Exhibit and Symposium this past February. Next week, the Avenue of The Arts will be lined with new works of art to intrigue us! While innovations continue, we want to remember the roots of Boynton Beach and feature an interview with Warren Adams, Historic Preservation Planner.
Featuring “Seed” by Steve Blackwood
Artists in South Florida and from Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey and New York submitted their artwork to the Arts Commission who selected the eleven for this year’s exhibit. Sculptures forms range from repurposed materials to kinetic to artwork sprouting from the ground to custom made installations. Funky names, such as Pac MAN, Alley Dudes, Seed, Invasive Species and Zig Zag Boogie Woogie will entertain visitors. For a complete listing and map of the artwork, visit the City of Boynton Beach’s website at http://bit.ly/BB15AvenueArts.
“Alley Dudes” by Beju
An opening reception, sponsored by Desjardins Bank, will take place on Fri., Sept. 25, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., at the Civic Center, 128 E. Ocean Ave., providing an opportunity to mingle with the artists and learn about how their sculptures were created. Refreshments by the Secret Garden Cafe will be provided. Cycle Party, a self-peddling vehicle, will transport people up and down the avenue to tour the new installations. The Avenue of the Arts is an easy walkable tour from the Civic Center.
“Invasive Species” by Garbani
The year round exhibit can be visited 24/7. All sites are lit and have plaques that include the artist and sculpture names, a description of the art piece, medium utilized and a QR code linked to the interactive map below where visitors can learn more information.
“Sunflower Gate” by Gallucci
A Conversation With Warren Adams
“History can teach us many things, but not if it is all gone…A community that values its past is one that invests in its future”
TRR: What is the role of a Historic Preservation Planner in Boynton Beach?
As Historic Preservation Planner, I’m responsible for identifying significant historic sites in the city. I encourage owners to protect their buildings and consider designation on either the Local or National Register of Historic Places. I also provide advice on the repair, restoration, re-use, and appropriate alteration of historic structures; review Certificate of Appropriateness applications; submit grant applications; undertake historic site surveys for inclusion on the Florida Master Site File; provide reports to the Historic Resources Preservation Board; prepare historic designation reports; provide advice on financial incentives; manage the Heritage Education Program; ensure the city retains its Certified Local Government certification with the State; and, provide advice on potential archaeological sites.
Boynton Mausoleum by Conrad Pickel
TRR: How does one prepare for this job?
On finishing school, I studied Building Construction and Management in Glasgow, Scotland and then studied for a BSc in Land Economics (Property Valuation & Development) at the University of Paisley, Scotland. On completion of the BSc I passed the necessary exams and became a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. My main interest being historic buildings, I attended the University of York, England to study for the MA in Conservation Studies (Historic Buildings). In the following years I worked for a private building archaeology company, Historic Scotland, a non-profit building preservation trust, and as a project manager disbursing grants for repairs to Victorian terraces and crescents in Weston-super-Mare, England. I undertook work for organizations such as the National Trust for Scotland and English Heritage. In 2004, I moved to Florida and worked as the Historic Preservation Planner for the City of Delray Beach. I was then the Executive Director for the Broward Trust for Historic Preservation after which I became the Historic Preservation Planner for the City of Boynton Beach.
Boynton Beach School
TRR: Tell us more about the Historic Preservation Education Website that you developed.
The Historic Preservation Education website has been created entirely through non-matching grant funding provided by the Florida Division of Historical Resources. Phase 1 was the creation of the Downtown and Cemetery Heritage Trails with informational boards that contain Quick Response Code links to online site information and an interactive map. Phase 2 was the creation of the recently completed Cultural Resources Mobile Application with interactive map. I recently submitted a grant application for Phase 3 which, if funding is awarded, will create an interactive website focusing on the area formerly known as “Boynton Colored Town”. If we receive funding, the project will run from July, 2016 through June, 2017. All of the work for the Heritage Education website has been completed in-house by city ITS and GIS staff who have done a fantastic job. The grant funding has allowed us to build the website which City staff will update and maintain in the future.
TRR: What are the criteria for a site to be included?
The majority of the sites included on the mobile application are over 50 years old; however, there are a few interesting sites included that are less than 50 years old. Sites should have significance in the city’s history. They are either architecturally significant due to their style, design or construction, or historically significant due to a significant event taking place there, or a significant person who lived or worked there. The new mobile application went “live” on June 30.
