Presentation scheduled for City Commission’s May 22 meeting
On May 22, the City of St. Augustine will recognize one of the community’s most staunch and passionate advocates for historic preservation by presenting her with the Adelaide Sanchez Award for Historic Preservation, Restoration, Education and Interpretation.
City Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline has a years-long record of working to ensure that the structures linking our city to its past are preserved for today’s generation and for the many to come in the future.
The nomination was made by Sikes-Kline’s fellow Commissioner, Leanna Freeman, and was supported unanimously by the entire Commission at its April 24 meeting.
The presentation of the Adelaide Sanchez Award to Nancy Sikes-Kline will be on Monday, May 22 early in the regular meeting of the St. Augustine City Commission. The meeting starts at 5:00pm in The Alcazar Room, City Hall, 75 King St. The meeting is open to the public and may be viewed live via Government TV, channel 3 on Comcast Cable, and at www.CityStAugTV.com.
Nancy Sikes-Kline’s continuous advocacy
In making the nomination, Commissioner Freeman spoke of Sikes-Kline’s leadership in historic preservation as “Having done more to advance the cause of historic preservation, and served to inspire so many others who are not part of the preservation community to become educated, to get involved, to know what’s going on so they then consider themselves preservationists. That is a huge, huge accomplishment.”
“When I became a Commissioner I knew I loved our city and its history, but I did not have the appreciation that I have for it now, and for that I credit the person who influenced me the most - Commissioner Sikes-Kline,” said Freeman.
Sikes-Kline is a native Floridian and has lived in St. Augustine since 1984. She received her bachelor's degree in geography from the University of Florida during which she worked summer internships with the Tampa Hillsborough Historic Preservation Board surveying historic properties and later with the City of St. Augustine’s Planning and Building Department. That second internship wound up with her being offered a position in St. Augustine doing similar work.
It has been through her donated time to the cause of historic preservation that Sikes-Kline has achieved some of her biggest successes, including the preservation and rehabilitation of the Bridge of Lions as an active member of Save Our Bridge, and as President of the Junior Service League the rescue and restoration of the St. Augustine Lighthouse Lightkeeper’s House and Lighthouse tower. Over the years she has served on the Cross and Sword Board of Directors, the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board of Trustees, and the Florida National Guard Historical Foundation. Sikes-Kline is also past President of the Citizens for the Preservation of St. Augustine and a founding board member of the St. Augustine North Davis Shores (SANDS) Neighborhood Association.
First elected to the City Commission in 2008, Sikes-Kline was already familiar with city government though her service on the city’s Historic Preservation Advisory Committee, the Historic Architectural Review Board, and as Vice Chair of the Parking and Traffic Committee. She was Chair and remains a member of the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization where she is a fierce advocate for St. Augustine’s transportation needs tempered with a sensitivity towards its historic character.
Sikes-Kline’s advocacy for historic preservation is far reaching including a strong commitment to archaeological research. She was a founding Chairperson of the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program, and past Chair of the St. Johns County Historic Resource Review Board (now the Cultural Resources Review Board). The city’s archaeological curatorial center, The Middleton Center, is named for Sikes-Kline’s mother who bequeathed her home to support the city’s archaeological program.
Always a student, Sikes-Kline has continued to embrace training even as a Commissioner having obtained her Certificate of Completion from the Florida League of Cities and Scott Daily Advanced Institute for Elected Municipal Officials, Level III training program, and completed training from the Metropolitan Planning Organization Advisory Council Training Institute.
Adelaide Sanchez Award
The award’s namesake, Adelaide Sanchez, was a native of St. Augustine and worked at the St. Augustine Record from 1930 through 1943 where she was a reporter, features writer, society editor and the Associated Press correspondent. She joined the staff of The Miami Herald where she worked for 30 years serving as assistant woman’s editor covering numerous society events during that city’s very formative three decades. After her retirement in 1973 she returned to St. Augustine, and continued writing through newsletters for the Flagler Hospital Auxiliary and Trinity Episcopal Church and biographical sketches that were included in the program for Cross and Sword until her death in 1994.
But it is her appreciation and love of the city’s historic properties, and her active promotion to ensure the preservation of those resources, that garnered this award being named in her honor. Indeed, her support of historic resources is a classic example of one who “walked the walk.”
In accordance with her wishes, her home on Marine St. was bequeathed to the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board. After the board’s abolishment, the property was transferred to the city and sold with the proceeds being held in trust, as per her wishes, with the interest earned being designated for awards, programs and stipends with the goal of advancing the interests of historic restoration, preservation, education and interpretation.
Recipients of the Adelaide Sanchez Award for Historic Preservation, Restoration, Education and Interpretation receive a statuette of the lions that grace the western side of the Bridge of Lions. The molds for the replicas were crafted by St. Augustine sculptor Enzo Torcoletti, and each statuette is inscribed with his signature.
In 2014, Sheila Greenleaf received the Adelaide Sanchez Award for her work that resulted in the preservation of the 110 year Albert Lewis Trough, a horse trough, nearly forgotten and long neglected, alongside South Dixie Highway. Her work resulted in the preservation of the artifact as well as the community’s education regarding its significance.
That same year, Philip McDaniel and Ryan Dettra were recognized for their work that preserved one of St. Augustine’s most unique buildings from the early 20th century, the Ice Plant, built between 1917 and 1924 and today home of the St. Augustine Distillery and a restaurant/specialty cocktail lounge, appropriately named, The Ice Plant.
The St. Augustine Garrison, received the award in 2016 for its work to increase understanding of the city’s history as a 18th century Spanish military town through demonstrations, interpretive programs, portrayals and publications, best known for its ongoing living history reenactments.
Also in 2016, The Woman’s Exchange of St. Augustine received the award for its unwavering commitment and dedication to the preservation of the Peña-Peck House, a building that has stood on the corner of St. George St. and Treasury St for over 250 years.