Friday, January 18, 2013

Update on Thalatta. Tax dollars, not grant dollars, and not historically restored

The weekend is here and I am thinking about what to do with the family.  Along with the Beaux Art Show, perhaps we should spend some time on the bay, at Palmetto Bay's Thalatta Estate, assuming it is not closed for a private event.

How is the park doing? There was a plan presented by Staff at the Wednesday, 1/16/2013 Committee of the Whole meeting for renovating the home, but the plan does not restore the home to its historical significance.  In reviewing the presentation, I am disappointed that the current Palmetto Bay council is not trying to restore the Thalatta home to its historical significance.  The (few) comments from the council members appear to range from demolishing the entire home, alleging that it would be less expensive to replicate, to stone silence of the issue.

The proposed construction project goes out to bid soon.  The next council action will be approving the staff selection of the lowest qualified bidder.

This property has special significant to me having fought hard to save it and eventual led the purchasing of this property as well as the grants to fund the purchase and initial updates to the bay front park property, which I proudly proclaimed “put the bay, back in Palmetto Bay. 

There is the possibility of grant monies for restoration.  We used to do so well at obtaining grants and appropriations.  I was surprised to hear nothing from the current mayor or other council members in attendance bring up the question.  The mayor and council should not give up grants.  There are grants still available.  I offer up just one potential source:

Check out (info from the official state web site): Historic Preservation Grants Program

The Historic Preservation Grants Program allocates state funds appropriated by the Legislature and federal funds apportioned to the state by the U. S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, for the preservation and protection of the state's historic and archaeological sites and properties. The program is administered by the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State. Two types of grants are awarded through this program: Small Matching Grants and Special Category Grants.

Of course, it appears that the council has missed the 10/15 – 12/15/12 application period for the special category grants, for funding requests from $50,000 to $350,000, but there is always next year for this council. 

Preservation is important.  Thalatta is to be a park, not a for profit wedding business.  I joined the  successful fight as a fellow resident against the ill-advised commercialization of this property by the current administration.  See 4/17/2012, Council opposes Thalatta event facility expansion and others, CLICK HERE to view the thread index for all the Thalatta related articles.

The home, now known as Thalatta Estate, was purchased through grant monies provided through the Florida Communities Trust; SFWMD, Florida Recreational Development Assistance Program (FRDAP) and other assistance.  We owe it to these large investors of public money to stay with the spirit of the grants and try to continue to properly preserve the Thalatta Estate for current and future generations to enjoy, Palmetto Bay’s home on the bay.


  1. The mayor does not want to work to obtain grants. It is simpler to bill the residents for her follies.

  2. You raise a great question of why Palmetto Bay no longer competes for grants. Palmetto Bay had a great record in prior years. Palm Beach County 1916 Courthouse was awarded grants of $300,000 in 2005 and $356,526 in 2006. This money went a long way to restoration. You can't This program is still being funded. Let me know if you need any suggestions or help with the bay front land Gene, don't let that get away.

  3. I keep telling you Gene to sit down and talk to Shelley. Help her. She is still new to this.