Town urged to preserve ‘historic’ Colony
A specialist in history and preservation of mid-century modern architecture is urging the Town to save the Colony Resort as a jewel of Longboat’s past and a desirable destination for the future.
Author Caroline Zaleski wrote to the Town Commission this week that she had read “with some distress about the possible tear down of the buildings at the Colony Beach and Tennis Club.”
She further wrote that the Colony is an historic building and that it should be retro-fitted for the benefit of the ownership and larger community.
“The Colony is a rare surviving example of mid-twentieth century low-rise building complex with a shared landscape and community amenities. I would think it is one of your town’s ‘jewels in the crown,’ so to speak, and appropriately retro fitted, it will bring the town a highest and best use and a reason to make Longboat Key a place to visit,” wrote Zaleski.
Zaleski urged commissioners to use tools within the regulatory process to preserve the Colony.
“It would be an outrage to tear down and cut these historic buildings out of Longboat Key’s livable history and sense of place,” wrote Zaleski.
The reference to the Colony as historical dovetails with the Association of Unit Owner’s recent declaration that it intends to renovate the resort rather than scrape and build anew. The argument for those who want to renovate has been to preserve units seaward of the erosion control line as well as to be able to renovate at grade as opposed to elevating due to FEMA regulations.
Those who favor a scrape and build approach say the units are too far gone, the layout and materials are antiquated and the cost will ultimately be higher to retro-fit the existing units to code. It has been a matter of debate and legal review as to whether a renovation will require a 75 percent vote of the unit owners.