The National Register of Historic Places was created by Congress with the passage of the National
Historic Preservation Act of 1966 as a way to recognize important historic sites in the United States. It was decided that the National Register would be a program of the National Park Service since this agency already ran the Historic American Building Survey and managed a significant number of historic sites located in national parks.
To be eligible for inclusion on the National Register, an individual archaeological or historic
resource or district must meet very specific criteria related to its history, cultural associations and/or architecture or potential to yield scientific information, and must possess local, state or national significance. Since its inception in 1966, more than 1.4 million buildings, sites, districts, structures and objects have been included in the National Register of Historic Places.
The first National Register listing from Broward County, The New River Inn, occurred in 1972 while
the most recent addition, as of May 2011, is the Dr. Kennedy Homes Historic District. In total, there are 31 listings in Broward County, including two historic districts. There are a variety of types of historic resources represented in the National Register in Broward County including public and private buildings, two structures, the Hillsborough Inlet Lighthouse and the North New River Canal Lock No. 1, and one underwater shipwreck, the Copenhagen. National Register resources are located in several Broward towns and cities including Dania Beach, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Lighthouse Point, Oakland Park and Pompano Beach.
This website presents each National Register of Historic Places listing in Broward County. It was
developed by the Broward County Libraries Division – Historical Commission with special thanks
to the Deerfield Beach Historical Society, Fort Lauderdale Historical Society, Hollywood Historical
Society, the Oakland Park Historical Society and the Pompano Beach Historical Society for their
Built 1923, listed in the National Register of Historic Places 1995
380 E. Hillsboro Boulevard, Deerfield Beach
This Mediterranean Revival style building was the home of Deerfield Beach pioneers and civic leaders, James D. and Alice Butler. The plans for the house were obtained from a popular ladies magazine, the September 1923 issue of the Ladies Home Journal. It cost $10,000 to build and it is situated on almost four city lots. The house is built of hollow clay tile, the interior walls are plaster on lath and the roof is made from Spanish terracotta tiles.
The Butlers were married in 1906 in Texas. They came to Deerfield Beach in 1910 on a visit and decided to stay, becoming two of Deerfield Beach’s most popular and public-spirited citizens. When Broward County was formed in 1915, Mr. Butler became a member of the first school board. Subsequently he served on the Broward County Board of County Commissioners and for four years on the Deerfield Beach City Commission. He died in 1965. Mrs. Butler was a founding member of the Deerfield Beach Woman’s Club and they both assisted in the establishment of the First Baptist Church of Deerfield.
Mrs. Butler bequeathed the property to the Deerfield Beach Historical Society in 1977. It is now the group’s headquarters and is operated as a museum. The historic Butler House has been completely restored. It contains many of the original furnishings with the exception of the dining room table that was replaced after the first one was used to board up the west dining room window during the 1928 hurricane. Furnishings include the wicker furniture purchased by the Butlers in 1923 for $500.
The museum is open for tours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call 954-429-0378.
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SEABOARD AIR LINE RAILWAY STATION
Built 1926-27, listed in the National Register of Historic Places 1990
1300 W. Hillsboro Boulevard, Deerfield Beach
This Mediterranean Revival structure was designed by Gustav A. Maass, an innovative architect from Louisiana. Maass also designed three other stations for the Seaboard Air Line Railway, the stations in West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach and Delray Beach. The station in Boynton is identical to the Deerfield station. The station was designed for both passenger and freight service. In 1927, over 30 years after Henry Flagler had brought the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) into South Florida, the Seaboard Airline Railway (SAL) became the second railroad line serving the region when the Orange Blossom Special arrived on January 8.
The Butler brothers, J.D. and George, prominent farmers in the Deerfield area, assisted in getting the right of way for the railroad. It is said that they stipulated that any station built be equal to that in Delray. It was a produce shipping center and many farmers from Lake Okeechobee and Pompano rented warehouses there. There was a dirt road that led from the station to Oakland Park Boulevard. The Butler brothers shipped carloads of cucumbers, beans, peppers and eggplant to Chicago and New York.
The station is typical of many terminal buildings constructed during the “Boom” period of the 1920s. It is essentially unchanged, except for minor interior alterations. In 1942, the Army Air Corps took over the warehouses to store materials for building the base in Boca Raton.
Under the management of the Deerfield Beach Historical Society, the South Florida Railway Museum is located in the historic former Seaboard Air Line Station. Its goal is to preserve the history of railroads in southern Florida, and educate the public about the importance of railroads in the region, past and present. A comprehensive museum dedicated to the impact of the railroad on South Florida history is planned for the site. For more information, call 954-429-0378.
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DEERFIELD BEACH OLD SCHOOL HOUSE
Built 1920, listed in the National Register of Historic Places 1999
323 N.E. Second Street, Deerfield Beach
The Deerfield Beach Old School House was designed by A. E. Lewis and built by Edgar S. Tubbs in a combination of Mission and Mediterranean Revival styles. It has two classrooms, stucco walls and a hip asphalt roof. The building has a “T” shaped footprint on a concrete slab foundation.
There was no electricity in the school in the 1920s, so there were no fans or heat source and, of course, no air conditioning. Large windows that lined three of the walls were installed to provide some relief from the intense summer heat. But if the temperatures dropped too low in the winter, school was canceled for the day. As early students remember, school supplies were provided by the county and consisted of pads of paper, pencils, inkwells and pens. Hours of operation were from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a hand tolled bell located in front of the school started school each day.
During its time of use, the school was segregated. Black students would attend the Braithwaite School down the street. The school is Deerfield Beach’s oldest surviving school structure. Originally called Deerfield School, it is now referred to as The Deerfield Beach Old School House. In 1926, after the larger Deerfield Beach Elementary School was built, the school was used for Deerfield city government business. The polished wood floors of the school room have been restored, and the blackboard hangs in the original frame. The original glass windows are characterized by their 'wavy' glass. Light is provided by three bare bulbs on wires hanging from the ceiling. The City of Deerfield Beach rehabilitated both interior sections with new plaster and paint. The Deerfield Beach Historical Society and the City of Deerfield Beach use one section of the building for meetings. The other section of the building replicates a 1920s school classroom, which is often used for tours, lectures and historical events. For more information, call 954-429-0378.
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DEERFIELD BEACH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Built 1926-27, listed in the National Register of Historic Places 1990
651 N.E. First Street, Deerfield Beach
This two-story masonry structure was designed in 1926 by Thomas McLaughlin, one of Florida’s “boom-time architects.” Additionally, he designed the Oakland Park Elementary School (1926) which is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Deerfield Beach Elementary school is a fine example of the Mediterranean Revival style which was popular in the United States during the period of 1915-1940. The basis of Mediterranean Revival style is Spanish architecture; it also borrows elements from other styles, such as Italian Renaissance, Gothic, Moorish and Byzantine.
Deerfield Beach Elementary School continues to be used as a public school and remains essentially unchanged. Decorative details include arched walkways, intersecting gable roofs covered with S-shape Spanish terracotta barrel-tiles and a bell tower with twisted Corinthian columns. Open air loggias form primary corridors connecting classrooms and offices. The L-shaped building sits on a concrete foundation and the masonry walls are covered with a painted shelldash stucco finish. It has one of the earliest examples of terrazzo floors in Broward County.
There is a one-and-a-half-story auditorium wing which seats 277 and was designed for educational, religious and community events, including a community theater for the City of Deerfield. It is also used as a hurricane shelter. The auditorium has been restored to its original appearance. The school is the second oldest operating public school in Broward County.
