Hurricane Matthew damage could doom St. Augustine home where Martin Luther King Jr. spoke

by: Jenna Bourne, Action News Jax Updated:

GOFUNDME: Fund started to save Duncan House in St. Augustine 

The fate of a St. Augustine home where Martin Luther King Jr. spoke is in jeopardy.

Damage from Hurricane Matthew may cause it to be torn down.

Tucked into St. Augustine’s Lincolnville Historic District, the sky blue house on Oneida Street was constructed in the late 1800s.

But it was in 1964 that it made history, when Martin Luther King Jr. gave a televised press conference in front of the house after a protest at a segregated beach in the city.

“There was a lot to overcome back in those days, and I feel like this home was part of that. It’s part of that history,” said contractor Chuck Stanford, whom the Duncan family hired to fix up the house.

In October, Hurricane Matthew sent a foot of water gushing into the home.

“We had to pull the dry wall, pull the subflooring, pull the insulation,” said Stanford.

The city evaluated the damage and decided it had to either be torn down or raised up to be in compliance with flood hazard area regulations.

“Well this house, the floor joints and the structure is so bad I don’t think it would be able to be raised without it falling apart,” said Stanford.

The city’s Historic Architecture Review Board held a hearing about the possible demolition on Thursday, but the board put off its decision until next month.

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