Information and photo provided by Venice Area Historical Society and Florida Trust for Historic Preservation.
Photo caption:
Venice Area Historical Society leaders Mary Huba (second from left) and George Miller (at right) were on hand at the Preservation on Main Street 2023 conference in Ocala to accept the prestigious award from the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. Mary and George led the decade-long rehabilitation and 2023 opening of the Circus Train Car Museum on the Historic Venice Train Depot campus, which the award recognized.

Pictured with them are Harry Klinkhamer, Historical Resources Manager for the City of Venice (on left); Jean Trammell, Chair of the Venice MainStreet Design Committee (at center); and Tracy Silver, President of Venice MainStreet (second from right). Venice MainStreet, which was co-founded by VAHS Vice President Betty Intagliata, was recognized for its 35th anniversary as an organization working to strengthen and promote Venice’s historic downtown. 

Venice Area Historical Society wins 2023 Florida Preservation Award
The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation recognized excellence in historic preservation throughout the state with its 2023 Florida Preservation Awards during the 2023 Preservation on Main Street conference. The awards were conferred along with the Secretary of State Awards, which are an important event at the annual conference.

Preservation Award nominations were submitted by the public with recipients selected by a jury composed of preservationists from around the state. Preservationists and projects were recognized in five categories: Master Artisan, Restoration, Rehabilitation and Adaptive Use, Preservation Communications/Media, Organizational Achievement and the Sallye Jude Award for Resilient Preservation. Additionally, the Board of Trustees granted its prestigious President’s Award.

The Venice Area Historical Society (VAHS) was the winner of the Organizational Achievement Award. The Organizational Achievement category acknowledges achievement in preservation by a group, corporation, neighborhood or other organization.

About VAHS
For over three decades, the Venice Area Historical Society has remained steadfast in its commitment to preserving and promoting the rich heritage of Venice. Through their educational programs and initiatives, VAHS has made significant contributions to the community.

Offering free tours of the Historic Venice Train Depot and hosting the Betty Intagliata Lecture Series, the organization ensures that residents and visitors alike have access to in-depth knowledge about Venice’s history. Its commitment to education extends to scholarships for graduating high school seniors and outreach programs with youth-related organizations, fostering a deep appreciation for Venice’s past among younger generations.

VAHS has actively supported the restoration of the Venice Train Depot, commissioned a statue in honor of a circus legend and played a pivotal role in preserving historic buildings and exhibits. A notable achievement is the Circus Train Car Museum project. By successfully fundraising, acquiring and rehabilitating a former Ringling circus car, VAHS created a museum that not only showcases the city’s circus legacy, but also offers visitors a glimpse into the daily lives of performers.

VAHS’s comprehensive and sustained commitment to historic preservation and education has established the organization as a leader in their field that works to enrich the local community and contribute to a broader understanding and appreciation of Venice’s history. VAHS continues to preserve, promote and celebrate the unique cultural tapestry of Venice, ensuring that future generations can cherish and learn from the city’s rich heritage.

Tours of the Circus Car and Train Depot
Saturdays – 10 AM to 1 PM
303 E. Venice Ave. Venice FL 34285