Friends of the Belleview Biltmore’s goal is to save one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 11 Most Endangered Properties
Friends of the Belleview Biltmore is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) that has been battling to save the Belleview Biltmore hotel for ten years. The Belleview Biltmore which is located in Belleair, Florida is one of the last remaining grand dame hotels in America. Built in 1897 by railroad magnate Henry B. Plant, she’s reported to be the largest wooden structure in the world - making her also the largest Victorian hotel. The National and Florida Trusts for Historic Preservation recognized the historical significance of the hotel by designating it as one of the their 11 Most Endangered Properties.
Our goal is to see this faded beauty restored. We’ve come close twice, but forces beyond our control thwarted these efforts. The hotel is located in Pinellas County, the most densely populated county in Florida. This makes her a prime target for demolition and condo developers. To overcome the pressures being exerted on the Biltmore we must ensure that the town commission adheres to it's own ordinances that were put in place specifically to protect the Biltmore and keep her out of the hands of condo developers.
In May 2014 "Friends" and two residents adjacent to the hotel property filed a suit in Federal Court to stop the wrongs that are occurring in regard to the Belleview Biltmore property. The town and property owners have circumvented the law. The suit is asking the court to take three courses of "Action" which are to:
- Issue an injunction halting any property sale related to "H" district property (Belleview Biltmore property) until the town complies with Section 106 of the National Preservation Ordinance, Belleair's Preservation Ordinance and the Comprehensive Plan requirements related to zoning changes.
- To provide financial restitution to Doris Hanson and Lou White for home value losses suffered as a result of zoning violations that have caused the property to become a nuisance.
- To restore the building as required under the preservation ordinance before it can be sold.
Once the property is out of harm's way our intention is to partner with preservation experts to restore the "White Queen of the Gulf" to it's original beauty. "Friends" involvement will help to ensure that hotel is properly restored and the donations we hope to realize will be used to help keep the White Queen safe for current and future generations to enjoy. You support is needed to achieve our goal.
FRIENDS OF THE BELLEVIEW BILTMORE, INC. is a nonprofit institution registered as a 501(c)(3). Your contribution to Friends of the Biltmore is tax deductible under section 170 of the code.