HomeLocal governmentThelma Boltin Center update scheduled for next Historic Preservation Board meeting
Thelma Boltin Center update scheduled for next Historic Preservation Board meeting
August 31, 2022
Press release from City of Gainesville
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Neighbors are invited to the next meeting of the City’s Historic Preservation Board where staff from Wannemacher Jensen Architects, Inc. (WJA) will present design concepts and a vision for the City’s Thelma Boltin Center. Everyone interested in learning more about the challenges to reopening the cultural landmark is encouraged to attend.
When: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6.
Where: City Hall Auditorium, 200 E. University Ave.
The Historic Preservation Board will not vote on any proposal at the meeting but expects to hear from stakeholders. Members of the board are area residents who are appointed by the Gainesville City Commission, in addition to a staff liaison.
Built in the Northeast Residential Historic District in 1943, the facility originally known as the Gainesville Servicemen’s Center was an entertainment venue for U.S. service members stationed at nearby military bases. The City of Gainesville purchased the facility in 1946 and later renamed it in honor of its first director, Thelma Boltin.
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The City is committed to protecting the community’s future through investment in municipal facilities and infrastructure. The meeting will be livestreamed on the City’s websiteand later archived online.
2000 – Thelma Boltin Center is last renovated.
Aug. 2019 – Gainesville City Commission approves a comprehensive renovation of the center.
March 2020 – Center closes due to the pandemic.
Dec. 2020 – City staff discovers a portion of the roof over the center’s auditorium appears collapsed and hires a structural engineering firm to assess the damage and secure the roof.
Nov. 2021 – Firm finds structural damage to the center and recommends either demolition and replacement of the auditorium or demolition of the entire building.
April 2022 – Gainesville City Commission directs staff to work with WJA and the Historic Preservation Board on a plan for the property.
Spring-Summer 2022 – City staff gathers input from stakeholders and provides updates at monthly Historic Preservation Board meetings on May 3, July 5, and August 8.
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