Nelmar Terrace is in the process of being added as the seventh neighborhood to be designated as a National Register Historic District.
The city application was recently represented by the State of Florida, Division of Historical Resources, to the Florida National Register Review Board. Since it was approved, the formal nomination will now be submitted to the Keeper of the National Register, Washington, D. C. for the final decision.
The city will be notified when that decision is made, however Mark Knight, Director of Planning and Building stated “the application is in order and is expected to be approved, thus adding another neighborhood to the National Register in St. Augustine.”
Nelmar Terrace Background
The Nelmar Terrace District covers all or parts of nine blocks, approximately 29 acres, with 100 contributing buildings and is roughly bordered by Hospital Creek on the east, San Marco Ave. on the west, San Carlos Ave. on the south and Milton and Alfred streets on the north.
North City consists of two distinct historic areas, the first immediately north of the City Gate to San Carlos Ave., the post-1821 city limit. The second major area is located north of San Carlos Ave. Significant development of this area occurred only after 1900. Prior to that period the area was mostly cleared and used for defense and agriculture purposes. Only three buildings in the area date from the 19th century with concentrated development at the beginning of WWI in the Nelmar Terrace and Fullerwood Park Subdivisions. (The Florida School for Deaf and Blind dates to the mid - 1880's.)
The topography of Nelmar Terrace is flat and only between five and ten feet above sea level. The neighborhood is further enhanced with mature magnolia, oak, pine, palm and willows. Oak canopies are along May, Magnolia and Nelmar streets with a palm row along Nelmar Street. These streets are the most picturesque in the city. The wideness (mostly 50') of the streets of the district give Nelmar Terrace a sense of place unique to St. Augustine.
Nelmar Terrace Construction and Architecture
The buildings in Nelmar Terrace are post 1913, when the former Raney Tract was re-subdivided and wholesale residential construction began. The period of development and architectural styles, including Bungalow, Colonial Revisal, and Mediterranean styles are similar to Fullerwood Park. Residences on Nelmar Ave., , however, are larger and more detailed than any in the city north of San Carlos Ave. The neighborhood includes small concentrations of buildings which appear to be have been built by building contractors from similar plans. A series of Colonial revival homes are concentrated along Nelmar Ave. between Douglas and Magnolia. Four Spanish style residences are located in the block east of Magnolia between Nelmar and Milton. Milton St between San Marco and Douglas contains a concentration of Bungalows. May St. is the location of the Moorish Revival Adrian Pillars House, many Bungalows and several Tudor style residences.
Development of Nelmar Terrace was completed in the post World War II years with little building occurring in the area during the pre-WWII and Depression years.
City of St. Augustine National Register of Historic Districts
The other National Register Historic Districts are City of St. Augustine (downtown St. Augustine,) Model Land Company, Abbott Tract, Lincolnville, North City and The Fullerwood Park District.
The City of St. Augustine’s Comprehensive Plan calls for the city to attempt to achieve national register designation status for neighborhoods.