Your one stop shop for local history is the AMI Historical Society at 402 Pine Avenue. A visit to our island paradise isn’t complete without learning a little history. Here you can visit Three original island buildings in one location.
AMI Historical Society
The Historical Society formed in 1990 giving island visitors a glimpse into the past. The building which houses the museum was originally built in 1920 as the ice house. In 1927, the city built a jail next door, complete with bars on the windows which let swarms of mosquitoes feed on the unlucky guests who spent time locked up. The jail was operational until the 1940’s when a fire burned its wooden roof and door; it now makes for a great vacation photo! The most interesting building is Belle Haven Cottage… originally located on the Anna Maria City Pier when the pier was just a dock ….before it fell into Tampa Bay in 1926! The cottage was rescued from the sea floor and used as a home and rental cottage before relocating to its new location in 2001.
Inside these historical walls you will discover a myriad of treasures from days past collected by island residents. The old ice house is the perfect setting to see actual pine needle woven baskets made by Anna Maria’s original residents, the Native Americans. You can also peruse photos of the island in early days and see how fishing, sharks and even baseball shaped this island we love today! If you are lucky enough to visit on a Wednesday during “season”, be sure to pick up a loaf of Settler’s Bread, a rare treat!
For hours and more information on the Anna Maria Island Historical Society, visit www.AMIHS.org. You can even post your own photos of you in “jail” on their Facebook page!
If you’re on Anna Maria Island you have to check out the Historic Green Village (HGV). This unique combination of commercial and residential buildings combines today’s modern energy efficient technology in a historic setting.
Historic Green Village
Owners Mike and Lizze thrasher had a vision for Pine Ave when they vacationed here in 2007. The couple bought 4 adjacent lots on Pine Ave which only had two usable properties and a few abandoned garages. In 2009, when the renovations began, they purchased two different historic abandoned houses from around the island; the Sears Cottage, and the Anglers Lodge.
Building the Green Village
The Anglers Lodge is a huge two story house which required 300,000lbs of concrete reinforcement and required a temporary bridge built across one of the canals to move. It took three “heart slipping” hours to move the Anglers Lodge across the canal but was successfully delivered to the lots on Pine Ave.
During Renovations Architect Gene Aubry assisted the thrashers in choosing high quality building materials that reduce energy consumption. They also added in a fifth building, brand new, that was built to match the historic look of the other buildings. Mike and Lizzie Thrashers vision was to establish a group of buildings with a high level of sustainability. With the guidance of environmental consultant, Raymond Kaiser, the HGV was able to become only 1 of 100 places worldwide to earn the Platinum LEED certification and achieve Net Zero Energy during its first 18 months of operation.
Net Zero Energy
Net Zero Energy (NZE) building is one that relies on renewable sources to produce as much energy as it consumes. There are several main areas where buildings are evaluated to determine LEED certification. All the buildings are insulated with a special soy based formula that completely seals and insulates attics, keeping them at the same temperature as the rooms. The HGV also uses special energy efficient windows. These allow in maximum light and filter out the heat carrying infrared spectrum.
On top of the HGV buildings lay 400 photovoltaic solar panels which generate about 100kw, or 14,000$ in electricity annually. The photovoltaic solor panels collect energy from the minute the sun rises until the sunsets. The surplus energy created by HGV is sent to Florida Power and Light. The surplus comes back to the HGV when needed during rain storms and at night. Also, the buildings collect rain water to flush the high efficiency toilets and water the landscaping. Another way the HGV is saving energy, is the 450ft deep well pull that brings up 80° water from deep below the surface to help cool the AC, increasing efficiency by 30-50%!
A model of Green
The Historic Green Village is an inspiration to the local community. The Thrashers are hoping to influence others by proving that this is possible not only for commercial but residential. Despite the serious impact of this quaint historic village, don’t forget to check out the shopping venue while you’re here. The Relish Marketplace features Vintage clothing and accessories, reclaimed designer fashions and much more. Lastly, make sure to satisfy your sweet tooth with a delicious cupcake at Hometown Desserts and then browse the Bob Brown art gallery.
