Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Board picks firm to evaluate historic Chinsegut Hill manor

BROOKSVILLE — Although it wasn't technically needed, the group looking to begin renovations of the 164-year-old manor house at Chinsegut Hill got the blessing of the Hernando County Commission on Tuesday to choose at its own expense a local company to perform a structural analysis of the building.

Friends of Chinsegut board member Christie Anderberg said her group interviewed two inspection companies and decided to spend $14,100 to hire Preservation Resource of Brooksville to evaluate the historic edifice and come up with estimates on how much it would cost to restore it.

"We're ready to get moving quickly," said Anderberg, who has spent the past two years spearheading the effort to keep Chinsegut Hill in public hands and off the state's surplus land list. "Once we know what we're up against, we'll be able to formulate a plan of what it will take to get the house ready for the public to visit."

However, that depends on whether the county will go through with its plan to lease Chinsegut Hill from the state Department of Environmental Protection, the agency that currently controls the property. In January, the County Commission approved a plan for its staff to proceed toward a five-year lease for the house and the surrounding 114 acres, and to subsequently sublease it to Anderberg's group as a multipurpose tourist destination and education and nature center.

However, commissioners said they needed to know first whether the structure, which has sat vacant and in disrepair since the University Of South Florida vacated it nearly four years ago, was even salvageable.

Appearing before commissioners, Anderberg said that while preliminary inspections have shown the structure suffers from progressive wood rot, water and termite damage, only a top-to-bottom inspection will reveal how extensive the damage is. That, she said, is why her group was willing to gamble its own money on paying for it.

"It's important to us that you be able to make a fully informed decision before signing a lease," Anderberg said.

Commissioner Wayne Dukes said he worried that the lease plan might be falling behind schedule, and wondered why Anderberg's group was ordered to get county approval to hire an inspector it had agreed it would pay for.

"We are not the deciding factor here," Dukes said.

Anderberg said money to pay for the inspection will come from the $27,600 her group received from a state historic matching grant fund. She said her group is required to apply the funding to the Chinsegut Hill effort by June 30.

Other deadlines loom as well. County Administrator Len Sossamon said the DEP has given the county until May 15 to decide whether it wants to enter into a lease agreement. After that, the property could be put up for sale.

Anderberg said that it will take an estimated 60 days for Preservation Resource to complete its inspection and to issue a report on the manor house.

Logan Neill can be reached at or (352) 848-1435.

Board picks firm to evaluate historic Chinsegut Hill manor 02/26/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 8:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 10 sailors missing, 5 hurt in collision of USS John S. McCain

    SINGAPORE — A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer collided with a tanker early Monday in waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca, and at least 10 sailors are missing.

    The Navy said five others were hurt.

  2. Pasco County Fire Rescue fighting a two-alarm fire started by an explosion


    Two houses are on fire and one victim has been critically burned and taken to a trauma center following an explosion at a home at 8652 Velvet Dr, in Port Richey.

  3. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  4. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush


    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  5. Tampa man turns himself in for Sunday hit and run fatality

    Public Safety

    A Tampa man was arrested early Sunday after he struck and killed a pedestrian, left the scene, and then called 911 to turn himself in.