stat counter

Friday, March 16, 2018


   When writer Marjory Stoneman Douglas died in 1998 she left her house to the citizens of Florida.
   She was hoping people like you and I could visit the home she enjoyed for 72 years.  Unfortunately, we can not.
    As described by Miami Herald writer Andres Viglucci in today's paper,

Her quaint old South Grove home — owned by the state of Florida — is in poor shape, vacant and unused.  Vociferous objections from a group of neighbors worried that visitors would spoil their affluent, leafy residential oasis have foiled plans to open the house to the public, even on a limited basis.

    On Tuesday Tallahassee state park officials came to the Grove to try to rectify this situation.
   Twenty "stakeholders" were chosen to meet at the Grove Sailing Club, for a day-long session to discuss the house's future.  I was in the group because of my activist efforts in the past. Half of the people there were the house's neighbors. 
    We became the first people to tour the 1926 structure in years. Here's what it looks like,

 Marjory's house is a charming 900 sq.foot English Tudor cottage.
The front yard has been a dump since it was piled high with debris after last fall's hurricane. It is also used by the neighbors for overflow parking.


The trees that
Marjory loved
are still spectacular.
Before the tour "Jessica", a state park ranger, shared the history of the house. She lived there until rampant mold and decay made it uninhabitable.

Stepping inside we imagined what it was like when America's environmental hero lived there.

Marjory on her front steps, circa 1932.
 The living room where she did her writing
 The kitchen walls lay bare. To the right, a hole in the floor.

Marjory's bedroom
        After our tour we returned to the sailing club for a long discussion.  We concluded that the house should be restored, that Marjory's possessions should be returned to it, and the public should be allowed to visit on a limited basis.
    Later that evening the public was invited to join in. Except for a few of the
remaining neighbors, the attendees asked the State to do the same things.
It's what Marjory would have wanted.

Read more here:

No comments:

Post a Comment