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New VIC historical marker unveiled

Marker is the 12th in a series developed by the city

The newest addition to the growing number of specially designed historical information markers was unveiled on Wednesday during a brief ceremony at the St. Augustine/St. Johns County Visitors Information Center (The VIC). The marker, located on the west side of The VIC, 10 S. Castillo Drive, offers details on the construction of the facility.

Vice Mayor Nancy Sikes-Kline offered remarks at the ceremony and was assisted in the unveliing by Caroline Craig and Kay David, both informational hosts at The VIC with more than 35 years combined service to visitors.

The marker offers a brief history of The VIC, a project of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, which opened on February 14, 1935 and "featured a main hall with a seating capacity of 500, a 36' stage with green velvet curtains and lounge rooms furnished with bridge tables and leather padded chairs.

The marker's two photographs are of the building's architect, Frederick A. Henderich, and of the facility when it was newly constructed. The VIC was originally part of a recreational complex that included shuffle board, tennis and croquet courts, and areas for baseball and football on the grounds surrounding the building.

The facility underwent extensive renovations in the fall of 2012 and now in addition to welcoming visitors to St. Augustine also hosts a variety of historic and cultural exhibits, including its current program, Picasso: Art and Arena.

In addition to the new marker at The VIC, there are 11 others in the series located at:

  • Twine Park, corner of Riberia St. and Lovett St., with information about Henry and Kat Twine;
  • at the fountains on the south side of The VIC with information related to the Caños de San Francisco, or Fountains of San Francisco, a gift from the City of Avilés, Spain;
  • at the Santo Domingo Redoubt with background on that portion of the city’s colonial defensive walls;
  • near 44 St. George St. with information about the city’s Menorcan heritage;
  • near 121 St. George St. relating to the visit and speech by Frederick Douglas;
  • at the corner of Orange St. and Cordova St. with information about Los Floridanos, descendants of the city’s original families of settlers;
  • near 42 St. George St. relating the history of the Haitian-born Spanish military officer, General Georges Biassou;
  • in front of City Hall with the history of The Alcazar Hotel; and
  • in the Plaza de la Constitucion there are three markers with information on its cannons, the Constitución Monument, and the Andrew Young Crossing.

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