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Protect Palm Cottage in Perpetuity!

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The Society’s Acquisition of 163 12th Avenue South, Naples FL 34102

A Charitable Opportunity with Lifetime Benefits

The Purchase

In March of 2021 Naples Historical Society was offered a right-of-first-refusal to purchase the property adjacent to Historic Palm Cottage™.  It sits just to the east of the Cottage.  We could not refuse that offer!  The address is 163 12th Avenue South.

This house, along with Historic Palm Cottage and dozens of other historic structures, is nestled in the National Register-recognized Naples Historic District. (Click here to see a map of the Naples Historic District.)

The property at 163 12th Avenue South includes a residential building that sits on a large parcel of land (the main house), and there is a charming little guest house as well, all of 600 sq. ft.  The purchase price for the entire lot was $4,200,000.  If we didn’t buy the property, it would have been sold the moment it came on the market. 

We know this house would have been torn down in an instant if we didn’t buy it.  A demolished house gives way for a massive house.  A massive house next door to and looming over Historic Palm Cottage would be a permanent travesty.  We have ensured that will never happen!  

Re-development Plans

We have embarked on a plan to re-develop the property through what’s called “adaptive re-use.” This refers to repurposing the building, making it viable for another, better, use.

Our plan is to create an informative series of museum exhibits (totaling approximately 1,000 square feet) for the interior of the “house.” Then, we’ll build and showcase a meandering pathway surrounding the house that will feature informative signage, or “history stations,” that chronicle Naples’ history. We plan to highlight many decades-old fruit trees that grace the property as well. Re-development costs total $300,000. 

The museum exhibit and surrounding pathway will complement existing tours of Historic Palm Cottage, adding tremendous value to every tour.  This re-development plan will give donors and visitors alike an opportunity to satisfy their intellectual curiosities about our local history.  They will also receive extraordinary satisfaction knowing that they have helped protect Palm Cottage in perpetuity.

Access to this new museum exhibit and pathway will be part of regular tour admission for Historic Palm Cottage after re-development is completed.  The projected completion date is the fall of 2023 (subject to change).

Mary & Stephen Byron Smith have offered a
$1 Million Match Challenge to aid in this endeavor!

We are profoundly grateful for their remarkable generosity. Their philanthropic support enabled the Society to begin its work immediately, creating a community benefit sooner.  The project is named the Smith Exhibit Hall in appropriate recognition of their invaluable gift. 

Because of this fabulous challenge gift, we are thrilled to have received major gift support from a handful of wonderful people thus far.  Since March 2021, we have raised $3.7 million, an outstanding accomplishment!  But, we would sincerely appreciate additional help from the community to conclude our plans (see the next section for more information).

We are extremely thankful that our donors, members, the greater community, and visitors from near and far share our long-term vision and clearly understand that Palm Cottage is the ultimate historic house in need of protection.  If you feel the same, and wish to help at any level of giving, please know we would welcome your 100% tax-deductible financial support (as allowed by law).

Donations & Gift Recognition

Although we are in the midst of re-development plans, we are offering recognition for your financial support.  A current gift will not only be helpful to the Society, it will hold your place in line for your preferred and available naming opportunity item.  Of course, we will keep you apprised of our plans as we move forward.

There are many ways to participate with Naples Historical Society’s endeavor to protect Palm Cottage in perpetuity!  Choose your investment preference from the many options below.  Note that public access will not be authorized until the property has been re-zoned and construction has completed (projected fall 2023).  

Please see the Property Map for 163 12th Avenue South.

For a plaque on a Fence Picket, print this form and return it with your payment.

For an inscribed Brick Paver, print this form and return it with your payment.

For larger gifts, see this list of naming opportunities.  Please consider the Welcome Archway, the pathway between Historic Palm Cottage and the Smith Exhibit Hall.  This naming opportunity will set the stage for our visitors who enjoy learning about Naples’ past.  Or, if you appreciate magnificent trees, consider supporting this project with a naming opportunity for The Grand Ficus, a tree that has been nestled between the two properties on 12th Ave South for decades.  Perhaps a History Station is of interest to you!  Whatever you prefer, we highly recommend that you call the Society first to ensure the item’s availability:  239-261-8164. 


What history are you making right now?  

Become a Member of Naples Historical Society!  You’ll receive hot-off-the-press news about our progress and plans for this new property, plus you’ll have FREE admission to Historic Palm Cottage throughout the year AND discounted entrance to our many events.  Check it out!

Our mailing address:
Naples Historical Society
Capital Campaign
P.O. Box 201
Naples, FL  34106

Historic Palm Cottage
(to take a tour, not to send U.S.P.S. mail)
137 12th Avenue South
Naples 34102
(239) 261-8164


Registration #CH810.

Naples Historical Society is a 501c3 nonprofit corporation.

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