A major grant to VHI to complete restoration of the Lord-Higel House
The Ehrhart Family Foundation has donated $30,000 toward restoration of the Lord-Higel House, increasing the total amount raised thus far to more than half the $200K needed to complete the project.
”The foundation has been a staunch supporter of this undertaking from the very beginning, and this generous gift certainly helps with the building’s restoration at a critical time,” said Judith Keeler, president of Venice Heritage, the 501 (c)(3) organization responsible for the restoration. “We’re very close to completing this project, and a gift of this magnitude gives us the momentum needed to finish in time for the City of Venice’s 90th anniversary celebration on May 9th of next year.”
Constructed in 1896 by entrepreneur and businessman Joseph Lord, it is the second oldest building in Sarasota County. The house also served as the residence of George Higel, who managed Lord’s orange grove and also wrote a weekly column for the Sarasota newspaper. The house was acquired in 2005 by the City of Venice and moved to its present location behind City Hall. Once completed, the first floor of the Lord-Higel House will serve as an early settler museum and welcome center for visitors to the historic city.
Established in 2008, the Ehrhart Family Foundation is a locally-based entity that provides financial support for numerous community initiatives.
“We believe this building will serve not only as an educational tool for teaching our area’s history, but also a place for welcoming residents and visitors alike to our community,” said Jean Trammel, who serves on the foundation’s board and also is a member of VHI’s board of directors. “We are pleased to be able to support this project that we believe highlights Venice’s unique heritage.”