St. Augustine’s Historic Architectural Review Board is asking a University of Florida board to get feedback from people in the black community on a proposed memorial to U.S. Colored Troops from St. Augustine.

Board members also want project officials to get input from relatives of local men who served in the Colored Troops and to bring back concept drawings that show how the memorial will look when it is installed. The board voted unanimously to wait until its April 16 meeting to decide whether to issue a certificate of appropriateness for the project.

The UF Historic St. Augustine board, which cares for state-owned properties in the area, is behind the project.

The memorial would be in the park on the west side of Governor’s House Cultural Center and Museum. It’s the same area that hosts a monument to Confederate Gen. William Loring and his ashes.

UF Historic St. Augustine decided to add the U.S. Colored Troops memorial instead of moving the Loring Monument or pursuing other options.

Some people in the community are still advocating for removal of both the Loring monument and the city’s memorial to Confederate soldiers, which is a short distance to the east in the Plaza de la Constitucion. Others have opposed moving the structures.

HARB member Gaere MacDonald said he was glad that UF Historic St. Augustine had decided to keep the Loring monument and add the U.S. Colored Troops memorial.

“I don’t think we should rewrite history,” he said.

He said he supported getting feedback from black residents and relatives of the men who will be listed on the monument.

“Because it’s their monument, really,” MacDonald said.

HARB member Jon Benoit encouraged the university to go out into the community for input.

“We have to work harder to go find those voices,” he said.

St. Augustine men were among those who fought against the Confederacy in the U.S. Colored Troops, according to a plaque at the base of St. Augustine’s Confederate soldiers memorial.

“The USCT fought in segregated units led by white officers. They raided coastal areas, liberated thousands of enslaved persons, and in 1863 the Colored Troops led the way in occupying Jacksonville, Florida, and in 1865 restored the Stars and Stripes to Charleston, South Carolina, where the war began,” according to the plaque.

Billy Triay, property manager for UF Historic St. Augustine, said the project content has been developed with the help of historians Susan Parker and Thomas Graham.

When asked about the planning process, Triay said the design is intended to be timeless.

“It’s not meant to evoke a feeling. This is meant to give the facts. ... It’s very subtle, but it’s very impactful,” he said.

Graham spoke in support of the memorial at the meeting.

Board members seemed happy with the idea for the memorial but wanted to get a better sense of what the structure will look like in its setting.

While the design is still being finalized, it’s expected to be about 8 feet tall with three granite panels. The memorial will list names of local men who served in the Colored Troops.

“We all think it’s an important monument,” HARB member Catherine Duncan said.

UF Historic St. Augustine has largely followed the decisions of the city of St. Augustine. The city decided in 2017 to keep a memorial to local men who served the Confederacy. The city added plaques to the base of the memorial to add historical context.