TRR: How can our readers engage with your mission?
I would encourage readers to visit the Heritage Education website to find information on sites they may not be aware of. The new application contains information on over 170 sites. We also have a number of grant-funded brochures available that provide information on the Historic Preservation Program, the heritage trails, and significant sites in the city.
“Heritage Education” is a term used in the field. By making people aware of the heritage that surrounds them, we encourage people to find out more about historic sites. It’s also essential to help historic property owners understand what designation means. Many people wrongly assume that if you designate your property you can’t change the paint color, can’t change windows or roofs, and can’t build an addition. This is all wrong. Historic designation helps ensure this work is done appropriately and that the historic character of the building is not adversely affected. A good education program is also a way to promote the city as a heritage tourism destination. Increased visitor numbers and spending at local businesses contributes to ongoing economic development. The city Heritage Education Program was awarded first place by the Florida League of Cities in their “Teaching Your City’s History” award category.
TRR: Will you come and speak to organizations who are art/cultural oriented?
I have spoken to a number of organizations including neighborhood associations inside and outside the city, schools, and historic and archaeological societies. Last year I gave a presentation on the success of the city Historic Preservation Program at the annual Main Street Conference which was held in Stuart. I am scheduled to give a similar presentation to the City of St. Cloud Main Street organization in January, 2016.
Boynton Hills Light
TRR: Please share 2 or 3 special sites or facts that most people are unaware of.
Conrad Pickel, a renowned stained glass artist lived and worked in Boynton Beach. He designed stained and faceted glass for over 700 churches in the USA and is credited with designing the largest stained glass window in the world located at the Resurrection Cemetery, Justice, Illinois. There are a number of Pickel buildings in Boynton Beach. We have a brochure providing information on these buildings. Their locations can also be found on the heritage trail interactive map on the Historic Preservation Education website.
Boynton Woman’s Club
Barton Memorial Park Cemetery was first started around 1900 as an unofficial burial ground for the city’s African American community. Although only twenty grave markers remain, a recent Ground Penetrating Radar survey identified numerous underground anomalies which are almost certainly other burials. Many of the remaining grave markers were handmade and are fine examples of folk art. The site, which is listed on the Local Register of Historic Places, is located at the northwest corner of NW 5th St. and NW 12th Ave.
The Boynton Hills Lights are four ornamental light poles located in landscaped traffic islands on NW 1st St. between Boynton Beach Blvd. and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Installed around 1925, the lights were an integral feature of the street layout in the subdivision which does not follow a regular grid pattern. The lights were manufactured by Westinghouse Electric and are made from Hollowspun concrete, a process that involves spinning concrete rapidly in a mold. The lights are listed on the Local Register of Historic Places.
TRR: Boynton Beach is at the forefront of bringing world renown artists to the City and getting the public involved with art, kinetics and more. What is your dream for Boynton Beach?
I would like Boynton Beach to be recognized as a city with a strong, progressive Historic Preservation Program that works effectively for all property owners and the changing needs of the city. I think we are achieving this. Like every city, Boynton Beach has its own character and feeling. Historic sites contribute greatly to this “sense of place” and local identity as they embody the spirit of age and illustrate the interaction between people and place over time. Arts and cultural events such as the Celebration of Conrad Pickel and the Kinetic Art event attract visitors who are then exposed the city’s history through the heritage trails and online information. From 2007 to 2008, the annual spending on heritage tourism in Florida was $4.13 billion. I would like Boynton Beach to receive a sizeable portion of this!
TRR: If a visitor had 1 hour in Boynton Beach, what would you recommend? (besides the beach)
I would recommend a walk along the Downtown Heritage Trail which follows Ocean Avenue from Seacrest Blvd. to the Intracoastal Waterway and the Mangrove Walk. Information boards along the route and the new mobile application provide details of historic sites.
TRR: Anything else you want our readers to know?
I would encourage readers to contact me for information on the Historic Preservation Program and the benefits it can offer to historic property owners and the community. If anyone believes their property may qualify for historic designation I can discuss the process with them and explain what designation entails.
For more information about Art In Public Places in Boynton Beach contact Debby Coles-Dobay, Public Art Manager, at 561-742-6026.
Warren Adams, Historic Preservation Planner
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