Moving a Historical Building
The north part of Anna Maria Island underwent major remodeling as a couple of large construction projects dominated the landscape in mid May. The most unusual project was the relocation of the historical Angler’s Lodge, which had sat on North Bay Boulevard for 97 years.
On May 23, a temporary steel bridge was built across Lake LaVista inlet, in order to move the 150-ton lodge to an empty lot on the other side of the water. The ultimate destination, the Historic Green Village on Pine Avenue, was to be reached the following day. The original plan was to start building the bridge by 7 am, and have the house moved across the water by noon. Not surprisingly, it took far longer … most of the day. This gave curious onlookers plenty of time to watch. The adjacent humpback bridge was filled with people all day.
The Angler’s Lodge was built in 1913. Until 1950, the building was called “Thelma by the Sea.” Thelma was the name of the daughter of the builder, Mr. R. J. Wood. In the 1940s, the second floor was added, and soon after, the building was called Angler’s Lodge.
The most recent owner of the property was Agie Hebebrand, who bought it in 1992. This year, she decided to sell the property but in order to save the historical structure, she sold it Lizzie and Mike Thrasher for a nominal price. The Thrashers have been repurposing a group of historical properties into a cluster on Pine Avenue, to preserve the past, and to prepare for the future by using environmentally-correct updating. Thelma will be used for both commercial and residential usage after being completely remodeled.
Removing Natural History
Meanwhile, all the commotion around the moving of the Angler’s Lodge historical building took attention away from another gigantic construction project: the destruction of the waterfront by the Anna Maria City Pier. Immediately after the celebration of the 100-year anniversary of this venerable island pier landmark, the bulldozers started plowing down the historical native vegetation that lined the shore, to make way for a system of boardwalk and buildings that city planners feel will enhance the previously natural shoreline.