Florida's Comprehensive Historic Preservation Plan 2012–2016

Preservation Partners

Since completion of the previous plan for 2006-2010, several events of international economic significance have occurred:

  • The continuing impacts of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on travel, tourism and on the international economy
  • Since 2008, the economic meltdown of world banking and financial markets, impacting lending, housing, and construction
  • The resultant worldwide recession which continues into 2012
  • The economic struggles of state and local governments as both sales and property tax revenues fall
  • Negative unemployment trends. (Source: Economic Impacts of Historic Preservation in Florida—Update, 2010).

The above factors are the context out of which the present plan has been developed. An awareness of these factors is important in considering the 2012–2016 Comprehensive Plan.

The 2006–2010 plan was developed in 2005, in the midst of a Florida land boom. Even with the collapse of that boom, the issues remain much the same: development; the need for better historic preservation education for school children, policy makers, and homeowners; and better communication of the benefits of historic preservation to legislators and local officials.

The difference now is that non-profits that support historic preservation have been diminished, for many of the state programs that support the preservation of our historical and cultural resources are tied to the economy. The annual legislative appropriations for the state's historic preservation grant funding have been considerably decreased. A program that once enjoyed over $14 million a year in funding has received less than $1 million a year in the last several years. Due to other budget cutbacks, the Florida Department of State's Division of Historical Resources has closed its three regional offices and discontinued publication of a bi-monthly newsletter and an award-winning quarterly magazine, Florida History & the Arts. Many historic preservation jobs in local governments throughout the state have been eliminated, and many of the non-profit organizations which support historic properties and preservation advocacy throughout the state are finding it difficult to raise or retain their financial support. As a result, preservationists throughout the state are recognizing the importance of identifying and cultivating other sources of financial, political and popular support at the local as well as state level.

. . . This award winning publication [Florida History & the Arts] is no longer being produced by the Division of Historical Resources, naturally, due to budget cuts. Yet I believe the product, and benefits it provided were more than worth the minimal costs that it required. The photographs were beautiful, the narratives informing, and it showcased historic sites, treasures, main streets and folk traditions around the state. It was a smart magazine for both residents and visitors alike . . . Bring back the mag! !
—Comment from Survey

But with challenges come opportunities, and Florida's preservation-minded individuals and organizations have continued to carry on their efforts to preserve Florida's prehistoric, historic, and cultural heritage in spite of the circumstances.

Preservation should always be public and privately shared. True stewards of the lands begin with both parties.
—Comment from Survey

The preservation of Florida's historical and cultural resources can only be achieved through cooperation between federal, state, and local governments, and private individuals and organizations. This statewide comprehensive plan provides a common vision for the organizations and agencies that administer or implement historic preservation programs in Florida.

Federal Government

Federal laws have fostered the growth of effective state historic preservation programs and encouraged private sector preservation activities. Federal involvement in historic preservation in Florida dates back to 1916, when money was appropriated for the restoration of Fort Matanzas and the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine (National Park Service, "Fort Matanzas National Monument: The American Period (1821-Present),"; National Park Service "Fort Matanzas National Monument: the Restoration of Fort Matanzas,"). It was the first time federal money was ever used for the stated purpose of preserving a historic resource. Both resources were declared National Monuments in 1924 and have been under the management of the National Park Service since 1933.

Many state historic preservation programs began as a means of implementing federal mandates, but have since acquired their own momentum. More recently, these initiatives in Florida have led to preservation programs at the local government and even neighborhood level. Federal preservation programs support the responsible management of state properties and provide technical assistance to public and private efforts in the preservation, protection and promotion of the state's historical properties and archaeological sites.

As a major landholder in Florida, the federal government manages many of the state's historic and archaeological resources. Some federal agencies involved include the Department of the Interior (National Park Service), which oversees the national historic preservation program and manages 11 National Park units in Florida; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); the Department of Agriculture (U.S. Forest Service); the Federal Highway Administration; the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security (specifically the U.S. Coast Guard).

The Kennedy Space Center has been the site of some of the most significant achievements of the 20th century. As the manager of this site, NASA is the custodian of an area of major international historical importance. The site has been used for rocket testing since 1950 and NASA has been conducting manned and unmanned space flights from this location since its founding in 1958. Originally known as Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, it was listed as a National Historic Landmark (NHL) in 1984. The official NHL consists of six launch pads, a mobile service tower, and the original Mission Control Room.

Seminole Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO)

Approximately 3,100 members of the Seminole Tribe of Florida live in South Florida on seven reservations: Big Cypress, Brighton, Coconut Creek, Fort Pierce, Hollywood, Immokalee, and Tampa, encompassing approximately 90,000 acres of land (Seminole Geography: Using GIS as a tool for Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, Presentation at 2008 ESRI International User Conference, San Diego, California [PDF]).

A major boon to the preservation of Florida's historical resources was the establishment of the Seminole Tribal Historic Preservation Office in November 2006, and that Office's first listing of a property in the National Register of Historic Places, The Red Barn, in 2008. Since then, the THPO has recorded over 300 properties in its inventory, and has 100 listings in its Tribal Register. (Paul Backhouse, DTHPO, telephone communication, August 8, 2011).

State Government

Since 1967, when Florida's historic preservation program formally began with the passage of the Florida Archives and History Act (Chapter 267, Florida Statutes), the Florida Department of State has been home to the state government's historic preservation programs. The Office of Cultural, Historical and Information Programs (OCHIP) is responsible for promoting the historical, archaeological, museum, arts, and folk culture resources in Florida. Within OCHIP, the Director of theDivision of Historical Resources (DHR) still serves as Florida's State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), acting as the liaison with the national historic preservation program conducted by the National Park Service. The Division is headquartered in Tallahassee, the state capital. There are two bureaus within the Division, the Bureau of Historic Preservation, and the Bureau of Archaeological Research (BAR).

Bureau of Historic Preservation

From the ancient City of St. Augustine to the Art Deco district on Miami's South Beach, the Bureau of Historic Preservation (BHP) conducts historic preservation programs to identify, evaluate, preserve, and interpret the historic and cultural resources of the state. BHP carries out the State Historic Preservation Office responsibilities for the state.

The Compliance and Review (CR) staff evaluates and comments on the impact of federal, state, and some local projects on the state's historical resources to facilitate compliance with federal and state preservation laws. The Florida Master Site File maintains the federally mandated inventory of Florida's historic resources. It contains more than 187,000 entries. Over the last five years (since 2006—2007), the Compliance Review Section has reviewed 17,250 federal projects; 28,962 state projects; 1,181 local projects; and 4,567 elements in local comprehensive plans.

The Survey and Registration staff coordinates the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places Program for Florida. In October 2011, Florida had over 1,600 listings encompassing over 48,000 resources, in the National Register.