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CAP’S PLACE RESTAURANT
Built 1928-29, listed in National Register of Historic Places 1990
2980 N.E. 31 Avenue; and is reached from Cap’s Dock, 2765 N.E. 28th Court, Lighthouse Point
Eugene Theodore Knight, also known as “Cap,” built this wonderful example of 1920s frame vernacular architecture on a spit of land between the Intracoastal Waterway and Lake Placid near the Hillsboro Inlet. It consists of a collection of five one-story wood frame structures which retain their historic usage as a restaurant and bar. The first restaurant building was constructed on a beached dredging barge purchased in Miami in 1928 for $100 and was enlarged in 1929.
The main building walls are made from old growth Dade County pine and pecky cypress. The roofs are covered with tar paper and asphalt shingles. Open rafters grace the ceilings and illumination is provided by bare light bulbs, a Cap’s Place tradition. The bar structure is a rectangular building. On the north side of the interior is a large bar constructed of bamboo from the Everglades. The top of the bar was fashioned from decking from an old ship. Other structures include Cap’s original home, dock and walkways.
By the 1930s the restaurant and bar were frequented by gamblers. The casino and slot machines were removed in 1954, after a federal investigation into gambling in Broward County. Cap died in 1964 and his business associate, Al Hasis, and his family took over operation of this one-of-a-kind restaurant. Originally called Club Unique, Cap’s Place can be reached by a short, free boat ride on the Intracoastal Waterway. Cap’s Place is the oldest structure in Lighthouse Point and is like a time capsule amidst the expensive waterfront dwellings surrounding it. For more information, call 954-941-0418 or visit www.capsplace.com.
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HILLSBORO INLET LIGHT STATION
Built 1905-1907, listed in National Register of Historic Places 1979
Hillsboro Inlet, Hillsboro Beach
The hazards to navigation off the dark coast of what is today Broward County are such that in 1901, the United States Congress recognized the need for a lighthouse at Hillsboro Inlet. In 1904, three acres of land was purchased at the Hillsboro Inlet and the overall drawing for the proposed lighthouse was approved and signed by the Office of the Lighthouse Engineer. It was to be an octagonal pyramid iron skeletal tower with a cylindrical central staircase. In 1905 the Russel Wheel and Foundry of Detroit, Michigan, was awarded the contract for the ironwork at the price of $24,000. The detailed design was based on an existing lighthouse on the exposed coast of Cape Fear, North Carolina.
The structure was first assembled to check for soundness and then taken apart and shipped. The fabricated metal components were moved by a steamer down the Mississippi River, into the Gulf of Mexico, and then to the Hillsboro Inlet. Erection of the lighthouse was awarded to a New Orleans contractor, J.H. Gardner Construction Co., for $16,729. The lighthouse stood 142 feet high when completed in 1907. In 1905 the support buildings around the lighthouse were constructed by G.W. Brown Construction of West Palm Beach for $21,500. These included three cottages for the lighthouse keeper and his two assistants, their families, and a barn for each family.
In 1905 a contract was awarded to Barbier, Benard and Turenne of Paris, France, for “one second order flashing lens” at a price of $7,250. The clamshell “bivalve” design of the Fresnel lens was revolutionary and gave a brilliant light equivalent to the light from 550,000 candles. It was installed in 1907 and the first keeper, Captain Alfred A. Burghell, was appointed. The first lamp was fueled by kerosene, which had to be carried up to the top of the lighthouse. In 1932, after electricity became available, the lantern was replaced by three 250-watt bulbs. In 1966, a 1,000 watt bulb was installed which increased the light to 5,500,000 candlepower, making the Hillsboro Lighthouse one of the most powerful lights in the United States. It is now one of the strongest in the world, with its beam visible 28 nautical miles out to sea.
After the United States entered World War II, armed Coast Guardsmen patrolled the beach on horseback and lookouts with binoculars manned the platforms on top of the lighthouse tower. The lantern room is reached by a winding iron stairway on the inside of the 9-foot diameter tower, secure from the wind and weather. There are 175 steps to the lantern room. In 1995 an extensive restoration of the lighthouse took place and in 1998 the Fresnel lens was restored. It had originally floated in toxic mercury but now is turned by a ball bearing system.
The tower and grounds are not open to the public except by special arrangement with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation Society on eight tour days spread throughout the year. The lighthouse can be clearly viewed from across the inlet at Hillsboro Inlet Park on SR A1A in Pompano Beach. For more information, call 954-942-2102, email email@example.com, or visit www.hillsborolighthouse.org.
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COPENHAGEN FLORIDA UNDERWATER ARCHAEOLOGICAL PRESERVE
Wrecked in 1900, listed in the National Register of Historic Places 2001
Located on the outside of the second reef on the Pompano drop-off just north of the Sea
Watch Restaurant. Latitude 26o 12.349’ N, 80° 05.108’ W adjacent the reef and between
mooring buoy 3 and 4.
The Copenhagen was built in Sunderland, England, in 1898 and was registered to Glasgow Shipowners Company, Ltd., Glasgow, Scotland. The vessel was one of several steamships that became the pride of Glasgow’s merchant fleet. It was a double-bottom, steel hull vessel, with a cargo capacity of 3,279 tons. It was propelled by three triple-expansion steam engines driving a single propeller and carried an auxiliary schooner rig. The ship was put into service under contracts across the Atlantic Ocean.
Copenhagen’s career was cut short on May 26, 1900. Voyaging from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Havana, Cuba, with 4,940 tons of coal, the Copenhagen ran hard aground on a rocky ledge close to shore just south of Pompano Beach. Salvage crews from New York worked for nearly one month saving the cargo but were unable to pull the ship free of the reef before they were called back to New York, abandoning the ship to the sea. The Copenhagen was visible above the water for years; until World War II naval fighter pilots used the ship for target practice.
The wreck of the Copenhagen is located approximately 3.3 nautical miles south of Hillsboro Inlet, just outside the second reef on the Pompano drop-off adjacent to mooring buoys 3 and 4. The Copenhagen came to rest along a rocky ledge, made up of large limestone blocks divided by cracks and crevasses. After grounding, the ship listed to port, its starboard hull eventually collapsing onto the rocks and into the crevasses, while the port side slumped onto the deeper sand bottom. The wreck lies with the bow pointed southward and is approximately parallel to the reef. The bow is located nearly a half mile to the southeast, likely the result of a failed salvage attempt.
Water depth above the Copenhagen varies from 16 to 31 feet, making it an ideal recreational dive spot. Over the years much of the hull has fallen apart and settled over the uneven reef. The lower hull is still in its correct order, especially the stern where it is possible to identify the engine and boiler beds. Coal from the ship’s bunkers and cargo, camouflaged by marine growth, litters the bottom near the wreck. Today much of the ship’s structure has become part of the reef, and wreckage provides an ideal haven for all kinds of marine life. Hard and soft corals and multicolored sponges thrive on the steel hull plates. Juvenile reef fish and tropicals dart in and out of the twisted structure, which serves as a sheltered nursery. Seafans sway in the gentle surge along the length of the ship. The pillow block that supported the propeller shaft is a focal point for curious parrot fish. Empty beds for the ship’s two boilers today house a population of damsel fish and sergeant majors energetically defending their niche in the sunken wreck.
The site was dedicated as a State Underwater Archaeological Preserve in 1994 and divers are encouraged to experience this unique part of maritime history; however, as with all historical and archaeological sites on submerged bottomlands, the Copenhagen is protected by Florida laws which prohibit the unauthorized disturbance, excavation or removal of artifacts.
For more information, visit Florida’s Museums in the Sea at www.museumsinthesea.com.
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Built 1916, listed in the National Register of Historic Places 1984
450 N.E. 10th Street, Pompano Beach
(Formerly at 3161 North Dixie Highway)
The Sample family arrived in South Florida soon after the turn of the century. John M. Sample settled in the Pompano area and purchased farming land prior to 1910 from the Florida East Coast (FEC) Railway. Albert Neal Sample, a one-time architect, followed his younger brother, John, to the Broward County area in 1911 from Chester, South Carolina. Neal purchased his brother’s land on June 11, 1915, and began building the house in 1916. The Sample-McDougald Home, also known as the Old Sample Estate and Pine Haven, is a 17-room Colonial Revival structure constructed by Sample in the style of a Greenville, South Carolina, home he previously owned.
