By Dawn Krebs
FORT PIERCE - It took four years to plan, but soon the Platts/Backus House, located on the corner of Second Street and Backus Avenue in Fort Pierce, will show off a new courtyard, complete with unique landscaping and new technology.
"The renovation began in July," said Pam Gillette, the marketing coordinator for Main Street Fort Pierce. The nonprofit group purchased the house in 2005, and the property is used for Main Street functions.
The house itself has a rich history in Fort Pierce. According to the Main Street Fort Pierce website, the house was first built in 1895 by Clyde Platts, the first physician to practice in Fort Pierce. In 1960, local artist A.E. "Bean" Backus bought the home, giving it the name Platts/Backus house.
After buying the property in 2005, the main street organization first worked to renovate the inside of the home, using grants and fundraisers.
Now, attention has turned to the outside of the home.
"There will be a seating wall, and a large brick paved area," said Ms. Gillette.
Some personal touches in the courtyard will include a variety of items, including a bathtub.
"Local artist Anita Prentice restored one of the bathtubs, and added a mosaic," she said. "It will be used as a lily pond."
Main Street officials also wanted the public to be able to contribute the project, so they created a brick campaign.
A 4-inch by 8-inch brick can be purchased from Main Street for $100 to be used as one of the bricks in the courtyard. The money raised from the bricks will be used to offset the cost of the project.
People can have whatever they want engraved on the brick. There is room on the brick for three lines of type with 12 characters available in each line.
The project is expected to be completed in early September. Forms to purchase a brick are available at the Main Street office.
For more information, call the Main Street office at (772) 466-3880 or go online to www.mainstreetfortpierce.org.