National Register of Historic Place in Florida, Number of Listed Resources by County, January 2012

  1. Alachua - 54
  2. Baker -4
  3. Bay - 10
  4. Bradford -3
  5. Brevard - 41
  6. Broward - 31
  7. Calhoun - 3
  8. Charlotte - 17
  9. Citrus - 10
  10. Clay - 23
  11. Collier - 19
  12. Columbia - 10
  13. DeSoto - 2
  14. Dixie -2
  15. Duval - 86
  16. Escambia - 34
  17. Flagler - 8
  18. Franklin - 10
  19. Gadsden - 16
  20. Gilchrist - 0
  21. Glades - 3
  22. Gulf - 3
  23. Hamilton - 5
  24. Hardee - 2
  25. Hendry - 12
  26. Hernando - 7
  27. Highlands - 14
  28. Hillsborough - 89
  29. Holmes - 1
  30. Indian River - 26
  31. Jackson - 9
  32. Jefferson - 21
  33. Lafayette - 0
  34. Lake - 28
  1. Lee - 52
  2. Leon - 59
  3. Levy - 3
  4. Liberty - 3
  5. Madison - 7
  6. Manatee - 29
  7. Marion - 29
  8. Martin - 13
  9. Miami-Dade - 173
  10. Monroe - 55
  11. Nassau - 14
  12. Okaloosa - 8
  13. Okeechobee - 2
  14. Orange - 50
  15. Osceola - 7
  16. Palm Beach - 73
  17. Pasco - 10
  18. Pinellas - 60
  19. Polk - 68
  20. Putnam - 16
  21. Santa Rosa - 16
  22. Sarasota - 90
  23. Seminole - 16
  24. Saint Johns - 43
  25. Saint Lucie - 16
  26. Sumter - 2
  27. Suwannee - 7
  28. Taylor - 2
  29. Union - 4
  30. Volusia - 102
  31. Wakulla - 7
  32. Walton - 5
  33. Washington - 4


Among Florida's 1,600 National Register listings, 43 are designated National Historic Landmarks, the highest designation for historic properties in the nation. The Survey and Registration Section also contains the Certified Local Government and Florida Historical Marker programs.

National Historic Landmarks - January 2012
  1. Fort Barrancas Historical District
  2. Pensacola Naval Air Station Historic District
  3. Plaza Ferdinand VII
  4. Fort Walton Mound
  5. Fort Gadsden Historic Memorial
  6. Governor Stone Schooner
  7. San Luis de Apalache Mission
  8. Fort San Marcos de Apalache
  9. Maple Leaf Shipwreck Site
  10. Fort Mose Site, Second
  11. St. Augustine Town Plan Historic District
  12. Gonzalez-Alvarez House (Oldest House)
  13. Cathedral of St. Augustine
  14. Llambias House
  15. Hotel Ponce De Leon
  16. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings House and Farm Yard
  17. Fort King Site
  18. Mary McLeod Bethune Home
  19. Ponce De Leon Inlet Light Station
  20. Crystal River Indian Mounds
  21. Dade Battlefield Historic Memorial
  22. Windover Archaeological Site
  1. Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
  2. Safety Harbor Site
  3. Tampa Bay Hotel
  4. Ybor City Historic District
  5. El Centro Español de Tampa
  6. Florida Southern College Architectural District
  7. Bok Mountain Lake Sanctuary and Singing Tower
  8. Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge
  9. Zora Neale Hurston House
  10. Okeechobee Battlefield
  11. Henry Morrison Flagler House; Whitehall
  12. Mar-A-Lago
  13. Miami Circle at Brickell Point
  14. Vizcaya (James Deering Estate)
  15. Freedom Tower
  16. Miami-Biltmore Hotel
  17. U.S. Car No. 1
  18. Mud Lake Canal
  19. Fort Zachary Taylor
  20. Ernest Hemingway House
  21. USCGC Ingham

Recognizing the importance of support and participation in historic preservation policy and programs at the community level, the Certified Local Government (CLG) programs throughout the state benefit from efforts by the DHR to encourage and support the participation of Florida municipalities in this federal program.

In June 2010, a series of three Certified Local Government (CLG) workshops provided the opportunity for more interaction and discussion between preservationists throughout the state. Over 180 participants attended the sessions in Tallahassee, DeLand, and Delray Beach. Representatives from 34 Florida CLGs attended the training, as well as representatives from 18 non-CLGs interested in joining the CLG program. Each training session was conducted by speakers provided by the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions using the organization's popular CAMP (Commission Assistance and Mentoring Program) format, which included a refresher course on local historic preservation principles, and a discussion of design review and legal issues facing historic preservation commission members and staff. The CLG program has grown from 52 participating communities in 2005, to 60 in 2011, and has established an email list to provide an online forum for CLG programs to communicate with each other.

  1. City of Fort Walton Beach
  2. City of Quincy
  3. City of Tallahassee/Leon County
  4. City of Fernandina Beach
  5. City of Jacksonville
  6. Clay County
  7. City of St. Augustine
  8. City of Newberry
  9. City of Gainesville
  10. Town of Micanopy
  11. City of Ocala
  12. Town of Welaka
  13. City of Daytona Beach
  14. City of New Smyrna Beach
  15. Volusia County
  16. City of Deland
  17. City of Sanford
  18. City of Mount Dora
  19. City of Eustis
  20. City of Leesburg
  21. Town of Eatonville
  22. City of Orlando
  23. Town of Windermere
  24. City of Kissimmee
  25. City of Auburndale
  26. City of Lakeland
  27. City of Plant City
  28. Hillsborough County
  29. City of Tampa
  30. City of Tarpon Springs
  31. City of St. Pete Beach
  1. City of St. Pete Beach
  2. City of Gulfport
  3. City of St. Petersburg
  4. City of Sarasota
  5. Sarasota County
  6. Highlands County
  7. City of Melbourne
  8. City of Fort Pierce
  9. City of Fort Meyers
  10. Lee County
  11. City of Bonita Springs
  12. Collier County
  13. Palm Beach County
  14. Town of Jupiter
  15. Town of Lake Park
  16. City of West Palm Beach
  17. City of Lake Worth
  18. City of Delray Beach
  19. Town of Palm Beach
  20. City of Pompano Beach
  21. City of Fort Lauderdale
  22. City of Hollywood
  23. City of Miami Beach
  24. City of Miami
  25. City of Coral Gables
  26. City of Homestead
  27. Miami-Dade County
  28. Monroe County
  29. Village of Islamorada
  30. City of Key West

The Florida Historical Marker Program recognizes persons, events, and resources significant in Florida architecture, archaeology, history, and traditional Florida cultures by erecting historical markers at sites around the state. Historical markers increase public awareness of Florida's rich cultural heritage, increase the enjoyment of visiting historic sites by residents and tourists, and are a source of pride to the local community. The marker program recognizes sites of local significance (Florida Heritage Sites), and of state and national significance (Florida Heritage Landmarks). Applications for historical markers are reviewed by the Division of Historical Resources, assisted by the State Historical Marker Council. Matching grant funds are available to governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations to help defray the cost of historical markers. Since its inception in 1960, there have been over 700 state historical markers erected throughout the state.