The home, built of cypress throughout, features a wide columnar porch that extends in an U-shape around the east, north and west side of the house and at one time, it faced busy Dixie Highway. Its 11-foot ceilings and numerous windows are a good example of climate control before air conditioning. The foundation was reinforced with extra brick pillars and because of its superior construction withstood the devastating hurricanes of 1926 and 1928. The home served as the base for Sample’s farming operations that stretched from Lighthouse Point out west past what is today Powerline Road. Sample funded and constructed a road in 1917 in order to reach his crop land. Today that thoroughfare, Sample Road, bears his name. In the days when Pompano was a farming community and the recently completed Dixie Highway was the only passable highway leading into Miami, the Sample-McDougald home was a stopover for motorists.
Following Mr. Sample’s death in 1941, Sarah Sellers and William D. McDougald, Sr., purchased the home on August 14, 1943. Over the decades, the McDougalds watched farmland surrounding their residence transform into commercial property. The strip, once known as the new Dixie Highway, became the old Dixie Highway. A founding member of several North Broward historical societies, Mrs. McDougald feared that because of its location the structure was threatened and its future uncertain. It was her wish to see the stately home preserved and included in the National Register of Historic Places. The McDougald children inherited the house and, in keeping with their mother’s desire, nominated it for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Anxious to see the house preserved for future generations, the McDougalds supported several attempts to preserve it, but logistical and financial complexities could not be overcome.
In 1999 several community volunteers created the Sample-McDougald House Preservation Society, Inc. They sought community support for moving and restoring the historic landmark and municipal, state and citizens’ contributions were forthcoming.
During the late evening hours of May 29, 2001, the house was moved off its original site and over the next seven hours moved south on Dixie Highway and then east on N.E. 10th Street to its new location. Hundreds of people lined the streets to view this once in a lifetime sight. When restoration, furnishing, landscaping and site development is completed the house will be opened to the public.
For more information, call 954-786-4047 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.samplemcdougaldhouse.com.
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OAKLAND PARK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Built 1926 and Auditorium built 1927, listed in the National Register of Historic Places 1988
936 N.E. 33rd Street, Oakland Park
Designed by Thomas D. McLaughlin Associates and built by Mills & Norton Construction Company on land donated by the Florida East Coast Railway company, the original U-shaped one-story school building is representative of the Spanish style of architecture prevalent in Florida during the 1920s. The McLaughlin firm also designed the Deerfield School, another site listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
It was built at an original cost of $29,155 and the school was meant to accommodate 200 students. Its arcaded walkways, wrought iron gates and open courtyard give the main classroom building its Spanish character. All classrooms in the original core building face the courtyard to take advantage of the cross breezes. Many older Florida schools, because they were built before the widespread use of air-conditioning, were designed with arcaded walkways instead of enclosed corridors.
The auditorium building, which is adjacent to the school, is also Spanish in style. The auditorium was designed by Sutton and Routt and built by Gahan Construction Company. Both buildings are of concrete block and stucco over wood frame. The auditorium has hardwood floors, 250 seats, a projection booth at the back, eight chandeliers and a high timbertrussed roof with massive pecky cypress beams. It served as a hurricane shelter during the deadly 1926 storm and continues to be one of the area’s prime hurricane shelters because of the structure’s strength.
The school initially served a small farming community, Florinada, which was established in 1923. The school has been and continues to be an educational and cultural center for Oakland Park. Political debates were held there, and the school has served as a polling place. It opened January 4, 1926, for the first day of school with about 200 students and is the oldest school still in operation in Broward County.
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Built 1920 to 1921, listed in the National Register of Historic Places 1984
900 N. Birch Road, Fort Lauderdale
Hugh Taylor Birch was a wealthy lawyer and real estate investor from Chicago who came to Fort Lauderdale in the late 1890s and began to buy the undeveloped land on the barrier island along the Atlantic Ocean. His daughter, Helen, shared her father’s love of the rugged Florida wilderness and visited him in the winter months. After she married millionaire art collector and artist, Frederic Clay Bartlett, her father gave the couple the land which would later be the site of Bonnet House. Tragically, she died in 1925 not long after Bonnet House was completed.
The house itself was designed by Frederic Bartlett. He used local contractor Samuel Drake and local builder W. H. Rogers to organize the work. He used indigenous materials in the construction of the house, including coral rock, cypress, Dade County pine and concrete blocks made from beach sand. The house was designed for tropical beachfront living. Nestled among miles of beachfront development, the 35-acre estate rests on the barrier island with the Intracoastal Waterway on the west side of the property and the Atlantic Ocean on the east. The eclectic architectural style was influenced by Bartlett’s extensive world travels.
Mr. Bartlett later married Evelyn Fortune Lily and this whimsical estate became their winter retreat. Evelyn Bartlett was also an artist and their unconventional personal touches are evident throughout the property. In the main house are ceiling murals, faux painting on the walls and floors, decorative shell work and unique sculptures.
Mr. Bartlett died in 1953. Mrs. Bartlett continued to spend her winters at the estate. Fearing the encroaching development, in 1983 she gave the property to the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. She died two months before her 110th birthday, in 1997. Bonnet House, Inc. operates the property as a house museum and tropical garden. It is one of the few complete homes and studios of a recognized American artist open to the public. Tours are available Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, call 954-563-5393 or visit www.bonnethouse.org.
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DR. WILLARD VAN ORSDEL KING HOUSE
Built 1951, listed in the National Register of Historic Places 2006
1336 Seabreeze Boulevard (A-1-A), Fort Lauderdale
The Dr. Willard Van Orsdel King House is a one-story, Mid-Century Modern Style residence built of solid concrete block. It has an irregular ground plan and rests on a poured concrete slab. It has three bedrooms, two and one-half baths, a kitchen, a combination living room and dining room and a “Florida room” that forms a central pod and is the axis of the interior space of the house. The main (west) façade of the house is dominated by a trapezoidal, two-vehicle carport that is approached by a crescent-shaped driveway. The master bedroom and bath lie in the south end of the west pod of the house while the two guest bedrooms are found at the east pod of the house and are separated by a shared bathroom. The front and rear sections of the house are separated by the Florida room, which opens directly onto the kitchen/dining area, creating a large physical and visual area. Fenestration includes large window walls, awning windows, horizontal sliding windows, and fixed triangular clerestory windows.
The house is located on a 12,500-square-foot lot with beautiful landscaping in the Harbor Beach neighborhood which is situated on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway.
The house represents a significant early example of the Modern Movement in residential architecture in Fort Lauderdale. It was designed by locally well-known architect William Francis Bigoney, Jr., for Alan Morton, the contractor/builder of the house. Bigoney had studied at Harvard University when its Graduate School of Architecture was directed by architect Walter Gropuis, and the house exhibits some of the principals that Gropuis had developed as one of the founders of the Bauhaus school of design in Germany during the 1920s and 1930s. These principals emphasized simplicity of form and physical and visual integration of exterior and interior spaces to produce a dynamic effect not based on historical architectural antecedents.
Most significant about the house was that it was the residence of Colonel Willard Van Orsdel King, Ph.D. (W. V. King), a renowned medical entomologist who specialized in the study of mosquitoes. King was widely published and received world-wide recognition for his research into the life-cycle and control of the malaria bearing insect. The house, which he occupied from 1953 until his death in 1970, is the property that is most strongly associated with King. After he retired from government service, he continued his important epidemiological research, working out of the house as a consultant.