Anna Maria – Taking place January 18th and 19th on Pine Avenue in the city of Anna Maria, the Anna Maria Chalk Festival is Manatee County’s first and only chalk festival. A partnership between the Pine Ave Restoration group, the Tourist and Development Council, the Historic Green Village, members of the Anna Maria Island’s artistic and cultural community and Sarasota Chalk Festival founder Denise Kowal, it is a truly community oriented event. A VIP dinner will be held the night before to help raise funds for the event and to give people a chance to meet the artists that will be pouring their souls onto the streets of Anna Maria.
With the theme “Historic Anna Maria: From Pirates to Present”, around 25 artists will inhabit three block of Pine Avenue over the course of two days. Street painters, also known as I Madonnari, will use chalk as their medium and the road surface of Pine Avenue as their canvas to create over-sized masterworks of art while the public becomes an integral part of the creative process as the viewer. Students in grades 7-12 can have their own spot to chalk and the younger children are invited to chalk in the Children’s Area. Participation is free to all and chalk is provided.
Being an event truly created for the community, the goal isn’t for humongous crowds to the flood the streets and advertisements to cover the media, it’s about creating a personal event.
When asked about the event, Micheal Coleman, one of the event chairs, was quoted as saying “I believe a successful event is not measured in numbers, but in the quality of the experience enjoyed by all. From the artists, to the volunteers, to the visitors and including, of course, impacted residents, the idea is to enjoy a couple of days expressing and appreciating art as its created.”
Musicians will be lining the streets and storefronts to provide a backdrop of music for the works of art being created. Musicians include locals such as Kristopher Byerly, Scott Blum, Trevor Bystrem, William Hellem-Brusso, Howie Banfield, Debbie Hood, Elephant in the Room, Savannah Brady, Can’t Turn Left, Bill Vinhage and more.
The Anna Maria Chalk Festival is taking place on Pine Ave, Anna Maria, The Greenest Little Main Street in America. Pine Avenue is a live and work paradise sprinkled with residential cottages, professional oﬃces and retail shops to serve the surrounding community. Its restoration project advanced the quality and sustainability of the overall area. Native plantings are a natural extension to the responsible development along the street. Rather than hardscapes and lawns which encourage runoﬀ into the precious Gulf and Bay, the street uses soft-scapes such as “native pathways” consisting of engineered sand wherever possible as part of systems for capture and re-use of rainwater. This has the practical eﬀect of meeting and exceeding the objectives of the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD).
The festival will take place all day with a VIP Artist’s Reception and Dinner on January 17th at the Studio at Gulf and Pine. The event will be a two day local community festival that will reflect the historic and unique qualities of Anna Maria. Street painters, also known as I Madonnari, will use chalk as their medium. They’ll use the road surface of Pine Avenue as their canvas to create oversized masterworks of art. All this while the public becomes an integral part of the creative process as the viewer. There will be kids activities too!
Stay tuned for more information about the Anna Maria Island Chalk Festival and check out our Anna Maria Chalk Festival Facebook page.
Enjoy the merriment of Christmas on Pine Avenue as you stroll down Pine Avenue in the City of Anna Maria looking for last minute gifts and listening to Christmas Carols. On Friday December 14th the pine avenue shops will have extended hours in honor of the Annual Holiday Walk on Pine Avenue from 5pm – 8pm. Most of the Pine Avenue merchants will be providing snacks and drinks at their location and I heard a little rumor that Santa will be stopping by so bring the kids too!
While this is a post from 2012 the Christmas continues to be a tradition in Anna Maria City. Normally the walk about takes place on the second Friday of December. For example in 2015 the walk about was 12/11/2015. Normally you can find more information on the Island Real Estate Facebook page or read the Anna Maria Sun who normally sponsors the Christmas on Pine Avenue walk about.
Have a safe and Happy Holiday Season from all of us at Island Real Estate!