The Taoist Tai Chi Society of the United States has finalized the purchase this week of the historic Fenway building in Pinellas County, with plans to restore the property as its new National Headquarters.
Once completed, the Fenway, located at 453 Edgewater Drive in Dunedin, will become a central destination for members of the religious, charitable organization. The group boasts a United States membership of 6,000.
“As a dedicated member of the Dunedin community for years, we understand the historical importance of the Fenway and the warmth and love people have for this magnificent property,” said Taoist Tai Chi Society Executive Director Sean Dennison. “The Taoist Tai Chi Society is committed to being an outstanding steward of this important piece of the community, which will be admired by thousands of visitors as they bring enthusiasm, vitality and economic activity to the area.”
Dennison added that the new headquarters would maintain the historic architecture iconic to the Fenway for nearly a century.
Although the restoration will include upgraded facilities for community meetings and other public activities, the exterior will remain intact. The Fenway will also become the Society’s international conference center, expected to bring thousands of guests and visitors to Pinellas County.
A member of the Dunedin community since 2004, the Taoist Tai Chi Society began by offering health-benefiting programs at the city’s Hale Senior Activity Center. With a surge in membership, the organization moved in 2010 to its current full-time facility at 1370 Main Street.
Fenway will soon accommodate local residents from the Main Street facility, and additional space for the National Headquarters, which is now in Tallahassee.
The Taoist Tai Chi society has affiliated organizations in 26 countries, serving more than 42,000 participants, many of whom travel to Dunedin to attend regular programs in the practice of Taoist arts, such as Tai Chi, Lok Hup Ba Fa and meditation. The group also performs ceremonies to observe the Taoist calendar.
“One of the mottos of our organization is ‘All cultures moving together in harmony,’ and the Society is particularly happy to locate its National Headquarters in Dunedin, a city well-known for its multicultural appreciation,” said Pinellas County middle school principal Pegoty Lopez Packman, who serves as President of the Taoist Tai Chi Society of the United States.
With a history of public service, the Taoist Tai Chi Society welcomes people of all ages and abilities to participate in Taoist arts programs, offering a number of health and wellness benefits.
“I entered the Dunedin Taoist Tai Chi Society location four short years ago with the intention of avoiding the need to use motorized assistance to get around,” said Dunedin resident Roseann Merriam, a volunteer with the Dunedin Historic Museum, who suffers from a nervous system disorder causing multiple issues with mobility.
“I have received more than I ever hoped. I walk straighter, and in fact, I am taller,” she said. “I have improved my self-confidence to the point where I can help others achieve these benefits as well.”