The home is privately owned and not open to the public.
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ALFRED AND OLIVE THORPE LUSTRON HOUSE
1001 N.E. Second Street, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Built 1950, listed in the National Register of Historic Places 2007
This prefabricated house is constructed of porcelain enamel coated steel panels attached to a steel frame. The panels cover the surfaces on both the exterior and interior of the structure. The windows are made of aluminum. The structure was erected on a concrete slab. The one-story side gabled, Ranch-style house is one of the Lustron Corporation’s Westchester Deluxe Model 2 and features two bedrooms and one bathroom. The semi-open plan interior features living, dining and kitchen areas accessible by “cutout” openings without doors. The original exterior color was blue but, is now painted white, while the interior was originally tan.
In 1947, Carl Strandlund created the Lustron Corporation to manufacture affordable homes to address the post World War II housing shortages. By the end of the war, Strandlund had invented a porcelain enamel coated steel architectural panel that could be mass produced at a low cost. Utilizing a surplus military aircraft factory in Columbus, Ohio, Lustron houses were manufactured as a kit, delivered to the construction site and assembled by the dealer, promising a low cost, quickly produced home for a returning soldier that was economical and practically maintenance free.
The Alfred and Olive Thorpe Lustron House retains most of its original features; however, a carport was added and the original steel roof tiles have been replaced with composition shingles. The home is privately owned and not open to the public.
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ST. ANTHONY CATHOLIC SCHOOL
Built 1926, listed on the National Register of Historic Places 1997
820 N.E. Third Street, Fort Lauderdale
St. Anthony Parish is the oldest Catholic Parish in the county. This Mediterranean Revival style school was the first Catholic school built in Broward County and the first Catholic school between the Gesu Catholic School in Miami and St. Ann in West Palm Beach. There were few Catholics in Broward County in the early days. Fort Lauderdale’s Catholic community had long been a minority in the predominantly Baptist town.
This fine example of Mediterranean Revival style architecture was designed by renowned architect Frances Abreu. Abreu did much to popularize the Mediterranean Revival style during the 1920s. The school was built for $60,000 and placed in the heart of Victoria Park, a modest and middle-class new development of homes being built during the real estate boom. In April 1926, a story in the Sentinel made it very clear to all of Fort Lauderdale that Broward’s first Catholic school was being built for the future. The school was built with a capacity to take care of more than 200 pupils immediately and 200 more later; a provision was made for future wings to take care of additional increases in enrollment. The school was dedicated by Bishop Barry from St. Augustine. The official opening was announced for September 1926.
The school served grades one through eight at first. The four classrooms on the first floor each accommodated two grades in the early years. The second floor of the building was originally used as a convent for the teaching sisters. In 1932 St. Anthony became the first Catholic high school in Broward County. That school split off into what is now St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Anthony reverted to kindergarten through eighth grade. Today, classes are taught by lay teachers. The school has been an educational facility for more than 85 years and continues to be in operation.
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OLD DILLARD MUSEUM
Built 1924, listed in National Register of Historic Places 1991
1001 N.W. Fourth Street, Fort Lauderdale
The Old Dillard Museum was built as a school of masonry construction in the Mediterranean Revival style with mission style elements. It was designed by prominent local architect John Morris Peterman and constructed by the firm of Cayot & Hart on land donated by civic leaders Frank and Ivy Stranahan.
The Old Dillard Museum was the first public school built for black children in Fort Lauderdale.
Prior to that time “colored schools” held classes in private buildings provided by members of the
community. In Fort Lauderdale, Colored School No. 11 began in 1907 in a structure built on land
owned by Tom Bryan. It was a one-room wood-frame structure on the west side of what is now
Northwest Third Avenue between present-day Broward Boulevard and Northwest Second Street.
On Sundays the building was used for church services. That structure was torn down in 1910. For
several years, the classes were moved to several buildings in the community, including churches
and teachers' homes, until it moved to the Knights of Pythias Hall at Northwest Fourth Street and
Fourth Avenue where it remained until March 1923. When the public school was constructed in 1924, the 10-room two-story building had an inscription over the front door that read “Colored School.” In 1930, the school’s principal, Dr. Joseph A. Ely, named the school in honor of James H. Dillard, a philanthropist, educator and promoter of education for black children.
Clarence C. Walker, Sr. served as principal from 1937 until his death in 1942. Prior to Walker’s
tenure in office, the School Board had ordered a reduced split term for black schools in the county to provide low cost child labor to local farmers. Black students were expected to work in the fields harvesting the crops. The board decision was challenged in 1942 after Walker led an unsuccessful
boycott. Walker died of natural causes after arguing with the School Board to change the schedule in honor of the boycott. Walker’s death inspired the community to continue the fight for a full school term for black students. Community efforts led to a federal court ruling ordering the change in 1946.
Due to an expanding community, the high school grades were moved to a new facility at 2501 N.W. 11th Street in 1950. For a while the old building became Dillard Elementary. Further growth in the black community led to building a new elementary school near the new high school. It was decided to name the new elementary school Dillard Elementary and change the name of the old school. In June 1954 a citizens committee requested that the old school be named Walker Elementary, in honor of Clarence C. Walker for his untiring efforts and civic prestige in retaining a full and continuous school term for black students.
By the mid-1970s, most of the school's administrative offices and classrooms had been moved to
the adjacent building as Walker Elementary continued to grow. In the late 1980s the building was
boarded up and slated for demolition, but was saved through community activism. The building
was listed on the National Register of Historic Sites in 1991 and developed into a museum and
cultural center in 1995. Broward County Historical Commissioner Mary Smith, president of the
Black Historical Society and a 1952 graduate of the new Dillard High School two years after it
opened, said: “The preservation of the school is important for Fort Lauderdale because it means that this building will stand as a monument to the struggles we’ve had to go through in segregation and upgrading curriculum for blacks.”
The old school is now home to exhibitions, art displays, and historical/cultural artifacts, representing the rich and proud African-American heritage. For more information, call 754-322-8828 or visit www.broward.k12.fl.us/olddillardmuseum.
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WEST SIDE GRADE SCHOOL
Built 1923, listed in the National Register of Historic Places 2012
301 Harmon (SW 13th) Avenue, Fort Lauderdale
The Florida real estate boom of the 1920s brought with it a dramatic surge in Broward County’s population and an accompanying need for additional schools. The Board of Public Instruction created a geography-based ward system and in 1923 built West Side Grade School in what is now known as the Sail Boat Bend neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale, the second of four ward elementary schools. West Side remained in use as an elementary school from 1923-1961, and as administrative offices for the School Board from 1961-2002. In 2009, after extensive rehabilitation, the Historic West Side Grade School building reopened as the headquarters of the Broward County Historical Commission, an agency of government through the Broward County Libraries Division.
John Morris Peterman, a prolific local architect, designed West Side Grade School in the Mediterranean Revival style, with a symmetrical façade and flat roof with parapet walls. In 1923 the Board of Public Instruction awarded a construction contract to the firm Cayot and Hart in the amount of $17,577.90 to build the West Side Grade School following Peterman’s design. Two years later, the Board purchased an additional ten acres adjoining the site which was used to add four additional classrooms and an open–air pavilion under the design of Lattener, Keil and Harper, in association with Thomas McLaughlin, for a cost of $25,688. In February of the same year, The Harmon Foundation donated $2,000 for a playground and a drinking fountain in a decorative encasement, later relocated to the east, in front of the building.
