Even though the historic Hotel Putnam in DeLand is gone, its bricks will support historic preservation in DeLand for years to come.
The West Volusia Historical Society and DeLand’s Greater Union Life Center are teaming up to raise money by selling salvaged bricks from the demolished Hotel Putnam. The pieces of the 100-year-old building will benefit ongoing efforts to restore the DeLand House Museum and the J.W. Wright Building.
The bricks will be numbered and sold for $50 apiece with a commemorative plaque designed by local artist Karen Tweedie bearing the phrase “A century of memories” and information about the Hotel Putnam. The sand bricks will be fitted with felt bottoms for easy display on desks or shelves as well as a sealant to prevent them from degrading.
West Volusia Historical Society board member and local preservationist Mark Shuttleworth said they expect to sell around 500 bricks. Proceeds from the fundraiser will be split between the efforts to rehabilitate the DeLand House Museum at 137 W. Michigan Ave. and the Wright Building at 260 W. Voorhis Ave.
“It’s 100 years of memories,” Shuttleworth said.
Bricks will be available for local pickup soon, but anyone interested in reserving a brick can call the West Volusia Historical Society at 386-740-6813, or visit their office at 137 W. Michigan Ave., during the hours of noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Bricks can be reserved with a donation of at least $50 per brick.
In addition to the bricks saved for the fundraiser, Shuttleworth thanked the demolition contractors for ensuring the Putnam’s historic sand bricks could be salvaged. With the help of the City of DeLand and the MainStreet DeLand Association, Shuttleworth said, he hopes to salvage and store as many as 20,000 bricks that can be utilized for renovation and expansion of historic buildings in the future.
Volunteers are still needed to load bricks onto pallets. Interested in helping preserve bricks? Contact Mark Shuttleworth at 386-804-3094.
So, is this supposed to make it OK for our City officials to have allowed another example of “demolition by neglect” — the Hotel Putnam, and to provide cover for the forthcoming demolition of the Old Jail–after all, now we have 20,000 sand bricks to help restore the buildings damaged by the demolition. In fact, if the demolition of the Old Jail causes a “worst case” scenario where some buildings are so badly damaged that they are no longer safe and have to be demolished–we will have an additional supply of sand bricks!
And, an additional supply of commemorative brinks for further fundraising. If the City demolishes enough historic buildings in Downtown DeLand, the West Volusia Historical Society can create a series of commemorative bricks. People can collect the series and display them with the pictures of what we once had in “historic” Downtown DeLand.