Continuing with our series to introduce you to members of our Condo and HOA Team, today meet Molly Maggiano.

Fort Myers Condo and HOA Attorney Molly MaggianoMolly concentrates her practice in real estate matters, more specifically in the areas of community association representation, residential and commercial transactions, real estate development, and other general real estate matters.

Molly has a passion toward photography and the arts, which she expresses through her involvement with the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center. Here, Molly shares with us a little about why the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is such a valuable resource to Fort Myers:

The arts play an important role in enriching the lives of our community. Not only are they a form of enjoyment and entertainment, but they expose us to different cultures and offer educational opportunities that can increase the quality of our lives.

It is easy to take things such as art and music for granted and forget that such programs haven’t always been available, or may not be available to future generations if they aren’t preserved. For this reason, I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center (“SBDAC”), of which I have the pleasure of serving on the Board of Directors.

The SBDAC is an extraordinary source of art and culture, which plays host to the Fort Myers Film Festival, exhibitions, and performances by local and internationally known artists, dancers, and musicians. The art center also offers a variety of adult and youth educational art programs and camps, and serves as the venue for numerous fundraisers, galas, charity balls and private events.

SBDAC_Old Post Office Photo The property on which the SBDAC currently stands was initially occupied by a small two-story house, which served as the officer’s quarters of the original fort of Fort Myers.  The little house, which later served as Fort Myers’ first school and first public library, was moved from the property in 1926 to make room for a hotel. The hotel never came to be, and in 1933 the current 23,000 square-foot building was constructed as a United States Post Office. The building functioned as a post office until the 1960’s, when it was converted into Fort Myers’ first federal building and courthouse. Unfortunately during that renovation and adaptive reuse process, many of the building’s original interior architectural features were concealed or removed. The building was vacated again in 1998 and was abandoned for several years sustaining extensive deterioration until Jim Griffith, an accomplished musician and founder of Florida Arts, Inc. secured the property and building under a land lease with the City. Under Jim’s leadership over the past twelve years, the first two floors of the building have been fully renovated, including restoration or replication of the original architectural features. The restored first and second floors of the building boast gallery, event, classroom and office space, dressing rooms, and recording booths. The final phase of the renovation will see the rooftop converted into a sculpture garden and reception area.

Jim and the Board are always working to find ways to make the SBDAC a first class state-of-the-art venue, increase programming, and provide educational opportunities. I feel privileged to serve with such an amazing group of people who recognize the importance of the arts and, more importantly, strive to make them available to the community. If you are not familiar with the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, I encourage you to visit and take advantage of the programming and educational opportunities available.

SBDAC_Front of Bldg_CurrentIf you would like more information about SBDAC or would like to learn what you can do to help make the Center a success, their telephone number is 239-333-1933, or visit http://www.sbdac.com.

Photos Courtesy of Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center