The Architectural Preservation Services (APS) Section provides technical assistance in preserving buildings and makes recommendations for the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentive Program, which encourages property owners and developers to rehabilitate historic buildings rather than tear them down. Over the past five years, 43 projects were completed and approved for income tax credit by the NPS in the state of Florida. Expenses certified under the federal income tax credit totaled $405,652,961.

Number of Certified Projects and Expenses, 2007-2011
Year # of Certified Projects Certified Expenses
2007 7 $17,745,685
2008 11 33,586,009
2009 12 332,744,499
2010 7 15,986,886
2011 6 5,589,882
43 $ 405,652,961

The numbers for 2010 and 2011 clearly demonstrate the impact of the economic downturn.

The Florida Main Street Program, also in the APS Section, acts as a catalyst for efforts to preserve, revitalize, and sustain Florida's commercial districts. Part of a national movement, the program was developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980 and became a major part of historic preservation in Florida in 1985. The Florida Main Street Program supports local action that builds economic vitality, quality of life, and community pride centered in a city's traditional commercial core. Florida's Main Street program concentrates on cities with populations of between 5,000 and 50,000 people with traditional historic downtowns, although the program has been tailored to smaller communities and to historic commercial areas of larger cities. Designated Florida Main Street cities receive up to three years of specialized technical assistance from the Bureau of Historic Preservation in each area of the Main Street approach to help make many small, positive improvements downtown. The Bureau offers manager training, consultant team visits, design and other historic preservation assistance, and networking opportunities with other cities in the Florida Main Street network. Florida Main Street cities are selected through an annual competitive application process.

The Main Street Program is most important [success] in my view, in the Economic Restructuring. It assists in improving and recognizing to make stronger the businesses that were here and are hometown, the ones that helped to make the towns strong to start with. Allowing the original to strive and not be drowned by superficial money making dealers that have no interest in the people or families trying to succeed.
—Comment from Survey

The Florida Main Street Program assists local private-public partnerships by providing technical and financial assistance and training in the comprehensive Main Street Approach: Organization, Promotion, Economic Restructuring, and Design. Since 1985, over 90 cities have been designated Florida Main Street Communities. Florida Main Street hosts statewide conferences and facilitates networking among those interested in downtown preservation and redevelopment. The Main Street Program is one of the most efficient programs in creating jobs and promoting local economies, benefits that are documented in regular reports from Main Street managers and entered into a database. Since 2007, the Florida Main Street Program has generated 21,530 jobs, over 729,000 total volunteer hours, and over $2.2 billion in total value of private and public revitalization projects.

Florida Main Street Program has revitalized a lot of downtowns which have added to economic activities and tourism in small towns.
—Comment from Survey

The Architectural Preservation Services staff also administers a program of state grants for the rehabilitation, restoration, and acquisition of historic buildings, the survey of historical resources, the excavation of archaeological sites, and the funding of preservation education and museum exhibit programs. In recent years, historic preservation activity has expanded substantially to meet the increasing public demand for preservation projects. This has been accomplished in large measure through the state's Special Category Grants Program and the federal Historic Preservation Trust Fund Matching Grants Program, which have provided financial assistance for local preservation initiatives. Although grant funding from the state legislature has diminished in recent years, important projects have been completed, such as a survey of Rosenwald Schools in Florida, showing that only 26 of those buildings remain in the state.

I can think of no other state funded program which offers exponentially higher returns on the State's investment than the Special Category grant and small matching grant programs.
—Comment from Survey

The Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) program, housed in the Governor's Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development (OTTED), was established in 1999 to better serve Florida's rural communities by providing a more focused and coordinated effort among state and regional agencies that provide programs and services for rural areas. REDI coordinates the efforts of state and regional agencies working to assist qualified communities (for qualifications, see Section 288.0656, Florida Statutes). Under the initiative, the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources waives the requirement for a match for Small Matching Historic Preservation grants (up to $50,000) submitted by REDI counties or communities, and not-for-profit agencies within those communities. For Special Category Grants (large Fixed Capital Outlay grants up to $350,000), the match is reduced to 10% of the requested grant amount for projects within REDI counties or communities.

Since 2002, 78 REDI communities have received over $2.8 million in state preservation grant funds. Among the projects undertaken with the assistance of the REDI program was the 2005 rehabilitation of the ca. 1900 Muscogee Nation School House in rural Walton County. A $50,000 grant provided for the preservation of the building, which is the only remaining Indian frame school in Florida. Another project undertaken with the assistance of a REDI grant is a citywide archaeological GIS predictive model for Fernandina Beach. The goal of this project is to help identify areas within the city limits of potential archaeological importance. The City of Fernandina Beach received a $12,500 grant through the state for this project in 2012.

The Outreach Programs staff coordinates production, marketing, and distribution of DHR publications, including Florida Heritage Trails and the statewide comprehensive historic preservation plan. Recent publications produced by the Division of Historical Resources include the Florida Native American Heritage Trail (2007), Florida Spanish Colonial Heritage Trail (2010) and Florida Civil War Heritage Trail (2011). The Outreach Programs staff also administers the Florida Folklife Program and the Great Floridians Program. The Florida Folklife Program (FFP) coordinates a wide range of activities and projects designed to increase the awareness of citizens and visitors about Florida's traditional cultures. The Folklife Program documents Florida's traditional culture through annual surveys on a wide range of topics. The Folklife Apprenticeship Program and the Florida Folk Heritage Awards celebrate and preserve the achievements of the state's foremost tradition bearers.

Florida's folklife, or contemporary traditional culture, reflects both the state's history and its constantly changing populace. Traditional patterns of skills used to make Puerto Rican lace, embroider Torah covers, weave white oak baskets, build a Seminole chickee, and create diving helmets, to name just a few examples, remain vibrant components of the state's material folk culture. The storehouse of everyday knowledge necessary to operate a shrimp boat, raise tropical fruits and vegetables, braid a cow whip, or build an airboat demonstrates that folklife remains an important resource in the occupational culture of Floridians. The vast array of music and dance traditions—from bluegrass and African American gospel to Vietnamese opera, Mexican norteño music, Irish fiddle, Cuban comparsa, and Hawaiian hula—demonstrate that folklife is vital to connecting the state's communities through creative expression.

Between 2006 and 2010, the Florida Folklife Program underwent a period of change. The program produced and distributed a very successful exhibit on Florida Cattle Ranching traditions, which traveled to four in-state museum venues, and was featured at the 2010 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering at the Western Folklife Center in Elko, Nevada. It was seen by over 110,800 visitors. During this period, the Department of State's position of State Folklorist was lost to budget cuts in the 2009 legislative session, but due to statutory requirements, the position was restored during the 2010 legislative session. The position was advertised in the summer of 2010, and reinstated in November 2010.

