About Us

The UWF Historic Trust creates opportunities for our visitors, community, students, faculty and staff to experience the authentic and diversely rich history of Northwest Florida.

History & Mission

UWF Historic Trust Mission Statement: To collect, preserve, interpret, and share the history of Northwest Florida.

Using the St. Augustine Preservation and Restoration Commission as a model, local community leaders lobbied for the establishment of a state-supported oversight board. The passage of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 provided the momentum for the Florida legislation that resulted in the establishment of the Pensacola Historic Preservation and Restoration Commission in 1967. It was charged with two broad areas of responsibility: acquiring and preserving local historic monuments, sites buildings and artifacts for the benefit, education and enjoyment of the public; and to research and disseminate written, audio, and visual information to further the protection and preservation of historic sites, properties and human stories pertaining to Florida history.

In 1970, the Pensacola Historic Preservation and Restoration Commission became the Historic Pensacola Preservation Board under the Florida Department of State. All of the Preservation Boards except Pensacola were repealed by 1997, with the Historic Pensacola Preservation Board eventually being repealed in 2001, when the collections and building were transferred to the University of West Florida. At that time, the Historic Pensacola Preservation Board became West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc., a direct support organization of the University of West Florida. In 2009, the Pensacola Historical Society, a separate non-profit, merged with West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc. and its staff and assets became part of the West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc. In 2013, the name of the West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc., was changed to the UWF Historic Trust to emphasize that the sites, structures, collections, programs and exhibits of the organization represent a public Trust.

Currently, the UWF Historic Trust manages the Historic Pensacola campus of the University of West Florida, which includes 28 properties in downtown Historic Pensacola and the Arcadia Mill Archaeological Site in Milton. The UWF Historic Trust recently unveiled a new Interpretive Master Plan that will shape the how we share our stories, our visitors’ experience and our future.

Trivia
Who was J. Earle Bowden?

Known by many as the “Father of the Gulf Island National Seashore, he was the vice-president and editor of the Pensacola News Journal, author, and a charter trustee of the Pensacola Historical Preservation and Restoration Commission.