Historical Museum Attendance Is Up; Old Home To Be Demolished

by SC Reporter Ariadna Ampudia

The Sanibel Historical Museum & Village, located on Dunlop Road next to BIG ARTS, has seen an increase in attendance compared to 2019. Photo provided

Sanibel Historical Museum & Village Executive Director Emilie Alfino announced an increase in admissions since pre-pandemic times at the December meeting of the Sanibel Historical Preservation Committee. Alfino also updated committee members on the museum’s new pavilion.

The museum, which is located on Dunlop Road next to BIG ARTS, has experienced a 20 percent increase in admissions since 2019, raising the average from 30 visitors to 36 in a five day period, Alfino told the committee during her monthly report.

There were many contributing factors to the uptick in museum attendance, but a social media presence, marketing, increased coverage from local media and more people on the island were the biggest contributors.

The pavilion at the Sanibel Historical Museum & Village opened in December and will serve as a place to gather tour groups and host small events. Photo provided

Alfino described the higher attendance of islanders and tourists as “gratifying” and said she is proud of her staff’s hard work. “As the executive director, it’s always one of my goals to increase admissions,” she said. “Our staff works very hard to make our visitors’ experience a fantastic one.”

The museum opened its new pavilion this month as a place to gather tour groups, as well as host small events and volunteer lunches, and it’s completely booked for the season. Alfino said it was important for the museum to partner with island groups and emphasized there will not be a fee to use the pavilion.

“We knew the pavilion would be perfect to serve a number of purposes,” said Alfino.

Home to be Demolished

Sanibel City Planner Craig Chandler told committee members a permit was recently granted to raze a dilapidated home on South Yachtsman Drive built prior to 1963. The home does not have historical significance except for the time period in which it was built, according to Chandler.

He added the committee would be informed of any demolition permits for structures built before 1963, as city staff looks out for those type of homes, and the planning and building offices work together in reviewing them. 

SC Publisher Shannen Hayes contributed to this article.

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