Push continues to make casino a historic site
After years of effort, it appears the iconic Gulfport Casino may finally achieve a listing in the National Register of Historic Places. On Friday, the city staff will appear before the Florida National Register Review Board in Tallahassee in what is seen as the last step in a bid to have the beachfront landmark declared a historic site.
Though previous attempts proved unsuccessful, Gulfport's director of community development, Fred Metcalf, thinks the request to appear in Tallahassee is a positive sign.
"It's the first time we've gotten this far," he said.
Should the state review board determine the Quonset-style facility meets all the requirements for historic status, the request is then sent to the National Register for official determination.
"The building is over 50 years old, its original structure is relatively unchanged, and the Casino has played a significant role in the city's history," Metcalf said.
Noting that the original definition of the word casino meant gathering place, Metcalf added that the Gulfport Casino continues to be a focal point for the community.
"From the city's earliest travelers who waited at the Casino for the ferry to Pass-a-Grille, to the nightly dances we have today, people have always gathered at the Gulfport Casino. Recognizing that history would be a real plus for Gulfport," he said.
Council cancels March 18 meeting
The timing of next month's general election has resulted in the cancellation of the March 18 City Council meeting.
City Clerk Lesley DeMuth said changes to Florida's election law require that certification of results not occur until noon on the 12th day following the election. That means the winner of the March 11 council contest in Ward 3 could not be sworn in at the March 18 council meeting. Rather than meet with only four members, and no representation from Ward 3, the council chose to cancel its March 18 meeting. The schedule of city council meetings and workshops is at mygulfport.us.
Join the Zodiac art group at IACG
The Dalí's Zodiac Membership Committee has selected the Industrial Arts Center of Gulfport as the site of its monthly membership gathering scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday.
The Dalí's Zodiac Membership Committee loosely continues the tradition of the original Zodiac Group, a collection of 12 philanthropists who financially supported Salvador Dalí so he could concentrate on his art. Each member covered the artist's utilities for a month, receiving a painting from him in return.
"Like the original group, our intention is to support our brothers and sisters in the art community," said Jim Nixon, membership and group sales manager for the Dalí Museum. "The selection of IACG for the February meeting provides our members with another opportunity to extend that support."
The meeting is open to the public and includes a glassblowing demonstration. Cost for the evening, which includes light hors d'oeuvres and wine, is $50 per person; tickets are limited. Call Nixon at (727) 623-4708 or IACG at (727) 632-4920 for more information. The Industrial Arts Center of Gulfport is at 5437 29th Ave. S.
Compiled by Times correspondent Diane Craig. She can be reached at [email protected]