WUFT News

Thomas Center Applies For Grant To Restore Historic Fountain

By on November 19th, 2014

The Historic Thomas Center is a significant cultural site purchased by the City of Gainesville in 1973. One of its main icons is a fountain said to date back to the period between 1928 and 1968, a time when the Center functioned as a hotel — some experts believe it was constructed when soldiers returned home after World War II.

Erica Chatman, the facilities director at the Thomas Center, said, “Practically everyone in the community has been here at some point to take a picture in front of the fountain,  and there are a lot of people who are emotionally really attached to the  fountain and the grounds in general.”

Because of years of deterioration, though, the City of Gainesville’s Parks Recreation and Cultural Affairs department, has applied for a $50,000-grant from the Division of Historical Resources Bureau of Historic Preservation to restore the fountain. The Thomas Center also had to match 25 percent of the funds in its own budget to be considered eligible by the Florida Department of State.

The fountain in the garden of the Historic Thomas Center is in need of repair. The Center has applied for a $75,000-grant to make the necessary improvements.

Paris Tyburski / WUFT News

The fountain in the garden of the Historic Thomas Center is in need of repair. The Center has applied for a $75,000-grant to make the necessary improvements.

Cracks around the bowl at the base of the fountain are causing leaks, which damage the ground, and four faces that should shoot water out of their mouths have been shut off — the damage from the cracks cause the water to shoot from all directions.

“If the grant is approved,” Chatman said, “it will allow us, on the interior, to rework all of the actual mechanical parts and the mechanisms that make the fountain run with modern-day parts to make it more efficient.”

Gainesville City Commissioner Randy Wells submitted a letter of recommendation toward the grant. “The fountain is one element of a much larger garden and a beautiful building,” Wells said. “I think it is very important to keep historic sites like this one restored.”

The grant would provide all of the money needed to repair the fountain. The state will be reviewing the grant application during the second week in December. Until a decision is made, the fountain will still be actively running.

Editor’s note: This update corrects and earlier version that stated the Thomas Center applied for a $75,000-grant from the Division of Historical Resources Bureau of Historic Preservation


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

Bo Diddley One

Tallahassee Homeless Ordinance Creates Conversation In Gainesville

A potential ordinance in Tallahassee, which would strictly limit the presence of homeless people in public places, was discussed Friday. Some Gainesville officials are advocating for a more collaborative way to address the issue.


The band members of Guts, from left to right: Kara Smith, bass and vocals; Samantha Jones, guitar, bass, drums and vocals; Kentucky Costellow, drums; and Rebecca Butler, keys and tenor ukulele. Guts plays for campers in the Gainesville Girls Rock Camp on Friday after lunch. The camp, which is in its third year, focuses on using music to empower young girls. Christine Preston / WUFT News

Rock Camp Empowers Young Girls In Gainesville

The Gainesville Girls Rock Camp uses music to empower young girls and teens. Girls gain self-confidence throughout the program and learn to encourage each another.


Signs indicating unsafe levels of bacteria in Hogtown Creek were posted in June, according to Linda Demetropoulos, nature manager of the city of Gainesville Parks Department. Visitors can find these signs around various areas of local parks.

Hogtown Creek Bacteria Levels Unsafe For Human Use

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department has found unsafe levels of bacteria in Hogtown Creek waters.


I-75 at MM385 is backed up due to manhunt. Photo via @GACSmarttraffic.

I-75 Shut Down After Trooper Involved In Shooting

Update 7/27/2015 at 7:15 p.m.: The suspect has been identified as Earl Jackson, according to a news release from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.


Kristen Hadeed, founder of Student Maid, and Rich Blaser, co-founder of Infinite Energy, explain how Josh impacted the start-up community in Gainesville. They were part of a group of young entrepreneurs in Gainesville who met monthly to discuss their work.

Memorial Held for Gainesville Entrepreneur

A memorial for Josh Greenberg, the co-founder of music streaming service Grooveshark, was held Friday evening at the Phillips Center. He was found dead in his home July 19.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments