F O R H I S T O R I C P R E S E R V A T I O N
SUMMER 2016 NEWSLETTER
The Trust has been busy and we want to share all the good news, struggles, and highlights!
Annie Beck House Update
As you know, the management of the house has been entrusted to the Fort Lauderdale Central City Alliance (formerly the 13thStreet Alliance) and they have been doing a terrific job of keeping up with the many projects demanded of a 100-year-old house. There is always something that needs attention! The neighborhoods that comprise the 13thStreet Corridor utilize the house for meetings and functions. In addition, during this past year, the Trust has partnered with GFWC Fort Lauderdale Junior Woman’s Club and two of their members serve on the Trust Board. The Club also utilizes the house for meetings and events.
During the holidays, the Annie Beck House hosted a wonderful Open House weekend and so many members and others dropped by for a members’ cocktail party and weekend festivities. Kudos to the Fort Lauderdale Junior Woman’s Club for a terrific event. That Sunday also saw the yearly neighborhood party hosted by the Central City Alliance with Santa arriving and giving the neighborhood kids a lot to be happy about.
We have created a new website (www.browardtrust.org) and have maintained an updated Facebook page (facebook.com/BrowardTrustforHistoricPreservation); check them out!
GFWC Fort Lauderdale Junior Woman’s Club
Have you ever wondered who Annie Beck was and why she is important to Fort Lauderdale? On March 12, 2016, Annie’s last surviving friend Ann Schandelmayer visited our Annie House. Ann is known as the Grand Dame of the Fort Lauderdale Garden Club, and a close personal friend of Annie Beck. Ann shared many details of their friendship with laughter and there were also several moments when tears came to her eyes as she recalled their relationship.We learnedthatshewasamastergardener,lovedhercityandbelievedincommunityinvolvement. Ann shared all this along with some wonderful pictures, post cards, newspaper clippings and even personal notes handwritten by Annie herself. Annie truly was an amazing woman and had an even more amazing impact on our city by always stepping up when needed. Along with Ann Schandelmayer was Wanda Roark, Annie’s great niece. Wanda, who lived with her Aunt when she was a young woman, now lives in Lakeland, Florida. She was at the event with her husband, daughter, and granddaughter and shared her personal memories of Aunt Annie, too. A wonderful morning was had by all and everyone went away feeling a little bit closer to Annie Beck with a desire to keep her spirit alive.
One of our latest endeavors is our new butterfly garden. Thank you to Barbara Dewitt, a member of FLJRWC and BTHP board members Dave Parker and Paul Boggess for their knowledge of gardening and the importance of using native plants to attract butterflies. Barbara recently learned about a group of citizen scientists out of Tampa, Florida who began working with the University of Georgia to educate about the plight of our beautiful monarch butterfly. Because of Barbara, we are working with the Fort Lauderdale Butterfly Society and Citizen Science people in Broward County and Tampa. We capture, sex, tag, OE test (parasite testing), and then release our monarchs. The data collected will aid in finding out why their numbersaredwindling. Annie would be so proud.
Mark Your Calendars!
Save the Date: Sunday, December 4, 2016 is the date for our Historic Holiday Home Tour. Partners FLJWC and BTHP are in the beginning stages of preparation for what will become an annual event. Six historically designated properties will be decorated and open to the public for self-guided tours. Keep your eyes open on our FB event page and website as we ready ourselves for the kick-off event in October when we will announce our six very special properties. Also included in the festivities will be our signature Gala fundraiser so also mark your calendars for Saturday December 3, 2016. The Gala festivities honor Annie Beck’s birthday and celebrates the anniversary of her home; the milestone of one hundred years since husband Alfred built it for her.
Fort Lauderdale Historic Preservation Ordinance and Staffing
For several years, the Trust participated in the City of Fort Lauderdale’s meetings concerning the re-writing of its historic preservation ordinances. We urge the City to finalize that work and move forward. At those meetings, the Trust strongly advocated for the hiring of a City Historic Preservation Officer. Fort Lauderdale is a Certified Local Government (CLG), the building stock is aging, and someone with the proper education, experience, and skills set needs to be overseeing these issues. The Trust is so very pleased to see that the City has included in this upcoming budget a position for a historic preservation planner; the job has been advertised, and we stand ready to assist in any way to ensure that the myriad of historic preservation responsibilities is addressed. Over the past few years, many of Fort Lauderdale’s mid-century modern buildings have been lost. The Trust has urged the City to require developers to document these buildings in a consistent fashion. Thankfully, some developers have provided historic reports to the City for those lost buildings; but much more needs to be done.