Although the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill did not affect Florida's coastal heritage resources as dramatically as feared, people along the Gulf Coast continue to feel the impact of the disaster in complicated, unexpected ways. The 2010-2011 annual survey conducted by the FFP focused on the Panhandle to document the folkways in this region. With resources in other Gulf Coast states deemed unsafe for consumption, some areas were overfished in response to increased demand. The economic impact was felt by people living along the Gulf Coast, especially individuals working in the commercial seafood and tourism industries. Public perception played as large a role as measurable environmental impacts. Most experienced a decrease in income, and yet the incomes of some individuals employed in traditional maritime occupations increased for the first time since the onset of the recession. Survey results were showcased by 38 traditional artists and demonstrators over a three-day period in the Folklife Area at the Florida Folklife Festival, an annual event coordinated by Florida State Parks and held at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park.

Bureau of Archaeological Research

The state's archaeology program is the responsibility of the Division of Historical Resources' Bureau of Archaeological Research (BAR). State archaeologists provide leadership in the identification, preservation, and interpretation of archaeological sites, primarily on state-owned lands. They also provide technical assistance to private consultants, law enforcement personnel, and government planners, including training courses that focus on management of public sites and law enforcement.

The Bureau's Underwater Archaeology Program leads management of the state's historic shipwreck sites and prehistoric land sites now underwater due to sea level rise. Some of these are among the oldest human-occupied sites in North America. BAR's underwater archaeologists work with local divers and communities to develop Underwater Archaeological Preserves around the state that protect and interpret shipwreck sites for the public. There are currently 11 preserves, with others under consideration. In June 2012, the Bureau launched the Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail, highlighting twelve shipwrecks in the Florida Panhandle between Pensacola, Destin, Panama City Beach and Port St. Joe, and encouraging heritage tourism.

The Bureau of Archaeological Research operates a Conservation Laboratory, which specializes in the cleaning and conservation of metal and wooden artifacts, including very large objects like dugout canoes, cannons, and anchors. The Bureau's collections section manages a diverse cross-section of artifacts, primarily from state-owned lands, ranging from 12,000 year old spear points and ancient pottery vessels, to Civil War artifacts and objects from Spanish shipwrecks. Bureau archaeologists survey and aid management of sites on state-owned conservation lands, and evaluate new properties for acquisition by the Florida Forever land acquisition program. BAR manages several public archaeological sites, including two National Historic Landmarks: Mission San Luis and the Miami Circle. Mission San Luis, the seventeenth century western capital of Spanish Florida, is now the site of professional archaeological research and a living history museum, including costumed interpreters and reconstructed Spanish and indigenous buildings. The Miami Circle was acquired by the State of Florida in 1999 and is now a passive public greenspace managed by HistoryMiami, a local museum.

In Tallahassee, the National Historic Landmark, Mission San Luis, the western headquarters of the 17th and 18th-century Franciscan chain of missions, now boasts a modern visitor center featuring a 125-seat theater, 2-story main lobby, two 30-person classrooms, and a boardroom that seats 12. An exhibit gallery displays artifacts recovered on site. An adjoining banquet hall, warming kitchen, and lobby are rented out for special events. Historic buildings meticulously recreated based on historic documents and archaeological evidence on the 65-acre site include the large thatched Franciscan church and Apalachee council house, as well as the convento, Spanish residence and Castillo, which was completed in 2006.

Other Florida Department of State Programs

An agency of the Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Department of State, the Museum of Florida History (MFH) is the official state history museum, chartered by the Legislature in 1967 and opened in 1977. It exists to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret the material record of human culture in Florida, and to promote and encourage, throughout the state, knowledge and appreciation of Florida history. It is concerned primarily with interpreting events and conditions that are unique to Florida's population, but also those events in which Floridians are part of larger national and global communities. This is accomplished through permanent, temporary, and traveling exhibitions; educational programming and community outreach; and consultation and technical assistance made available to all of Florida's historical agencies. Open every day of the year except Christmas and Thanksgiving, the Museum offers regular tours and on-site programs, outreach programs, and a traveling exhibits program (TREX).

MFH hosts a suite of popular monthly events with changing themes that typically relate to a current temporary exhibit. The 2nd Saturday Family Program provides hands-on activities for children and adults. 3rd Thursday is an after-hours social event that offers music, catered food, and a lecture. History at High Noon on the fourth Tuesday features local experts who discuss topics related to Florida history, culture, and arts. For twenty-nine years, the Museum has hosted Children's Day in January, a day-long, family festival with crafts, exhibitors, performers, and demonstrations that draws 3,000 people. For eighteen years, the Knott House, the Museum's satellite house museum, has commemorated the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Florida in 1865 on its steps with an Emancipation Day Celebration.

Some programs are specifically for students. A major annual statewide event, sponsored by the Museum of Florida History since the 1988-1989 school year, is the Florida History Fair. This event enhances the teaching and learning of history at elementary and secondary levels. The Florida History Fair engages 44,450 youth and 1,000 teachers statewide. As an affiliate of National History Day, the Florida History Fair augments classroom instruction by offering students the means and encouragement to do original research and presentations in a variety of formats. Among the prizes offered each year is one for the best presentations related to Florida history, sponsored by the Florida Historical Society. For college students, MFH offers unpaid internships during every academic semester.

The Florida Memory Project website is hosted by the State Library and Archives of Florida. The oldest part of the program is the nationally recognized Florida Photographic Collection that, since its establishment in 1952 at Florida State University, has amassed a collection of over a million images, and over 6,000 movies and video tapes. Over 170,000 of those resources are scanned and available on the Collection's website. Since 1982, the Collection has been housed in the R.A. Gray Building in Tallahassee. Also documented in the Florida Memory Project collection are videos and audio tapes that capture Florida folk heritage, such as podcasts of Sacred Steel, Greek Music Traditions in Tarpon Springs, sacred music, interviews with folklorists, and recordings from past Florida Folk Festivals beginning with the first festival held in 1954.

Advisory Boards and Support Organizations

To enhance public participation and involvement in the preservation and protection of the state's historic and archaeological sites and properties, the Florida Legislature authorizes several advisory bodies to advise and assist the Division of Historical Resources: The Florida Folklife Council; the Florida Historical Marker Council; an advisory council for The Grove, an antebellum house used by two Florida governors; and the citizen support organizations, Friends of Historic Properties and Museums, Inc., and Friends of Mission San Luis, Inc.

In 2001, the Florida Legislature established the Florida Historical Commission (FHC) (Section 267.0612, Florida Statutes) to advise and assist the Division of Historical Resources in carrying out the programs, duties, and responsibilities of the Division. The Commission has 11 members; seven members are appointed by the Governor in consultation with the Secretary of State, two are appointed by the President of the Florida Senate, and two are appointed by the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.

The commissioners are responsible for reviewing and ranking Special Category Historic Preservation Grant applications. Five of the members appointed by the Governor, representing the disciplines of history, architecture, architectural history, prehistoric archaeology, and historic archaeology, also meet as Florida's National Register Review Board to review and make recommendations on proposed nominations to the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, the Commission exists to receive public input and provide advice with regard to policy and preservation needs.

