Historic (?) AIA State Designation Sought for Road

By Mattson, Marcia | The Florida Times Union, May 17, 1998 | Go to article overview
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Historic (?) AIA State Designation Sought for Road


Mattson, Marcia, The Florida Times Union


********** CORRECTION (5/23/98)

Because of information from a St. Johns County committee studying

the history of Florida A1A, a story on Page B-1 Sunday misstated

where four Nazi saboteurs were captured after landing at Ponte Vedra

Beach in 1942. They were captured in New York and Chicago.

**********

The oldest pottery discovered in the Southeast was found at a

dig south of St. Augustine.

North of Butler Beach is a house that was firebombed after

Martin Luther King Jr. stayed there in the summer of 1964.

All along Florida A1A in St. Johns County are forts, parks and

historic buildings.

And a committee of county residents is mapping out the obscure,

along with well-known attractions, hoping the road that passes

through the nation's oldest city will become one of Florida's

first state scenic and historic highways.

The A1A stretch would start at Mickler Road, just south of

Ponte Vedra Beach. It would end at Flagler County, where

residents also are applying for the designation.

Committee members hope the designation would attract money from

grants and other sources to pay for bicycle paths, scenic

parking areas, kiosks, signs and pamphlets to help travelers

experience the highway's natural and historic significance.

"These are people that have gotten on the committee because we

love the area and we see it changing too fast," said committee

member Jeannie Fitzpatrick, an area artist.

"The more you educate people, the more you want to save what is

beautiful here," she said.

The group is mapping famous sites including the Castillo de San

Marcos, the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum and Anastasia

State Park.

Lesser-known sites include:

About 35 historical sites, such as the home where King stayed

at 5280 Atlantic View, just north of Butler Beach, and another

home on Rudolph Avenue at Butler Beach that also hosted him in

the 1960s. The Atlantic View house was firebombed after its

address was published.

The St. Augustine Beach site where German saboteurs, who

entered the country from U-boats off the coast of New York and

Florida, were captured in 1942. Their mission was to whip up

discontent with the U.S. government, said author and historian

David Nolan, who helped identify the historic sites.

A cottage at 177 Surfside, just off A1A in the Vilano Beach

area, where author Sinclair Lewis started his full-time writing

career.

A house on Broward Avenue north of Crescent Beach that

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings bought

with her earnings from The Yearling. Rawlings lived there from

1939 to her death in 1953, hosting Ernest Hemingway and other

authors.

More than 40 little-known archaeological sites along A1A, some

dating back 5,000 years.

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