Reopened in 2009 as home to the Broward County Historical Commission, the Historic West Side Grade School houses exhibitions, hosts lectures, maintains a research library open to the public and serves as the depository of County documents and artifacts of historical interest
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NEW RIVER INN
Built 1905, listed in the National Register of Historic Places 1972
231 S.W. Second Avenue, Fort Lauderdale
One of the earliest establishments of its kind in the area, the New River Inn was built by Edwin T. King for Philemon Bryan in a masonry vernacular style. Beach sand was used to create the concrete construction to make the building hurricane resistant. Originally called the New River Hotel, this building replaced a 1902 wooden structure known as the Bryan Hotel, which was moved to the rear of the site and served as a hotel annex. In the 1940s the name was changed to the New River Inn and it served as a hostelry until 1955.
In a letter dated July 31, 1968, Stuart L. Bryan, grandson of the builder of the New River Inn, stated: “The present concrete building was completed in 1905 from blocks made on the grounds in detachable iron molds by hand labor... The sand for the blocks used in the New River Inn was brought from the beach on barges. All walls inside and out were of this beach sand concrete...The inn is a two-and-a-half story whitewashed structure. The roof is hipped with dormers projecting from all sides. There is a belt course of smooth cast blocks at the second floor level creating a marked contrast with the rusticated blocks applied on the rest of the building. By using two different types of molds, the effect of ashlar and rusticated stone has been simulated. Thirteen stone columns support a two-story verandah on the south and east sides of the building.”
Its proximity to the New River and its location adjacent to the railroad emphasize the importance that early modes of transportation played in the development of the Fort Lauderdale area. Visitors to the inn merely had to disembark at the dock on the south lawn of the inn and were surrounded by tropical gardens and scenic walks leading to the entrance. The hotel featured 40 guest rooms, a dining room, sewer and irrigation systems and running ice water and was lit with carbide lamps. Located in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale’s historic district, the New River Inn has been faithfully restored. It now houses the History Museum of the Fort Lauderdale History Center operated by the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society.
For more information, call 954-463-4431 or visit www.oldfortlauderdale.org.
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Built ca.1913, listed in the National Register of Historic Places 1997
220-230 Brickell Avenue, Fort Lauderdale
The two-story Bryan Building was constructed for Thomas Bryan, a member of one of Fort Lauderdale’s most influential pioneer families. The Bryan Building was one of the first hotels in Fort Lauderdale’s original downtown district. It was one of the first commercial buildings to be built after the 1912 fire that destroyed much of the original city. This masonry commercial vernacular building has a brick facade which is unusual for South Florida but typical in other areas of the country at the time it was built. Masonry buildings are more fire resistant than wooden structures. It is considered the least altered building of its era in downtown Fort Lauderdale. The 14,200-square-foot building has old growth Dade County pine floors.
The first floor traditionally was used as offices while the upstairs served as either a hotel or a rooming house. The building housed the city’s post office on the first floor from 1914 to 1925 and the Fort Lauderdale Bank until at least 1924. The Hotel DeSoto occupied the building from around 1919 to at least 1927, the Lee Hotel from 1936 to 1938, the Hotel Boris from 1940 to 1948, and the Dorsey Hotel occupied the site from 1950 to 1965. The Dorsey Hotel did not allow women visitors and was known for its cowboy theme. Rooms were painted with western scenes which ranged from corrals to hangman’s nooses.
In the mid 1940s the building was purchased by local real estate developer Bailey R. Howard. Howard’s daughter, Bette, and son-in-law, Ennis Shepherd, eventually acquired the building. Shepherd became a City Judge and prominent attorney. He maintained his law office on the ground floor from 1947 until the early 1990s.
This building was widely known as the Shepherd Building because Shepherd’s well-known law office was housed there for many years. This tastefully restored building is now used as office and retail space.
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Built 1901, listed in the National Register of Historic Places 1973
335 S.E. Sixth Avenue, Fort Lauderdale
Stranahan House, built in a classic Florida frontier design, is the oldest surviving structure in Broward County. It overlooks the picturesque New River. Home to two of Fort Lauderdale’s best known pioneer residents, Frank and Ivy Stranahan, it was originally constructed as a trading post, the third such structure on the site. Mr. Stranahan married Ivy Julia Cromartie in 1900. When they first met, Ivy was 18 years old and had come from Lemon City to teach at the first Fort Lauderdale school.
The Stranahans welcomed the Seminole Indians, who would sleep on the house’s broad porches when they came to town to trade. Mrs. Stranahan was an early advocate of education for both Indians and blacks. Although she only formally taught school for a year, many of the Indian children who visited her home learned to read through her efforts. The Stranahans donated land for the third school for black children, Old Dillard School, known originally as the “Colored School,” in Fort Lauderdale.
Frank Stranahan’s major business interests were in real estate and banking. He organized the Fort Lauderdale State Bank in 1910 and served as its president. He was also active in local politics. As a result of the collapse of the “land boom” after the 1926 hurricane and the great depression, the Fort Lauderdale State Bank failed. Mr. Stranahan’s other business interests also suffered. Despondent and in poor health, he drowned himself in the New River.
The house has served over the years as a post office, town hall and restaurant. Mrs. Stranahan died in 1971 having watched Broward County’s tremendous growth. In her will she left her property to the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The house was purchased shortly thereafter by the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society and the Fort Lauderdale Board of Realtors who began the restoration effort. The house features Dade County pine walls (termite resistant) and oak flooring. In 1982, extensive archaeological investigations, conducted by archaeologist Robert Carr, helped document the late 19th-century history of the site and revealed deposits of much older prehistoric artifacts. It is now a house museum, run by Stranahan House, Inc., open to the public for tours and special events. This well-restored house museum focuses on the Stranahan family and Fort Lauderdale’s early 20th-Century history. For more information, call 954-524-4736 or visit www.stranahanhouse.org.
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SOUTH SIDE SCHOOL
Built 1922, listed in the National Register of Historic Places 2006
701 South Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale
The South Side School is an 11,000-square-foot, two-story Masonry Mediterranean Revival building with Pueblo inspired decorative elements. It has a stucco exterior, flat roof with a parapet, and banks of awning style windows. As originally built in 1922, the building had a rectangular T-shaped footprint and its parapet was accented with pent roofs. In 1949, the building was expanded on the west and the east sides and, in 1954, a further addition was made to the southeast corner (rear) of the school.
The school opened in 1923, the same year West Side Grade School opened. Schools were needed to meet the explosive growth in population of South Florida due to the land boom. From the 1920s on, the land adjacent to the school was managed by the city of Fort Lauderdale as a park. In the 1930s, the H.C. Davis Baseball Field was built at the southwest corner of the property and tennis courts, shuffleboard courts and a lawn bowling club and clubhouse were built with Works Progress Administration funding at the northwest corner.
Located in an intersection shared with two other very significant historic buildings, the 1938 Coca Cola Building and the 1925 South Side Fire Station, this is one of the most historic spots left in Fort Lauderdale.
The school was closed in 1967. The building was then used as a school for emotionally and physically disabled children, and psychology department offices. When the school recently closed, in the early 1990s, it suffered damage from vandalism and neglect. In 2004 the City of Fort Lauderdale acquired the building and has embarked on a multi-phase rehabilitation program to adaptively reuse the building to serve the needs of the community.
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CROISSANT PARK ADMINISTRATION BUILDING
Built 1922-23, listed in the National Register of Historic Places 2001
1421 S. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale
The architect of the Mediterranean Revival Croissant Park Administration Building is believed to be Francis Abreu, a well known-architect in the area during the 1920s and 1930s. The 6,000-square-foot building is L-shaped and has two decorative octagonal masonry lanterns, reminiscent of towers, on the northeast and southwest roof corners. The cut corner entrance, which fronts onto the intersection of Southwest 15th Street and South Andrews Avenue, is a prominent feature as are the sculpted roof-line parapets so typical of the Mediterranean Revival Style. The building has old growth Dade County pine wood floors.