Other State Agencies

The Division of Historical Resources is the primary agency for directing historic preservation in Florida, but the state park system, administered by the Division of Recreation and Parks in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), is the largest steward of public historic properties in the state. Florida State Parks manages 160 parks, 93 of which contain significant historic properties, including more than 300 recorded historic structures and over 1,800 known archaeological sites. Of the 67 remaining parks, 51 contain identified archaeological sites and/or historic structures which have yet to be evaluated for significance. The state park system provides extensive interpretive/educational opportunities on historic properties for Florida residents and out-of-state visitors. Florida State Parks participates in the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund program to make funds available to local recreation and park programs, including projects that support historic properties. The state park system works closely with the National Park Service on historic preservation and archaeological projects. Under the Florida Historical Resources Act (Chapter 267, Florida Statutes), the Florida Department of State's Division of Historical Resources and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Recreation and Parks are directed to coordinate, in their respective roles, historic preservation activities. Historic properties managed and interpreted by Florida State Parks range from Paleoindian sites to fort structures modified for use during World War II. The park system provides first and third person interpretation, administers numerous historic house and specialty museums, actively manages cultural landscapes associated with significant periods of history and works to preserve habitats as they existed upon the arrival of Columbus in the New World.

Florida Forever is the state's current blueprint for conserving its natural resources. It replaced the highly successful Preservation 2000, which was the largest program of its kind in the United States. Preservation 2000 acquired more than 1.78 million acres of land for protection. The Florida Forever Act, implemented in 2000, reinforced Florida's commitment to conserve its natural and cultural heritage, provide urban open space, and better manage the land acquired by the state.

Florida Forever is more than an environmental land acquisition mechanism. It encompasses a wide range of goals including: environmental restoration; water resource development and supply; increased public access; public lands management and maintenance; and increased protection of land by acquisition of conservation easements.

In 1998, Florida voters amended the state constitution by ratifying a constitutional amendment that re-authorized bonds for land acquisition. The 1999 state legislature responded with the 10-year $3 billion Florida Forever Program to acquire and manage land for conservation. This was extended another 10 years in 2008 for a total of $6 billion. Although the authorization was extended, funding has fallen short of the anticipated $300 million per year since the 2009–2010 fiscal year, including two years when $0 was set aside. In 2010–2011, $15 million and $8.3 million is anticipated for the 2012–2013 fiscal year.

The 11-member Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC) makes recommendations about acquisition, management and disposal of state-owned lands. This advisory group includes private citizen members with backgrounds in scientific disciplines of land, water, or environmental sciences as well as wildlife management, forestry management, and outdoor recreation, in addition to five state agency representatives, including the Department of State.

With the passage of the Florida Forever Act, the State of Florida has one of the most aggressive conservation and recreation land acquisition programs in the United States and the world. Since 1963, Florida has invested approximately $7.9 billion to conserve approximately 3.9 million acres of land for environmental, recreational and preservation purposes. This has been accomplished with a number of programs, including the Environmentally Endangered Lands, Outdoor Recreation, Save Our Coasts, Save Our Rivers, Conservation and Recreation Lands, Preservation 2000, and Florida Forever.

As of 2010, 576 archaeological and historical sites in the state of Florida have been conserved through the efforts of the Florida Forever program. To account for lands critical for acquisition due to their historical significance, in 2011 the ARC created the Critical Historical Resource (CHR) classification raising the visibility of these important preservation projects and enabling them to compete against each other, rather than against the biologically and environmentally oriented projects. At the most recent meeting of the ARC, six CHRs were identified: the Battle of Wahoo Swamp site and the Okeechobee Battlefield site (both important Seminole War sites); the Pierce Mound Complex (a group of mounds near the salt marsh north of Apalachicola left by people who lived there for over a thousand years, and one of the most important historical sites in Florida); the Pinelands Site Complex (among the rich remains of the Calusa and earlier peoples around Charlotte Harbor, with large mounds and canals and well-preserved remains dating back almost 2,000 years); the Three Chimneys site (the remains of a British sugar and rum factory from the 1700's); and the Windover Archaeology site (an extremely significant historic and archaeological property, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987, and the state's first, and currently only, State Archaeological Landmark.)

The Florida Communities Trust is a state land acquisition grant program housed within the Florida Department of Community Affairs (DCA). The FCT Parks and Open Space Grant Program provides funding through an annual competitive grant cycle, aiding local governments and non-profit environmental organizations to acquire community-based parks, open space and greenways. These projects further outdoor recreation and natural resource protection needs identified in local government comprehensive plans. The FCT is an integral part of DCA's efforts to assist communities in meeting the challenges of growth management, mitigating the effects of disasters, and investing in community revitalization, while protecting Florida's natural and cultural resources. The FCT's projects often make significant contributions to the balance of economic growth and resource protection.

Funding of DCA's Florida Communities Trust Parks and Open Space Grant Program comes from the Florida Forever Program. The FCT Parks and Open Space Grant Program usually receives 21 percent, or $63 million, of the total $300 million in Florida Forever proceeds each year unless otherwise allocated by the Legislature. The FCT is governed by a six-member board. A staff member from the Division of Historical Resources reviews grant projects for historical resources. The Department's point system in ranking projects includes the presence of historical resources as one of the many variables used to compute a project's overall ranking.

Continuing its commitment to preserve the State's historic past, the FCT awarded more than $45 million in FY 2008–2009 to acquire properties that included historical or archaeological resources. The FCT has helped save dozens of Florida sites having historical significance at the local, state, and national levels. These sites include:

  • Jones's Pier in Indian River County, an historic home site along the Jungle Trail that once served as a tourist destination, farm-to-market transportation of citrus and tropical fruits, and commercial fishing
  • The expansion of Fort Mose State Park in St. Johns County, site of the first free-black settlement in the United States
  • The fourth phase of the Cypress Creek Natural Area in Palm Beach County, which contains a portion of the Seminole War-era Loxahatchee Battlefield
  • Kroegel Homestead in Indian River County, home of Paul Kroegel, champion of the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge and first wildlife warden at the very first national wildlife refuge
  • The 1912 Cortez Schoolhouse in Manatee County, listed in the National Register of Historic Places
  • The Fort King site in Ocala, headquarters of Second Seminole War operations and now a National Historic Landmark
  • Native American sites protected by the FCT include the shell middens at the Paleo Hammock Preserve in St. Lucie County and the Micanopy Native American Preserve in Alachua County. These projects contain archaeological evidence of more than 1,000 years of human activity.
  • Understanding that education plays an important role in resource conservation, the FCT places a priority on selecting projects that include educational elements. The FCT awarded more than $55 million in 2008-2009 to acquire projects that include programs to educate Florida residents. In 2009-2010, the FCT awarded over $33 million while in 2010-2011, over $17 million was awarded by the FCT.

Formal Historic Preservation Academic Programs

There are 19 colleges and universities in the state that offer either academic programs or coursework that focus on historic preservation and historic preservation related fields such as public history, archaeology, public archaeology, architectural history, and urban and regional planning. In addition, several universities and colleges are caretakers of historic properties, with six of them managing NR-listed resources.

