Historic Preservation: KUA’s Got It Covered

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KISSIMMEE, Fla., April 10, 2007 – When it comes to preserving Kissimmee’s past, Kissimmee Utility Authority literally has things covered.

Using utility bucket trucks and industrial tarps, KUA crews on Friday carefully covered a circa 1900 residential dwelling at 804 Bryan Street to protect it from the elements until renovations can begin later this year.

The home, one of only a handful of structures remaining in the city constructed prior to 1905, was the one-time residence of Charles A. Carson, a local banker, city commissioner and Florida state senator in the latter part of the 1890s.

The home is unique for its two-story wraparound porch, ornate jigsaw cut detail woodwork framing, and decorative, centralized front entry framed by transom and side lights.

The structure was severely damaged during Hurricane Charley in 2004 and is in dire need of repair.

Kissimmee’s Community Redevelopment Agency purchased the home in 2006 for $480,000. Using state grants and other local funding, the CRA plans to begin restoration of the dwelling later this year. The project is scheduled to be completed in two years.

The restoration is expected to help set an example for other sensitive adaptive reuse projects through the development of a “best practices” guide covering, in detail, the entire restoration process. The Carson home will also be restored using Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building techniques to increase the energy efficiency of the structure and minimize environmental impact to surrounding properties.

Once completed the first floor of the building will house local historical groups and offer community meeting space. The second floor will house the offices of the Kissimmee CRA.

Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties.

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Chris M. Gent
(407) 933-9836