Saturday, July 04, 2015


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1.  On April 20, 2015, Michael A. Conroy, Gainesville general contractor originally from California, demolished 105-year old Carpenter's House in St. Augustine, Florida, a unique Old Florida historic structure.
2.  Carpenter's House was part of the Dow Museum of Historic Homes.
3.  Carpenter's House was formerly owned by the Daytona Museum of Arts and Sciences, where it was the volunteer and visitor center for a museum of nine homes assembled by the late Frederick Worcester Dow, 1939-2002.
4.  Carpenter's House and the other Kenneth Dow buildings were given to the Daytona Museum for exclusive use as a museum and restored with some $2 million in State of Florida Secretary of State historic preservation funds, including $30,000 stabilizing the Carpenter's House.
5.  Michael A. Conroy applied for the building demolition permit and he helped OLD ISLAND HOTELS, INC. and DAVID BARTON CORNEAL by providing materially false and misleading testimony under oath February 19, 2015 to the St. Augustine Historic Architecture Review Board that resulted in a demolition order dated April 20, 2015.
6.   Michael A. Conroy testified that Carpenter's House was unsafe and in "imminent" danger of falling down.  City minutes record: "Michael Corny reviewed the condition of the property and stated that the structure was an imminent liability. He said no one was allowed inside the structure. He confirmed that they would be saving as much of the material as they could once the structure was secure."
7.  Michael A. Conroy's testimony was demonstrably untrue, as established by the City of St. Augustine's building inspector's letter, read into the record by City staff April 16, 2015.
8.  Michael A. Conroy did not wait for the 30 day time for appeal of the demolition order to expire.
9.  Michael A. Conroy's employers, OLD ISLAND HOTELS, INC. and DAVID BARTON CORNEAL were advised through representative MARK ALAN KNIGHT of the time for appeal.  The building was destroyed on April 20, 2015, the same day the demolition  permit was issued.
10. Michael A. Conroy had no factual basis to push for the destruction of Carpenter's House and did so as a means of facilitating cramming a hotel in Historic Preservation District HP-1.
11.  Michael A. Conroy has repeatedly been issued stop-work orders by the City of St. Augustine for doing work without a permit on the Dow site.
12.  Michael A. Conroy has expressed the opinion that St. Augustine is a "strange town."
13. During a June 2, 2015 Planning and Zoning Board meeting on a rezoning sought by CORNEAL for 108 Bridge Street, Respondent CONROY yelled menacingly at two residents located fifteen (15) feet across an aisle: "Shut up!"
14.  Conroy has no significant experience in working with historic buildings but vast experience with large, ugly projects, including "University Corners,"
which he describes as the "largest private development in the history of Alachua County."
15.  Michael A. Conroy may have evaded Secretary of the Interior guidelines and hacked up the interiors of eight historic buildings built from 1790-1910, already destroying one of them.
16.  Michael A. Conroy and DAVID BARTON CORNEAL are seeking a ten year tax holiday for putative "improvements" despite violating Secretary of the Interior guidelines and hacked up the interiors of eight historic buildings built from 1790-1910, already destroying one of them.
17.  Come speak out on July 16, 2015, at HARB on three (3) DOW MUSEUM ITEMS
DAVID BARTON CORNEAL has testified that the DOW MUSEUM OF HISTORIC HOMES is the "heart of St. Augustine." He's already destroyed one of our historic homes -- Carpenter's House.
Here's Michael A. Conroy's claim to fame in Gainesville, the kind of ugly Florida developer monstrosity -- subsidized with millions of dollars of Gainesville taxpayer money.  Wonder why a former Gainesville Regional Utilities Manager, St. Augustine's City Manager JOHN PATRICK REGAN, P.E., said he was "thrilled" with CORNEAL's purchase of the Dow property to First Coast News in November 2014?  You tell me.

An artist's renderings of The Standard at Gainesville looking northwest from the corner of West University and Northwest 13th Street .

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