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Historical society drops plan to move Spahn house

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

The Anna Maria Island Historical Society has decided not to proceed with raising funds to preserve Spruce Street house in Anna Maria built as a winter home in the 1950s by baseball Hall-of-Famer Warren Spahn.

AMIHS board president Maureen McCormick notified the city along with donors and supporters of the decision in a letter.

The historical society had hoped to raise enough money to have the house moved to the historic park at 402 Pine Ave., Anna Maria to become a baseball museum.

McCormick said a primary reason for the decision is that recent changes in state building codes “pushed labor and construction costs to more than $75,000, more than double the initial project estimate.”

She thanked the Spahn family, the city of Anna Maria and those involved in the preservation effort. She said she regretted that increasing costs forced the board to cancel the project.

McCormick said the board also was concerned that rising costs associated with moving the Spahn home might jeopardize the obligation of the board to preserve the museum and the Belle Haven Cottage located in the park.

McCormick said she informed Commissioner John Quam, the commission liaison to the historical society, of the decision.

“The museum and Belle Haven are an important part of the island – we understand the decision,” said Quam on behalf of the commission.

McCormick said the historical society will continue to support and preserve the history of baseball on the island with featured exhibits in the museum.

Spahn built a number of small homes in the city that he sold or rented to teammates on the Milwaukee Braves when the team trained in Bradenton.

 

 

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