Part of the development now known as Croissant Park was originally named “Palm City,” then “Placidena.” What is now known as the Croissant Park Administration Building was then referred to as the “Placidena Field Office.” The development was renamed Croissant Park around 1924 after Chicago and Florida real estate developer G. Frank Croissant took over its operations representing his investors, Gilbert F. Woods, Thomas E. Hoskins and Joshua P. Young. The building then became known as the Croissant Park Administration Building and functioned as the sales office for Croissant Park.
Croissant billed himself as “The World’s Greatest Salesman.” Using his existing sales organization in Chicago, Croissant brought his aggressive sales tactics to the Croissant Park development. Prospective buyers were taken to a pretty wooden gazebo on the roof of the office where they could look over the development and choose their future home site. Croissant also held bathing beauty contests, fish fries and concerts to draw attention to his development.
Neglected for several decades, the building was painstakingly restored in the late 1990s by its current owners. It now serves as office and retail space.
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SAM GILLIAN HOUSE
Built circa 1925, listed in National Register of Historic Places 2001
11 S.W. 15th Street (formerly 300 S.E Ninth Street), Fort Lauderdale
Built by Samuel W. Gillian, this house is a distinguished example of a mission/ Spanish eclectic style dwelling with Prairie Style influences. Gillian was the treasurer-manager of the Everglades Lumber Company and a leader in the local Republican Party. Gillian was one of the few registered Republicans in the county, a fact that was cause for comment and amusement in the largely Democratic Broward County. He attended a number of Republican national conventions as a delegate from Florida.
When president-elect Warren G. Harding visited Fort Lauderdale, Gillian, as one of his hosts, arranged a golf game at the new Southside Golf Course with local pro Norman Sommers. The game became famous in local lore; some accounts said that Sommers let the president-elect win. Gillian also worked for Herbert Hoover in his presidential campaign and he may have entertained Hoover when he was in Fort Lauderdale to assess damage from the 1928 hurricane. In 1929 Gillian used the clout he gained in Washington, D.C., to get a $175,000 appropriation for a new post office in Fort Lauderdale on Southwest Second Street.
The 3,900-square-foot Gillian House was constructed of concrete and stucco-clad hollow clay tile, on two lots. The architect of the structure is unknown. The house has a distinctive green barrel tile roof. It features high ceilings, tiger oak floors and trim. The mahogany interior doors have unique inlaid contrasting wood detail. The house features red oak mantles, wide baseboards, French doors and distinctive multi-light casement windows. The original kitchen, including the sink, is intact. It is an excellent example of the finer houses that were built in the area during the 1920s land boom, most of which no longer exist.
The house was boarded up and scheduled for demolition in the early 1990s. Developer Jack Loos wanted to build an office building on the original site of the house on 300 S.E. Ninth Street. He offered the house for free to anyone who would move it. Jay and Jaimee Adams paid to have the structure moved to Southwest 15th Street and renovated. The house, which has been lovingly restored, is now used as professional offices.
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Also known as Shelby Dale House and Gilda’s Club
119 Rose Drive, Fort Lauderdale
Built ca. 1926, listed in National Register of Historic Places 2005
This Mediterranean Revival Style home was built on two lots along the Tarpon River by developer G. Frank Croissant. It is located in the Croissant Park subdivision, one of Fort Lauderdale’s most successful boom-time developments. It was designed by local architect Courtney Stewart during the heyday of the land boom in south Florida. The exterior features a smooth stucco finish over hollow tile with cast concrete roof brackets, gable vents, and decorative cartouches. The basement is made of concrete block and the structure has been reinforced with concrete columns. The multi-plane roof is covered with clay barrel tile and the two-story building has an irregular footprint. It has front-facing gable roofs on the north, south and east elevations as well as flat decks with curvilinear parapets on the south elevation. A brick chimney extends adjacent to the westernmost gable near the center of the building. It lies on a 22,061-square-foot property, which includes the 3,212-square-foot house, a pool, parking area and associated landscaping.
The home is located in a rare enclave of properties known as Rose Drive, which follows a section of the Tarpon River, just south of New River and about a mile south of the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale. Rose Drive has retained an almost rural setting with a meandering street, mature overhanging trees, estate-like lots and a large band of well entrenched free-roaming peacocks.
The home was built for the Williams Family who operated a successful dairy business in Fort Lauderdale including the popular Williams McWilliams Ice Cream Store. The house was subsequently occupied by C. Shelby Dale, a local attorney, who, for a time, was the Fort Lauderdale City Attorney.
Today, this historic home is the setting for a unique cancer support community. Gilda’s Club offers a special place for men, women and children living with cancer. Support and networking groups, lectures and social activities offer a wide range of opportunities for anyone touched by cancer to come together so they needn’t face their experience alone. The nonprofit group is named after the late Saturday Night Live comedian Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer in 1989.
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LOCK NO. 1 NORTH NEW RIVER CANAL
Built 1912, listed in National Register of Historic Places 1978
6521 State Road 84, Davie
Also known as the Sewell Lock and the Broward Memorial Lock, Lock No. 1 is located on the North New River Canal, south of Plantation on State Road 84 just west of the Davie Road Extension. It was built for the Everglades Drainage District and was constructed by the Furst-Clark Construction Company. It is a single lock, 149 feet long, with the entry controlled by wooden gates. It was designed to allow increased agricultural activity along the New River Canal. The Everglades drainage program, which was begun in 1906, has probably had a greater historical and continued impact on South Florida than any other single factor. One of the canals, the North New River Canal, was, in the early years, a major transportation artery between Fort Lauderdale and Lake Okeechobee. In order to make the canal useful for transportation, locks had to be constructed. Lock No. 1 at the south end of the canal was the first to be built in South Florida.
The opening of the lock led to an increased agricultural exploitation of the newly drained land along the New River Canal. Produce grown in this area and around Lake Okeechobee was brought down the canal through the locks to the railroad in Fort Lauderdale. An even more important cargo was Okeechobee catfish. New River was lined with fish houses, overhanging the river. Boats traversed the distance between the lake and Fort Lauderdale in groups. This made the trip go faster since more than one boat could get into the hand-operated lock at a time making it more efficient.
The locks also made it possible for small steamboats to operate on a regular basis between Fort Lauderdale, the lake and Fort Myers via the Caloosahachee River. Regularly scheduled steamers included the Suwannee, Lily and Passing Thru. These boats carried passengers, cargo and tourists up and down the river. By 1926 the canals had shoaled to the point that boat traffic was no longer practical and the waterway was replaced by a railroad and highways as the primary transportation method to and from the lake. That year the locks were closed permanently and allowed to deteriorate due to the lack of use.
The Broward County Historical Commission worked with the site’s owner, the South Florida Water Management District, Department of Natural Resources, to list the lock in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The boat lock had been inoperative for many years but was in remarkably good condition at the time. In the early 1990s the Historical Commission worked with Broward County’s Engineering and Parks and Recreation divisions, the state’s Department of Transportation and South Florida Water Management District, and Department of Natural Resources to have the lock restored. The lock is now the centerpiece of Broward Memorial Boat Lock Park, North New River Lock No. 1, which is part of the County’s New River Greenway. It stands today as a reminder of the importance of the great drainage project to the development of South Florida.
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OLD DAVIE SCHOOL
Built 1918, listed in National Register of Historic Places 1988
6650 Griffin Road, Davie
This masonry building with notable Spanish, Mission and Moorish details was designed by August Geiger. Geiger was one of South Florida’s best-known architects and he served as architect to the Dade and Broward counties’ school boards. Many of his buildings still stand in Miami and other areas of Miami-Dade County. He also designed the Hallandale School and the old Fort Lauderdale High School, both of which no longer exist. The Old Davie School is a concrete building finished with a textured stucco surface. The T-shaped plan and shallow hipped roof behind a parapet wall create a symmetrical composition. Horseshoe-and bell-arched openings add decorative Moorish elements.
