May 16, 2014
Flagler College President Dr. William T. Abare Jr. has been honored by the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation for ongoing work toward preserving and maintaining the former Ponce de Leon Hotel, and other historic St. Augustine properties.
Abare received the Evelyn Fortune Bartlett Award at the organization’s 2014 annual conference in Tampa on May 16. The award is given to an individual whose life exemplifies the guardianship of Florida’s historic properties through philosophy and actions. Abare oversees a college whose centerpiece is the Ponce, a National Historic Landmark that was built in 1888 by industrialist and railroad tycoon Henry Flagler.
Under his leadership, Flagler has spent millions renovating, restoring and preserving the building, as well as other historic college properties. Last year the college re-opened the last unrestored section of the Ponce — the Solarium.
More than $50 million has been spent by the college on preservation or adaptation of its 19 historic properties.
“This is an honor, not just for me, but for the entire College,” Abare said. “This represents our commitment to preserving historic properties, which is part of our mission. We take that mission very seriously.”
The college also won a 2013 Adaptive Use Outstanding Achievement award from the Florida Trust for the transformation of the historic Florida East Coast Railroad General Office Buildings into college dorms. The mission of the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation is to promote the preservation of the architectural, historical and archaeological heritage of Florida through advocacy, education and historic property stewardship.