The more programs we have in undergraduate and graduate schools and universities the better chance we have for the future of historic preservation preserving our historic sites and neighborhoods.
—Comment from Survey

Perhaps the most developed historic preservation program in the state is at the University of Florida. The University began offering historic preservation coursework in 1968, one of the first in the country to do so. Offering graduate certification, a master's degree, and doctoral degree in historic preservation, the program houses the Center for Building Better Communities and the Center for World Heritage Research and Stewardship. It also operates the Preservation Institute: Nantucket, which is the nation's oldest continually operating field school in historic preservation. While the creation of the historic preservation program is closely tied to the University's architecture school, it has expanded into a multidisciplinary program encompassing architecture, building construction, interior design, landscape architecture, planning, museum studies, and tourism.

I feel that education is the first step, and for a university like this [University of Florida] to highlight the importance of Historic Preservation, shows that the next generations of students will be better equipped to include this practice in the business decisions.
—Comment from Survey

Since the late 1970s, the Master's of Arts in History with a Major in Public History program at Florida State University has prepared students to enter historically oriented careers in fields such as cultural resources management, historic preservation, museums, archives, and information and records management. FSU recognizes that public historians need specialized training to be effective in their chosen careers. Therefore, public history blends theory with practice, providing students with a well-rounded education in historical methods, scholarship, and practical application. Students also choose an emphasis area to build their program of study around: Cultural Resources Management, Historical Records Administration, Southern History and Florida Studies, War and Society, History Education, New Media and Public History, or Museum Studies..

In addition to the FSU history department's award winning faculty, students have the opportunity to take classes from community leaders in public history. Moreover, Tallahassee offers students in the program unique opportunities. The Public History program has established relationships with local area public history institutions such as the Museum of Florida History, the Florida State Archives, the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation, and Mission San Luis, among many others, that provide students with internship opportunities. Graduates of the program, almost half of whom come from out of state, have gone on to find employment in the government sector, the private sector, and within educational institution.

Among the two most notable public archaeology academic programs in the state are those at the University of South Florida (USF) and the University of West Florida (UWF). The USF public archaeology program, founded in 1974, is the first of its kind in the nation. The anthropology school is also the first in the country to offer a Ph.D. in Applied Archaeology. Today, more than 30 percent of members of the Florida Archaeological Council are graduates of the USF Public Archaeology Program.

The University of West Florida's public archaeology program, an extension of the University's Archaeology Institute, is notable for the lead it took in the creation of the Florida Public Archaeology Network. Dr. Judith Bense, the current president of UWF, was longtime director of the UWF Archaeology Institute. A very early focus of the Institute was on public involvement with archaeology, and by extension, the public archaeology program. Professors in the program provide archaeological talks and tours for civic groups, special interest groups, and schools.

Another ancillary field with close connections to Historic Preservation is Landscape Architecture. A good summary of the Landscape Architecture field can be found on the Florida International University website: "Landscape architecture is a comprehensive discipline of land analysis, planning, design, management, preservation, and rehabilitation. Typical projects include site design and planning, town and urban planning, regional planning, environmental impact plans, garden design, historic preservation, and parks design and planning." (http://soa.fiu.edu/land-architecture/index.html) Landscape architects are often advocates and custodians of historic landscapes.

There are three universities in the state of Florida that offer programs in Landscape Architecture: University of Florida, Florida A & M University, and Florida International University. A good example is the Florida International University (FIU) Landscape Architecture program. The only program of its kind in south Florida, the school requires students to demonstrate knowledge in a variety of fields, including the history of landscape architecture and historic preservation. FIU has a branch campus at the University of Genoa in Genoa, Italy, that offers coursework for Landscape Architecture students. The FIU program was selected to host the 2012 Landscape Architecture Student Conference, a major academic and professional gathering drawing landscape architects from around the world.

Some of the institutions of higher learning in the state do not offer programs in historic preservation related fields but have stewardship over significant historic properties. The Florida Southern College campus in Lakeland is a prime example. The campus features the largest single concentration of Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings in the world. The Florida Southern College Historic District, comprising nine resources designed by Wright, was listed in the National Register in 1975. Since 1995, the district was the recipient of over $2.3 million in state historic preservation grants. Added to the World Monument Fund's 2008 Watch List, the school has also received a $195,000 grant from the Getty Foundation in July 2006, and a $350,000 grant from the Save America's Treasures Program in 2008 to restore the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel, the centerpiece of the campus. In 2012, the Florida Southern College Historic District was designated a National Historic Landmark.


Academic Institutions with Historic Preservation Programs

  1. University of West Florida
  2. Florida A&M University
  3. Florida State University
  4. University of North Florida
  5. Flagler College
  6. Santa Fe College
  7. University of Florida
  8. Stetson University
  9. Rollins College
  10. University of Central Florida
  1. Brevard Community College
  2. St. Leo University
  3. University of South Florida
  4. New College of Florida
  5. Florida Gulf Coast University
  6. Florida Atlantic University
  7. Florida International University
  8. Miami-Dade College
  9. University of Miami


Local Governments

As important as these statewide programs are, the greatest power to preserve Florida's cultural resources lies at the local level. Across the state, individuals are taking action to preserve the unique historic characteristics of their communities. An effective local historic preservation program begins with the enactment of a historic preservation ordinance and the creation of a qualified historic preservation board. A community with such programs may apply to the National Park Service for designation as a Certified Local Government (CLG). The CLG Program, administered by the Bureau of Historic Preservation, encourages direct local government participation in federal and state historic preservation programs. The program links the three levels of government (federal, state, and local) in a preservation partnership for the identification, evaluation, and protection of historic properties. CLGs are guaranteed at least 10% of the total federal funds received each year from the Historic Preservation Fund grant from the National Park Service. As of October 2011, 60 Florida communities have participated in the CLG Program.

The energy of historic preservation at the local level in Florida is demonstrated by its growing number of CLGs, markers, and 20 Preserve America communities. The Preserve America Program is a national initiative established in 2003. Communities are chosen through an application process that focuses on their commitment and proven effort to protect and celebrate their heritage, using their historical resources for economic development and community revitalization. Funding for Preserve America grants was eliminated from the federal budget in 2011, but the concepts the program fostered continue to raise awareness of the historical significance of our communities. In 2010, the Bureau of Historic Preservation, DHR, applied for and received a $200,000 Preserve America historic preservation grant from the National Park Service. The BHP used the funds to award 14 historic preservation subgrants to Florida cities and counties. The grantees are currently using their awards to conduct historic preservation training, community education, archaeological survey, and historic structure assessment projects statewide. The projects will be completed June 30, 2012.