The Old Davie School was the first permanent school in the Everglades and was built at a cost of $12,000. When it opened its doors in 1918 it welcomed 90 students. It was in continuous use as a school through 1980. The large windows were carefully placed to take advantage of natural light and to facilitate cross-ventilation. It was the first facility in the area with indoor plumbing, making it a source of community pride. The concrete construction helped keep the building cooler as well as adding a fireproofing element.
Its solid construction proved valuable during the 1926 hurricane and other storms when residents sought shelter there, saving many lives. The large upstairs auditorium (41 by 70 feet) served as a space for social, recreational and civic gatherings in a town which was at one time largely isolated from the mainstream of South Florida until it became the bustling town that it is today.
A grass roots movement by civic leaders saved the building from becoming a bus maintenance repair shop for the Broward County School Board in 1983. The school board, responding to community interest in the building, donated the five-acre site to the Town of Davie for $1. Davie’s most enduring institution remains today much as it was in 1918. A Pioneer Village has been developed on the site to tell the story of Davie’s early culture with a combination of historic original buildings, some moved to the site, and reproduced structures built on the site. Two Florida homes have been relocated to the property and carefully restored to pre-and post-electric eras. The décor depicts life from the 1920s and 1930s. Having always served the area as an educational and community hub, the Old Davie School, supported by the Davie School Foundation, is now a museum and also is a rental hall for weddings, parties, ceremonies and more! For more information, call 954-797-1044 or visit www.olddavieschool.org.
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LINK TRAINER BUILDING
Built 1942, listed in the National Register of Historic Places 1998
4050 S.W. 14th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale
At the beginning of the United States’ entry into World War II, there was a need for training facilities for Naval airmen. Broward County’s flat undeveloped land, adjacent deepwater port, and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean provided an ideal spot for training bases. The Navy purchased Merle Fogg Field and surrounding properties and constructed the Fort Lauderdale Naval Air Station, with satellite fields built throughout the county.
The Naval Air Station was Broward County’s largest World War II training facility, training pilots and crewmen of TBM and TBF Avenger torpedo bombers for service in the Pacific. Radar and artillery development units were also located in the county. Other Naval fields included Pompano Beach Municipal Field (Navy), Forman Field (now the site of Broward Community College), North Perry Field and West Prospect Field (now Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport). Former United States president George Herbert Walker Bush trained at the Naval Air Station.
The members of the “Lost Flight 19” were also among the trainees at this station. The “Lost Flight 19” was a group of five torpedo bomber airplanes carrying 14 men that went out for a training mission December 5, 1945, and mysteriously disappeared without a trace. Their disappearance spurred the legend of the Bermuda Triangle.
The Naval Air Station and other military training sites in the area brought thousands of soldiers and sailors to Broward County. Once here, many determined to relocate to the area after the war to enjoy the tropical climate.
The only remaining building of the original Fort Lauderdale Naval Air Station, the 4,000-square-foot rectangular Link Trainer building housed eight miniature airplane simulators used to train World War II pilots in the techniques of blind or instrument flying. The trainer was essentially a big blue box with little yellow wings. The Link Trainer was patented in 1931 by Edwin A. Link. He had perfected his design in the basement of his father’s piano and organ factory in Binghamton, New York. Organ bellows and a motor provided the means for the trainer, mounted on a pedestal, to pitch, roll, dive and climb as the student “flew” it. Ironically, most of his first sales were to amusement parks. In 1934, after a series of tragic accidents while flying the air mail, the Army Air Corps bought six Link trainers to assist in training pilots to fly at night and in bad weather, relying on instruments. One Link Trainer has been restored and is housed in the Link Trainer Building which is now the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale museum. For more information call 954-359-4400 or visit www.nasflmuseum.com.
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Built circa 1912, listed in the National Register of Historic Places 1999
101 W. Dania Beach Boulevard, Dania Beach
(Formerly at 202 South Federal Highway)
One of Dania Beach’s oldest structures, this one-and-a-half story five-bedroom Colonial Revival style residence is a good example of early 20th Century rusticated cast block. It was one of the earliest dwellings erected in the city of Dania, a city founded primarily by immigrant Danes and Swedes who settled in the area in the early part of the 20th Century.
Nyberg was an early tomato farmer and packing house operator in Dania. Early immigrants prospered in tomato farming and, as early as 1910, the Florida East Coast (FEC) Railway was shipping to northern U.S. cities from “The Tomato Capital of the World.” During the three-month winter harvest, more than 200 farmers shipped 1,000 to 1,500 train carloads of tomatoes north. In the late ‘40s, the tomato boom was over, as crops began to fail from salt water intrusion into the fields.
The Nyberg-Swanson house was constructed for Charles M. Nelson who was one of the community’s early residents. Nelson, a farmer, politician and developer, had immigrated to the United States from Denmark in 1896. He was among the first Scandinavian settlers in Dania. Between 1904 and 1917, he acquired numerous town lots and farm parcels and operated a truck farm. He was elected to the Dania Town Council, serving one term (1914-1915). His wife, Olive, helped organize the Dania Civic Improvement Club in 1913 and served as its first secretary. In 1917, the Nelsons sold their home to Carl Gustaf Nyberg and his wife, Emmy, for $4,700.
After Carl Nyberg’s death in 1918 (he only lived in the house one year), his wife, Emmy, married John Swanson. They were all immigrants from Sweden and active in the growing community. The Swansons continued to operate a truck farm and packing house and also speculated in real estate. Mr. Swanson held a seat on the Dania Town Council for a time. Emmy died in 1945. Swanson and/or family members lived in the house until 1975. The building was then used as a hair styling salon until the early 1990s. The 44-by-60-foot building was relocated to its present site in 1993 to preserve it from demolition. A Walgreens store is now on the original site. It is now office space for the Dania Beach Chamber of Commerce. For more information visit www.daniabeachchamber.org.
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HOLLYWOOD GARDEN CLUB
also known as the Sunday School House of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Built 1932, listed on the National Register of Historic Places 2005
2940 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood
The original First Church of Christ, Scientist Building, was destroyed by the 1926 hurricane within months of its completion. The congregation rebuilt the building from the ground up and it was dedicated in 1932. It was the sole meeting place for the congregation until 1950 when a larger main building was erected on an adjacent lot to the east. The smaller building continued to function for the church as a Sunday School Building for the next nine years. During World War II, the members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist were instrumental in supplying several tons of clothing to needy war torn countries of Europe.
Originally constructed at 1582 Harrison Street, the building was moved to its present site in 1959 when it was donated to the Hollywood Garden Club after the church decided to build a new Sunday school. The club acquired the building for a nominal fee and the club members petitioned the City of Hollywood for a donation of land. Previously, for 32 years, the club had met in members’ homes. Ten members each donated $100 to facilitate the move of the building and to fund the necessary electrical, plumbing and carpentry work. The Garden Club used the building as a Garden Center, meeting hall and library. The club provided enriching civic accomplishments while occupying the building for 40 years.
The Hollywood Garden Club is a small, one-story, wood-frame vernacular building with a stucco exterior surface. It has a low-pitched, front gable roof and flat tile. An incised porch, supported by four Tuscan style columns, spans the main façade, lending some aspects of the Neo-Classical style. The main façade has a double-door (original) entrance flanked by casement windows. The Garden Club planted specimen trees, which are now quite large, seven of which are Florida natives.
The Garden Club was organized in 1927, federated in 1928, and incorporated in 1959. It was part of the National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc. and the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc. The second president was Mrs. Fred Eskridge. (Her husband, Frederic Eskridge, designed the Woman’s Club building, which is also on the National Register of Historic Places.) The club’s membership was exclusively female. They concentrated their efforts in conservation activism, “Litterbug” campaigns, Arbor Day plantings, community beatification projects, sponsorship of youth attending the State Federation Nature Camp, a tree exchange program with Sister City San Salvador, sponsorship of Junior Garden Clubs and the South Florida State Hospital Garden Therapy Program. The membership in the club reached its peak of more than 100 members in 1960. The donation of the building to the club by the church greatly advantaged the civic goals of the club.