You will also remember that we supported the Broward County Historical Commission in its appearance before the County Commission to achieve Certified Local Government status for the County. It is great to report that the County has achieved that status and now has a Historic Preservation Officer working with a new Historic PreservationBoard.
Designation Successes and Struggles
As you know, many of Broward County’s buildings dating from the 1920s through the early 60s are not protected against demolition or insensitive redevelopment. The mission of the Broward Trust has been to help expand historic designations, strengthen existing protection laws for historic preservation and to ensure that municipalities comply with their own historic preservation ordinances. During this past year, the Trust supported the efforts of many residents of Fort Lauderdale beach who want nothing more than to maintain the character of their neighborhood and filed and supported historic designation applications on three buildings on Alhambra Street just west of the Café Casablanca. Unfortunately, one of those buildings (3029 Alhambra) was demolished by the owner just two weeks prior to the Historic Preservation Board hearing. Villa Torino (3017 Alhambra) was designated historic by a vote of 8-1 by the Historic Preservation Board only to see the City Commission overturn that designation. A case against the City Commission’s decision was filed in Circuit Court by local residents and, to date, has not been heard. When it was learned that a demolition permit was applied for on that building by the new owners, the plaintiffs filed an emergency motion to get the Court to rule before it was too late. The City was asked to join that request (see New Times Broward/Palm Beach for their coverage). The Court never responded to the emergency motion and, sadly, the charming 1936 Art Moderne building, in perfect condition, was demolished on July 29 and 30th.
Much to the dissatisfaction of the Trust, a third building at 3021 Alhambra by noted architect Courtney Stewart was not designated by the historic preservation board or the City Commission. The new owners of the three parcels were quoted in the Sun Sentinel “as not in any particular hurry to develop the site”; so many are wondering what the rush was to demolish the existing structures.
Recently, the Trust was the applicant in requesting historic designation of The Towers Apts. Hotel. This rather large 1925 Mediterranean Revival building, just off Las Olas Boulevard, was designed by noteworthy architect, Francis Abreu. The good news is that both the Historic Preservation Board and the City Commission designated the structure as historic. The unfortunate news is that the owners have used a state statute to call for a special magistrate to hear their “request for relief” and that process is ongoing. The Trust is very grateful and thanks the Beverly Heights Civic Association for its terrific support and neighborhood activism in its desire to preserve this truly unique building in their midst.
We hope to find Board members from other municipalities who are vested in expanding our reach to other parts of the County. If you would like to help in the review process of our list of Significant and Endangered sites in the County and focus on what we should preserve, then please contact us. Historic preservation and development are not mutually exclusive; education is the key to making this a win-win for all. We have attached a membership application to this e-mail and hope you will join us. Send your membership check or other contributions to the Trust. More importantly, if you decide to become a member, why not become actively involved in helping us to preserve the built history in Broward, one building at a time. Remember we love "Likes" on Facebook and you can find us at: facebook.com/BrowardTrustforHistoricPreservation; your thoughts, ideas, posts, historic pictures are always welcome.
Keep “liking” us, tell your friends and, again, don’t forget our new website at www.browardtrust.org . If any of our issues peak your interest, let us know. Please know that maintaining a 100-year old house has real-life expenses such as maintenance and insurance. In addition, there are many other expenses such as legal fees and designation applications. We are grateful for your donations and count on them to keep us going. The Board is comprised of all volunteers and we rely on your support.
Thank you for that support and all you do; it truly makes a difference.
Steven Glassman, President
Margery Anderson, Vice-President
Tim Smith, Director and ABH Manager
Terry Bean, Director
Paul Boggess, Director
Dave Parker, Director
Michaela M. Conca, Director