Preserve America Communities

  1. Leon County
  2. Tallahassee
  3. Fernandina Beach
  4. St. Augustine
  5. Gainesville
  6. Daytona Beach
  7. DeLand
  8. Sanford
  9. Kissimmee
  10. Tarpon Springs
  1. Dunedin
  2. Tampa
  3. St. Petersburg
  4. Sarasota
  5. Fort Myers
  6. Delray Beach
  7. Miami Springs
  8. Miami
  9. Coral Gables
  10. Key West

Non-Profit Organizations

In addition to state and local agencies, a number of key private organizations also provide essential leadership. The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation is Florida's private not-for-profit statewide preservation organization, formed in 1978 as a network of committed preservationists. The mission of the Florida Trust is to promote the preservation of the architectural, historical, and archaeological heritage of Florida through property stewardship, legislative advocacy, and education. The Trust also promotes the protection of historically significant properties through its easement program. The Trust currently holds easements on nine historic properties throughout the state. Regular activities of the Trust include an annual conference each May, Insider's Tours to historic Florida cities, and a series of workshops on preservation-related topics.

The Florida Trust advocates for legislation and funding in support of historic preservation on behalf of Florida´s many historic sites, museums and parks. The Trust represents Florida´s preservation community through public and media outreach. It works to empower and support local preservationists by publicizing an annual list of Florida´s Eleven Most Endangered Historic Sites, and recognizing outstanding efforts in historic preservation through its annual preservation awards program. The Trust offers extensive education and training opportunities, including local workshops, webinars, and an annual conference during the month of May each year. While working to educate the public on the benefits of historic preservation, the Trust also provides resources to preservationists, homeowners, preservation professionals, and media representatives. During the prior plan period (2006–2011), the Trust successfully acquired and rehabilitated a Queen Anne style building in Tallahassee known as the Hays-Hood House to create a statewide center for historic preservation. They continue to serve as owners and stewards of the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, a designated Ft. Lauderdale Landmark that is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Trust has also established a GoogleTM group listserv which provides an online forum for preservationist members throughout Florida and beyond.

Another crucial partner in historic preservation is the various local neighborhood associations and non-profit organizations located throughout the state. These organizations often have the most direct impact on historic preservation within their respective communities and are crucial in raising historic preservation awareness locally. These organizations help foster a sense of civic pride amongst local citizens and often have direct stewardship over important historical resources. Riverside Avondale Preservation, Inc. (RAP), located in Jacksonville, is an excellent example of an historic preservation organization dealing primarily with an immediate neighborhood. The group provides heritage and architectural preservation services, educational workshops, hosts local festivals aimed at improving the quality of life of their residents, and maintains a historic house as its headquarters. Thanks in large part to the efforts of RAP, the Riverside Avondale community was named one of the American Planning Association's 10 Great Neighborhoods in America in 2010.

There are a number of non-profit historic preservation organizations that focus on citywide, countywide or regional preservation. The Dade Heritage Trust (DHT) in Miami, founded in 1972, is one of the oldest historic preservation organizations in the state. DHT played a pivotal role in the preservation of the world-renowned Miami Beach Art Deco Architectural District, the Miami Circle and the Cape Florida Lighthouse. West Florida Preservation, Inc. (WFP), in Pensacola, and the Everglades Society for Historic Preservation (ESHP) in Everglades City, Collier County, are excellent examples of historic preservation organizations with a regional focus. The WFP originated as a state historic preservation board in 1967 before being transferred to the University of West Florida in 2001. The ESHP was founded by concerned citizens in 2004. Both organizations are active in historic preservation stewardship and historic preservation education, as well as outreach designed to raise money and awareness for preservation.

[I've] only lived in Florida 1.5 years, but have learned a lot of the historical information concerning the Pensacola area.
—Comment from survey

Many organizations in the state, such as the St. Augustine Historical Society (SAHS), have a primary focus in museum management or historical research, but also have a well developed program of historic preservation. The SAHS, founded in 1881 by a group of history and natural history enthusiasts, has been involved in historic preservation in St. Augustine since 1899. The preservation-based tourism industry of the city owes much to the SAHS, which played a pivotal role in the restoration of such landmarks as the Castillo de San Marcos, Fort Matanzas, the Gonzalez-Alvarez House and Segui-Kirby-Smith House. Many non-profit organizations do not offer preservation services but rather focus on specific individual preservation projects within their communities. The West Gadsden Historical Society in Greensboro is a small rural community based non-profit organization that acquired and saved two major landmarks in the city of Greensboro.

Historic house museums also play a vital role in preservation, not only preserving buildings historically important to their respective communities, but also educating the community about the significance of the buildings in their community's history. There are a number of these located throughout the state, such as the Peter O. Knight Historic House (Tampa), the Stranahan House (Ft. Lauderdale), the John G. Riley House (Tallahassee), the West Pasco Historical Society Museum and Library (New Port Richey), and the St. Augustine Lighthouse Museum (St. Augustine).

The Florida Anthropological Society (FAS)is a statewide preservation organization that makes significant contributions in research, education, protection and preservation of some of the state's most important cultural sites. The Society unites professional and avocational interests to achieve a better understanding of Florida's archaeological resources. With 16 chapters throughout the state, FAS operates under and advocates strict codes of ethics for research on archaeological resources in Florida. FAS publishes the journal, The Florida Anthropologist, that provides summary research reports on contemporary research topics of interest to avocational, professional and non-technical readers. The organization has recently produced an award-winning video on Florida's Native people called "Shadows and Reflections: Florida's Lost Peoples." The organization holds its annual conference in the spring of each year.

The Florida Archaeological Council is an organization of professional archaeologists working in or with an interest in Florida archaeology. Their stated mission is education: to promote and stimulate interest in Florida archaeology, to encourage public appreciation of archaeology, to promote high quality standards of archaeological practice, and to advocate and aid in the conservation and preservation of archaeological resources and materials. Their programs include: Stewards of Heritage Preservation Awards, a biannual award that recognizes the role of non-archaeologists in preservation, education, and research; the John W. Griffin Student Grant that provides financial assistance to students conducting research and cultural resource management projects in Florida; the FAC Newsletter, a forum for the dissemination of information and news regarding archaeological issues and research; and professional development workshops that provide training and exchange of ideas regarding specific and current topics of concern. The organization also works to educate legislators and encourage passage of important legislation that will have a positive impact on cultural resources in the state. FAC initiated and continues to support Florida Archaeology Month, in partnership with the Florida Anthropological Society, the Division of Historical Resources, and Florida State Parks. Each March, this annual month-long program of events educates tens of thousands of citizens and visitors about Florida's past.

The Trust for Public Land (TPL)is a national, not-for-profit, land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, community gardens, historic sites, rural lands, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for future generations. TPL has a particular conservation initiative for Heritage Lands, by which it safeguards places of historical and cultural importance. Since 1972, TPL has worked with willing landowners, community groups, and national, state, and local agencies to complete more than 2,700 land conservation projects in 46 states, protecting nearly 2 million acres. TPL has helped states and communities craft and pass 192 ballot measures, generating over $35 billion in new conservation-related funding. In Florida, a few of the recent projects achieved with support from TPL include Cypress Gardens, McKee Gardens, the Key West Customs House, the Miami Circle, and the de Soto Encampment Site.