By 1998 their membership had dwindled to about six, and they were no longer able to afford the insurance and upkeep on the building. In February 1999, the Club deeded the building over to the City of Hollywood with the request that the city not tear down the building.
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HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD HISTORIC BUSINESS DISTRICT
Built mostly in the 1920s, listed in the National Register of Historic Places 1999
Located along Hollywood Boulevard between 21st Avenue and Young Circle
The Hollywood Boulevard Historical Business District contains one of the finest concentrations of 1920s commercial buildings in Broward County. Construction began in 1921 when Joseph W. Young began building Hollywood and continued through 1926, the boom period. Many of Hollywood’s earliest and most prominent buildings were located in this district.
The district is comprised of 48 buildings, four objects (sculptural memorials), two sites (parks) and one structure (a band shell demolished). It covers approximately 18 acres and contains mainly masonry vernacular buildings, most of which were constructed between 1921 and 1946. The Mediterranean Revival and Art Moderne styles are also represented in the various decorative details applied to the 1920s and 1930s buildings. The district includes the 1924 Mediterranean Revival style Great Southern Hotel, designed by Martin L. Hampton in the California Mission style preferred by J. W. Young which was cited by the U.S. Department of the Interior as the area’s most notable structure. Hollywood Boulevard, with its circles and central location, has been an integral part of the appearance, character, and civic and economic life of Hollywood throughout its history. Inviting restaurants, galleries and eclectic shops line the charming streets of this highly successful historic district.
The City of Hollywood has spent millions of dollars to improve the lighting, sidewalks and streets in the area which, in turn, has prompted some of the property owners in the district to restore their buildings to their original appearance. Preservation of the buildings is encouraged by federal and local tax breaks given to those who perform improvements. Property values have increased dramatically since the area was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
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JOSEPH W. YOUNG HOUSE
Built 1925, listed in the National Register of Historic Places 1989
1055 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood
During the 1920s Florida land boom, 1055 Hollywood Boulevard was built as the residence of Joseph W. Young, founder of Hollywood, a planned community. Young oversaw every detail in the development of Hollywood. An urban developer, Young sought to protect environmental quality, prevent misuse of land and enhance property values by guiding Hollywood’s growth and development. He introduced to South Florida the concepts of a physical grid for the town’s layout, building restrictions, zoning and oceanfront development. Young also championed the creation of present-day Port Everglades, located between Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale. Through the early application of growth management tools, Young stimulated and encouraged the creation of residential neighborhoods in attractive surroundings.
The 1926 hurricane devastated Young’s dream city, frightening away the majority of newcomers to South Florida. They failed to make payments on the homes they had purchased and the bottom fell out of South Florida’s booming real-estate market. Young lost control of much of his Hollywood holdings as a result of lawsuits and other legal actions. Not disillusioned, he continued to invest in land. Tragically, in 1934, he died of heart failure in the study of his Hollywood residence.
Young’s Spanish/Mission/Eclectic style residence was built for $25,000. It was one of the first residences in Hollywood and is also one of the finest; nothing else in Hollywood compares. The house was designed by the prominent Indianapolis architects, Rubush and Hunter, who also designed the Indianapolis City Hall and, locally, the Hollywood Beach Hotel and the Flamingo Hotel on Miami Beach. The house displays all the classic features of Mediterranean Revival style architecture, such as an inner courtyard, various types and levels of roofs, balconies, balconets, loggias, arches, parapets, scuppers, enriched corbels, a bell tower and medallions. Materials include red clay barrel tile, terracotta, stucco, heavy timbers and wrought iron. Large stone urns flank the major entrances. The interior of the house is distinguished by hardwood or clay tile floors, heavy beamed twelve-foot ceilings, wrought iron gates and fixtures, arches, and stuccoed or rough plastered walls.
The house has been in the possession of many owners over the years, some of whom have been more sensitive than others in retaining its unique historical characteristics. Fortunately, the original architect’s blueprints exist. The elegant 23-room mansion was renovated and restored to its former grandeur in the early 21st century, and is still privately-owned.
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HISTORIC VERA AND CLARENCE HAMMERSTEIN HOUSE
Built 1935, Listed in the National Register of Historic Places 2005
1520 Polk Street, Hollywood, Florida
The house was designed by prominent Hollywood architect Bayard Lukens in 1935 for Vera and Clarence Hammerstein. This is a fine example of the style Lukens called “Tropical Modern,” with variegated tile roof and a smooth curving wall at the front entrance. White stucco walls were set off by horizontal trim in another color. His interiors are beautifully detailed, with moldings, trim over and around doors, fireplaces with heatolators (vents with decorative metal screens along the sides of the fireplace), and use of decorative Cuban and Spanish tiles.
World War I pilot Hammerstein and his bride, Vera Rust, both from Indiana, moved to Florida in November 1925 to join friends Jane and Floyd Wray in the booming young city of Hollywood. Unable to find rooms in Hollywood they first settled in Miami near a citrus grove which Vera tended while Ham, as he was called, commuted to Hollywood to sell real estate for the Hollywood Land & Water Company. The Hammersteins moved to Hollywood in 1928 where they first lived in the Fountain Court Apartments at 813 Tyler Street with Vera’s parents, Jacob and Mary Rust.
As real estate was no longer lucrative in the wake of the 1926 hurricane, the Hammersteins sought a new business and made a lasting mark in the community. With the Wrays and Frank Stirling, a citrus grower from Davie, they founded Flamingo Groves in January 1927. Ham Hammerstein was vice president in charge of advertising and sales. The citrus groves still operate as Flamingo Gardens.
Ham and Vera next moved to 1536–38 Polk Street and, during the Depression when lots were auctioned off for tax certificates, the couple acquired eleven lots on Polk Street, including the three lots on which they built their house. In the 1940s both Ham and Vera were very active in the war effort in Hollywood – Vera was the head of a group of women volunteers who canned local produce. From the 1930s to the 1950s, Ham and Vera traveled throughout the world seeking exotic plants; Ham made a special study of the culture of mangos.
At his death in September 1987 at 92, Clarence Hammerstein left this house to the City of Hollywood in memory of his beloved wife, Vera, who had predeceased him. (They had no children.) He made the decision to donate the house after having seen the Taj Mahal.
The house is shown to the public by the Hollywood Historical Society and is open to the public one Sunday each month (except during the summer). Call the Historical Society for specifics, 954-923-5590 or visit www.hollywoodhistoricalsociety.org.
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HOLLYWOOD WOMAN’S CLUB
Built 1927, listed in the National Register of Historic Places 1995
500 N. 14 Avenue, Hollywood
The Hollywood Woman’s Club is a fine example of wood frame vernacular architecture with Colonial Revival details. It was designed by architect Frederic A. Eskridge and was constructed by general contractor, C. E. Payne, and completed August 5, 1927. It is a gable-front frame structure and has a Greek Revival entry with an overall Cape Cod style. It was built on two lots donated by Joseph W. Young, developer of the City of Hollywood. Organized in 1922, the Hollywood Woman’s Club functioned as a community center. The early officers were wives of members of the J.W. Young organization who wanted to establish normal community life as they had known it in the Midwestern states from which they came.
The club house has been continuously occupied by the Hollywood Woman’s Club. The club has served over the years as a public library, a voting place and a building for the community to hold educational, cultural and social gatherings, as well as frequent charity fund raising and political events. The building has been carefully maintained by the members and remains relatively unchanged.
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