Dean Park Historic District, Inc.

7 pm, The Triangle, adjourning to 1535 Cranford Avenue, Fort Myers

Present:       Caitie Eck, Sheila Pastor, Ann Martindale, Artis Henderson, Michelle Nugent, Donna Ellswick, Terry Leary

Absent:        Jordan Parrott, John Podczerwinsky, Brad McGrath

Guests:        Steve Jacobs, Barry Starke, Carl Brunick, Bryan Murphy, Sarah Goldstein, Will Burke, Neil Wilkinson

  1. Call to Order & President’s Remarks (Caitie Eck)


  1. Special Item:  Discussion of The Triangle


Caitie: I saw an article in the paper saying the city owns the downtown statues and is lookng for a place to put them. She suggested that we put one in the Triangle. “When I sent out the email, what I meant was ‘It might be nice to have some public art in the Triangle.’”

Ann: I think it would have to go to the Historic Preservation Commission. It would have to be compatible with the character of the neighborhood.

Michelle: If people are opposed, maybe we could talk to the city about the area on Seabord and Second where they’re going to have the park. That would be the best of both worlds.

Ann: There’s also a piece of land to the west of the yellow house that’s another triangle, 98x98x50, owned by the city. “It just seems to be ignored, but that’s there.”

Barry: I’d like to see a change of function of this property so that it can be used for gatherings. By the way, I design parks. I’m a park planner. It’d be multi-use. Little stage, radial pattern.

Neil: I want to be involved in whatever we do to both triangles. I’d rather have green space than that. We should let the city know we’re ready to be involved.

Ann: We could form a committee, we could do a survey of Dean Park residents to get everyone’s input. “It would be really nice to take affirmative steps, so that we are not protesting after the fact.”

Sarah: In terms of not making changes to the triangle on heritage grounds, none of this is historic. “We can’t preserve our neighborhoods in amber.”

The group visited the second Dean Park Triangle located west of 2643 Providence.

Ann made a motion to form a committee to look into upgrading the three park areas.  The committee will consists of Bryan and Neil (co-chairs), Caitie, Barry Starke, Sarah Goldstein and Michelle Nugent.  Motion was seconded and approved.

3.  Approval of Minutes – December 5, 2018 and January 30, 2019. The minutes were approved.

4. Treasurer’s Report (Ann Martindale)

a,  Account balances to date: Checking account:  $2,201.79, Savings account: $7,783.05, PayPal account:  $448.63.  TOTAL: $10,433.47.

b. Fundraising results for fiscal year (Sept. 1, 2018 – Aug. 31, 2019) to date: $2340 from 30 donors (figure includes $370 from Progressive Dinner)

c. Expenses for 2018-2019 fiscal year to date: $3,552.20.

5.  Report on Historic Preservation Commission

Caitie: Received an email from John Podczerwinsky, and he resigned from the HPC.

Bryan: James Martin is an engineer. He might be interested. Bryan will mention that there’s a spot available.

Ann: Will give Bryan the email for Gina Sabiston, HPC chair.

6,  Old Business 

     a. Status of Warehouse Property at 2801 Michigan Avenue

Caitie: Heard that it sold; that was just a rumor?

Bryan: It’s being used to house furniture for the new hotel, Luminary.

Michelle: I’ll call the realtor up tomorrow to check on status.

     b. Status of website (Ann).

Ann: Rick Janis sent out a series of emails about updates to the website that he’d like to see done. “I’ll tell you honestly, I’d like to unload a few things. If Rick would like to take that puppy on, great. My feeling about the website is that I will just hang in there and do what I’ve normally done.”

Michelle: If somebody steps up, great. If not, then we’ll let it be. I think we need to stay focused on what’s coming up.

Sarah: What could happen, is that someone would go through the email and see what points are most relevant.

Ann: Will send Sarah Rick’s email update so she can see it and maybe go through it.

No action needed at this point

     c. Status of First and Second Streets – 2-way (Michelle Nugent)

Michelle: After November will be when it starts, per an email from someone in the city.

     d. Bylaw amendment for Assistant Secretary & Assistant Treasurer (Ann) Tabled..

7,  New Business

     a. Dean Park Events for 2018-2019 (Artis Henderson)

Artis: I’d be happy to do the same events again this year.

Ann: We’d like to do the same variety as last year. Why don’t we send out a tentative schedule? And throw the annual meeting date into the schedule.

     b. House Tour 2020 (Sheila Pastor/Laurie Starke)

The House Tour will be March 28, 2020.  So far, Terry and Laurie have committed to include their homes in the tour.

Sheila: We’re going to need help. As long as we have the houses before I leave, I’ll be happy.

Sarah: A suggestion to include cottage house in the back.

Group discussion:  We’ll shoot for eight houses. Sheila will try Carl, Michelle will reach out to Justin. Other possibilities — little yellow house on Michigan, house next to Caitie’s pink house (Ken and Ron?).

     c. 100th Anniversary Committee – Caitie, Sheila, Michelle, Artis, Ann, Sarah and Terry

Sarah: It’s a great opportunity to build up the Dean park fan club and let people know we’re here. She suggested a Street Fair with market stalls, closing off the streets.

Michelle: Booths from places like Anthony and Tyna, Butterfly Estates.

Ann: Would be nice if the Street Fair reflected the spirit of the neighborhood (antiques, etc.). We could consider it a celebratory year. The Street Fair could be a month prior to the House Tour, with tour tickets sold at the fair.

Caitie: What I’ve learned is that I need to be on Facebook promoting stuff online earlier. With a market fair type thing, do we reach out to the city to find out what it takes?

Sarah: Having a budget for boosted posts makes sense. A couple hundred dollars. We need to send out press releases early. Will reach out to someone who knows market organizers. Also, this would be a good moment to publish a coffee table book about the neighborhood. We would need to commission a photographer. They can be a good fundraiser for a community group.

Michelle: Maybe we could look at that for the next home tour, start getting photos for a future coffee table book.

Artis: Will pitch News-Press and Gulfshore Life again, plus Wink TV comes with Gulfshore Life.

     d. Other New Business

Donna: Lots on First Street. There was a discussion on Next Door Dean Park; the sale is pending. Lynette Schwab contacted the realtor who said they want to build multifamily townhouses there. “I think we need to be involved and babysit it.”

8.  Adjournment