LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Two Lee County buildings are making history by being history. The Olde Fish House Marina and First Baptist Church of Matlacha are now officially labeled "historic buildings."
For Lisa Dence, the Olde Fish House Marina isn't just a building, it's a place with a rich past.
"In the back there's a pulley system where they used to grade the fish. There's a wall where they used to grade the oysters," she explained.
Now, the Lee County Historic Preservation Board has labeled the Fish House, which still operates as one, an official historic building.
This honor came with a lot of work. As county official Gloria Sajgo explains, buildings need to go through a rigorous application process and meet specific guidelines to qualify.
"Usually the rule of thumb is 50 years but we take into account other things they may have unique historic significance or be associated, for example a person in the community," she said.
With the new label comes some benefits: a loosening of restrictions and guidelines when it comes to codes. That's vital to First Baptist Church of Matlacha, also deemed a historic site. Because of its deteriorating condition, the pastor and his congregation.. had to meet in a different building.
Now, it's allowed to get restorations that were previously unavailable. Both buildings have a bright past and now a bright future.
The Olde Fishhouse is estimated to have been built in the 30s. Those who work there hope their new historic site status will bring them a boost in business as well.