St. Augustine's Spanish Quarter
2015 is a big year for the city of St. Augustine.
It's the city's 450th anniversary.
The next two years leading up to it, are filled with activities celebrating the city's rich history, however, because one museum owned by the University of Florida wasn't generating enough money, some big changes could be in the works.
On Wednesday, Coreen Fassel of Tampa took a field trip with her fourth grade class to the Colonial Spanish Quarter Living History Museum.
"Everybody there was from that time period, and really interacted with the kids," she said.
It's like a time-machine, to the 18th century, but you'll have to borrow Fassel's class to get in; the museum is only open to school groups.
"That's too bad- to me, it's very sad," said Pierrette Carriere, a Canadian tourist.
A sign on the door has been turning tourists away since October.
The two-block museum is owned by the University of Florida, and managed by the city of St. Augustine.
"We've just received the presentations last week, so we're still at a very early point of reviewing those proposals and going into the negotiations," said Linda Dixon, associate director for UF facilities, planning and construction.
The city and university are in the process of selecting a private firm to manage and operate the museum, but some fear if it's not done properly, downtown St. Augustine will lose what keeps people coming back.
"Everything that they learned sort of came to life today, I will say, and it just like, their eyes just opened up. I felt like they were a part of that time period when they were watching everything happen," said Fassel.
There will be a Board of Directors meeting here in St. Augustine on May 8th, where the public is invited to discuss the future of the Spanish Quarter.
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