Jacksonville Historical Society looking to raise $300,000 to renovate building that houses history

The Jacksonville Historical Society keeps some of the most treasured pieces of the city’s history in an old casket factory downtown, but we’re told the building needs to be renovated.

“The fact that these things are here really makes them an irreplaceable resource,” says Executive Director Alan Bliss.

He says they need to raise about $300,000 to do the renovations and keep the historic items where they’ve been for over a hundred years. Items like a picture of Hank Aaron when he played baseball in Jacksonville and a collection of Duval County mortgage record books won’t last much longer if changes aren’t made, Bliss says.

He says they need to install good climate control, quality lighting and processing space so the staff can have room to work on the collections.

City Council member Matt Carlucci organized a public meeting today to discuss funding for the renovations, and City Council President Scott Wilson says the city is prepared to give $35,000, and they could pitch in more later in the year.

Bliss says he’s been talking to various people from around the city who could help raise more money, but without enough funding it’s a matter of time before the priceless items will deteriorate.

“We want to protect these treasures for now, and for all generations to come,” Carlucci says.

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