The board of trustees of the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens reluctantly decided the old Woman’s Club of Jacksonville, a building in which the museum invested $7 million and which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, must be demolished, Jacksonville.com reported.
The cause is an infestation of a particularly voracious and difficult to control termite, the Formosan subterranean termite. During an inspection in July, the infestation was discovered. The Cummer spent eight months seeking a solution before concluding the building could not be saved, the article noted.
The article also noted that a number of termite experts were brought into to examine solutions, including Todd Shupe, a professor of wood science at Louisiana State University, and Nan-Yao Su, a distinguished professor of entomology at the University of Florida. But the building, which, despite its brick exterior, is largely built of wood, could not be saved, the Cummer board concluded.
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(Photo: Soldiers (orange-brown, oval-shaped head) and workers of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki. Photograph by Nan-Yao Su, University of Florida.)