Florida Trust Mourns the Loss of Preservationist Sallye Jude
On behalf of the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation’s Board of Trustees and our Trustees Emeriti, I am sharing today the sad news that we have lost one of Florida’s preservation heroes, Sallye Jude. Sallye was one of the Florida Trust’s founding members, an Emeritus Board Member and an incredible champion for historic preservation in Florida. We extend our deepest sympathies to Sallye’s family and friends during this time.
Over the years I have been honored to work with Sallye. We spoke often about preservation policy and initiatives at the state and national level, how we could do a better job connecting the work of historic preservation with resiliency and protecting our environment – and of course we often talked about local preservation issues she cared about.
In 1996, she received the Florida Trust’s highest honor, now named the Legacy Award, to recognize her achievements in leadership in both state and national historic preservation. This is the highest award we share to recognize a lifetime of exemplary service and profound impact. This year, to honor her commitment connecting preservation with environmental issues, we renamed our Florida Preservation Award recognizing this work the Sallye Jude Award for Resilient Preservation. Sallye never stopped working to protect Florida’s historic places – and she never forgot the meaning those places had for the people who had once been connected to them.
2007 ribbon cutting on the successful restoration of the historic Florida Trust House in Tallahassee. She was a central part to saving the house, its purchase and restoration. She is front, right in the picture (person to the left with the scissors is Florida Trust Board Member Carter Quina and right with the scissors is Florida Trust Board President at the time, Mark Tarmey). The 112-year-old home is now the headquarters for the Florida Trust.
“I saw her recently at a Gables Good Government gathering – she was in good spirits and still a force of nature,” fellow Florida Trust Legacy Award recipient and former Mayor of Coral Gables Don Slesnick, II, said. “Sallye, Jim, and the Jude family will remain an unforgettable part of my life story (both in preservation and politics).”
Fellow Florida Trust Founder Truly Herschel Shepard shared his thoughts on Sallye as well. “A great loss. I have known her since the early days of the Florida Trust. She will be remembered not only for her dedication and contributions to historic preservation but also as a wonderful human being. She will be missed by all who knew her.”
Former Florida Trust Board President and Trustee Emeritus Leslee Keys also shared her thoughts on Sallye’s lasting impact.
“I met Sallye almost forty years ago and have been grateful since that day for her personal and financial commitment to historic preservation in Florida, her mentoring and friendship and her understanding of preservation's larger role in cultural heritage,” Keys said. “Among her many efforts to save buildings is her work to rescue the Island City House in Key West, making it a truly special small hotel that hosted many of us during Insider Tours and other preservation programs. She always demonstrated her commitment to her community and to preservation through her actions and her words. She was a rare and special person.”
Reflecting on Sallye’s impact, Florida Trust Past President and Trustee Emeritus Clay Henderson and Emeritus Ellen Uguccioni shared the thoughts of so many: she was a force of nature.
“I met her in the early ’90s in my first stint on the Florida Trust Board. She was one of the founders of the Florida Trust and stayed engaged through the decades. A few years later I worked with her when she was on the Miami River Commission as we sought to formalize the Miami River Greenway,” Henderson said. “Her Miami River Inn put her right in the middle of everything, and we stared down FDOT when they wanted to ignore the preservation easement she conveyed to the Trust! Her commitment to historic preservation and environmental protection in South Florida is an incredible legacy worthy of our continued celebration.”
“I began my career as the Coral Gables’ Historic Preservation Officer some 40 years ago. Virtually the next day after I arrived I received a call from Mrs. Jude welcoming me into my new position, followed by an overwhelming list of projects and locations of Coral Gables’ properties which she believed were endangered,” Uguccioni said. “There are any number of heroes I’ve met who worked to secure the city’s enviable position in its historic preservation successes. Sallye is remarkable in that her influence affected not only the local community, but also the state and nation.”
Sallye is a wonderful example of the impact one single person can have in making the world a better place. We are grateful for all she has done for our organization and preservation in Florida. In her honor, we will continue to work towards the things that were so important to her: protecting our shared spaces, our shared history and never backing down from the good fight.
CEO & President
Florida Trust for Historic Preservation