The Florida Humanities Council (FHC) was established in 1973 as a private non-profit organization. The Organization's mission is to build "strong communities and informed citizens by providing Floridians with the opportunity to explore the heritage, traditions and stories of our state and its place in the world." The FHC is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Since 1973, the Council has provided a wide range of educational programs and products to tell Florida's story, including workshops for K-12 teachers, heritage tours, a humanities speakers bureau, and literary programs. Their publication, FORUM, is an award winning magazine about Florida's heritage and culture.

The Florida Humanities Council has been a strong partner in promoting Florida's heritage, especially during the Viva Florida 500 commemoration of Juan Ponce De Leon's landing on Florida's shores in 1513. In October 2009, the FHC hosted a Scholar Summit to discuss how to commemorate the Quincentenary of Ponce De Leon's landing in Florida. The FHC also sponsored 2–minute audio programs about Florida's Spanish history that were made available via the FHC website and aired on Florida public radio stations. In 2010, the FHC awarded grants for scholarly research to develop public programs related to the Commemoration, and for three statewide conferences, held at the Miami Humanities Center, Flagler College in St. Augustine, and the University of South Florida in Tampa. The Council also created a website dedicated to its own Viva Florida 500 activities that included the organization of a speakers bureau, teacher training, and a special edition of FORUM, "¡Viva Florida ! : Marking 500 years of Spanish heritage," dedicated to the Quincentenary Commemoration.

VISIT FLORIDA is the industry-driven, not-for-profit, public/private partnership responsible for Florida's global tourism marketing efforts and the state's official source for travel planning. VISIT FLORIDA continues to include promotion of Florida's distinct historical and cultural heritage destinations. Historical and cultural heritage attractions have long been popular destinations attracting visitors to the ""Sunshine State". Without historic preservation efforts, Florida's tourism marketers would not have the quality and quantity of historic or heritage tourism "products" to market as visitor destinations.

Since 2000, VISIT FLORIDA has worked very closely with numerous state agencies, the preservation/conservation community, not-for-profit organizations, and many tourism industry partners to promote heritage tourism in Florida. The Director of the Division of Historical Resources serves as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors. VISIT FLORIDA's Cultural/Heritage/Rural/Nature Committee of the Marketing Committee Steering Council continues to guide new and existing heritage tourism programs. On-going marketing initiatives, such as expanded history and culture sections on the VISIT FLORIDA website, targeted E-zines (electronic magazines), and print publications, will continue to expand the depth of the Florida vacation experience to include Florida's rich history and diverse heritage. In conjunction with the VIVA FLORIDA 500 initiative, VISIT FLORIDA has incorporated much of the destination content of the Division of Historical Resources' Florida Heritage Trail publications on its website at visitflorida.com/viva encouraging visitors to "Explore the Sunshine State's Cultural Heritage Trails."

Founded in 1986, 1000 Friends of Florida is a statewide not-for-profit organization devoted to promoting healthy urban and natural places by wise management of growth and change. It works to protect natural areas, fight urban sprawl, promote sensible development patterns, preserve historic resources, and provide affordable housing. The 1000 Friends organization educates, advocates, negotiates and, when necessary, litigates, to achieve its goals.

The historic preservation activities of 1000 Friends have included developing educational materials such as the award-winning manual partially funded with a grant from DHR, Disaster Planning for Florida's Historic Resources; working with pilot communities to implement the manual; assisting with the revitalization of waterfront communities; developing policies related to historic bridge preservation; and providing limited planning assistance to local governments and organizations on preservation issues. Since the release of Disaster Planning for Florida's Historic Resources in 2003, two additional publications have come out through 1000 Friends of Florida, Post-Disaster Planning—A Guide for Florida Communities (2010) and Disaster Mitigation for Historic Structures: Protection Strategies (2008).

The Florida Folklore Society is a partner of the Florida Folklife Program. Founded in 1981 at the urging of the Florida Folklife Program, the Florida Folklore Society is a professional organization whose purpose is to advance appreciation, research, and study of folklore. The society's main function is to serve as the voice of all the members for the purpose of distribution of news, ideas, and information. Every spring, the society holds an annual meeting, which is held in a different city each year. Members in attendance discuss society news, share information on current projects, and watch a presentation from a local folk artist. All interested persons, regardless of ethnicity, are encouraged to become members. The Florida Folklore Society is incorporated as a non-profit organization. The State Folklorist serves as the liaison between the Florida Folklife Program and the Florida Folklore Society, and is on the Board of Directors of the Florida Folklore Society in an ex-officio capacity.

Established in 2004, the Florida Public Archaeology Network is a network of public archaeology centers designed to help stem the rapid deterioration of this state's buried past and expand public interest in archaeology.

The Florida Public Archaeology Network will be a great way to preserve archaeological resources—I wish there was a comparable organization for historic resources.
—Comment from survey

FPAN works in cooperation with the State Historic Preservation Officer and the Division of Historical Resources through a cooperative memorandum of agreement. With eight regional offices statewide, FPAN provides a community-based platform for representation of preservation efforts. FPAN regional offices sponsor an ongoing series of workshops, lectures, and field events in their nearby communities. Public meetings to generate feedback and input for this comprehensive plan were conducted in cooperation with local FPAN offices.

The Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network (FAAHPN), established in 2001 through the John Gilmore Riley House Museum in Tallahassee, is another important partner in the preservation of Florida's heritage. The Network provides professional development and technical assistance in the areas of historic preservation and museum management to historic sites and museums specializing in African American-related history. In 2007, the Network contributed significantly to the expansion of listings in the third edition of the Department of State's Florida Black Heritage Trail guidebook. In August 2011, the FAAHPN hosted the annual national conference of the Association of African American Museums in Tallahassee. Florida Department of State staff participated in presentations about the technical aspects of historic preservation of African American properties, and the benefits of documenting and then presenting traditional African American culture in museums.

The Florida Historical Society (FHS) is the oldest cultural organization in the state, and the only state-wide historical society. Established in St. Augustine in 1856, the FHS was briefly inactive during the Civil War and Reconstruction, but was reestablished in 1902 and incorporated in 1905. The FHS is dedicated to preserving Florida's past through the collection, archival maintenance, and publication of historical documents and other materials relating to the history of Florida and its peoples.

The Society operates the FHS Press, which publishes a diverse collection of books, maintains the Library of Florida History with its extensive archival collections, and manages the Historic Rossetter House Museum in Melbourne, Florida. The FHS publishes scholarly research in the Florida Historical Quarterly and produces Florida Frontiers: The Weekly Radio Magazine of the Florida Historical Society. FHS presents a variety of educational public outreach programs, including the Florida History Film Festival and the Discover Florida Lecture Series. The Society reaches out to youth by providing various published materials and forms of media to assist teachers, and by sponsoring prizes for projects related to Florida history at the annual statewide Florida History Fair. The Florida Historical Society Annual Meeting, held each May, features panel discussions and other special events such as luncheons and tours. Since 1997, the Headquarters of the Society has been located in historic downtown Cocoa Village at the Library of Florida History.