Videos and information about some of Broward County's
preserved and vanished historic properties.

Stranahan House

Original Trading post

Ohio native Frank Stranahan came to the area now known as Fort Lauderdale in January 1893 at the age of 27, hired on to manage his cousin’s camp and ferry at Tarpon Bend on the New River.

He quickly established a thriving trading business with the Seminole Indians, gaining a reputation among them as a fair businessman. Arriving by dugout canoes, large groups of Seminole families would camp at the post for days at a time.

In 1894, Frank acquired 10 acres for his own commercial interests and moved the trading post farther west along the river. This property became the focal point of the tiny New River settlement, of which Stranahan was now its postmaster. By 1899, the community had grown large enough to qualify for a teacher from the county board of education. Eighteen-year-old Ivy Julia Cromartie of Lemon City, what is now North Miami, was hired at $48 a month for the job. Community members built the one-room schoolhouse for Ivy and her nine students.

View from the New River of the Stranahan House

Frank built the present-day Stranahan House in 1901; the lower floor served as a trading post and the upper floor as a community hall. By 1906, Frank’s business had expanded to include a general store and bank, he also built a new building closer to the railroad, which had arrived in 1896.

The old trading post was renovated as a residence for the Stranahan’s. The house went through a second major renovation between 1913 and 1915, when an interior staircase, electric wiring, and plumbing were installed. As Frank’s businesses grew, so did the settlement.


Information Provided by the Stranahan House website read more .

King-Cromartie House

In 1907, Edwin T. King, the town’s first builder, a boatwright, and an early citrus grower built his third home on the south bank of the New River near what is now US 1. It remained the King family home until 1968. King’s daughter Louise and her husband Bloxham Cromartie (Ivy Cromartie Stranahan’s brother) resided there for most of their married life.

The Junior League of Fort Lauderdale barged the house upriver to this site in 1971 to save it from demolition. Built of Dade County pine, the house is four-square Georgian style. Originally one-story, a second floor was added in 1911.

Joseph Wesley Young Mansion

Built in 1925 as the personal residence of the founder of Hollywood by the Sea, Joseph W. Young. This 23 room Spanish Moorish architectural gem was designed by the prominent Indianapolis architects, Rubush and Hunter, with help from Young’s personal friend- famed architect Addison Mizner.

In 2002 Investment Banker and Broward Trust for Historic Preservation board member Richard Vest purchased and fully restored the mansion which had been abandoned, vandalized and gutted for 5 years.

Annie Beck House

Annie

Fort Lauderdale’s historic Annie Beck house is owned by Broward Trust for Historic Preservation. In 2018, the Trust leased the home to the city of Fort Lauderdale, which assists us with our preservation efforts.

This historic bungalow-style home was constructed in 1916 out of the area’s indigenous Dade County pine by Fort Lauderdale’s first pharmacist, Alfred Beck, and his new bride, Annie.         

Soon after her arrival, Annie began to spearhead efforts to establish All Saints Episcopal Church at its original location on Southeast First Street and First Avenue. Throughout her 68 years, Anibeck, as she was fondly known, organized the Fort Lauderdale Garden Club, the Woman’s Study and Literary group, and the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society.

“I’ve enjoyed every day here in Fort Lauderdale,” Annie said in a 1973 interview. When she died in 1985 at 98, the mayor, Robert Dressler, called her “one of the grand ladies of Fort Lauderdale history.” 

The Lauderdale Beach Hotel

Original Hotel

In 1936, noted Miami Beach architect, Roy F. France, was hired by Fort Lauderdale banker, James Knight, to design the three-story 60-room Lauderdale Beach Hotel. This deluxe facility just north of Las Olas Boulevard was designed in the prevalent Art Deco style. It was the first hotel on Fort Lauderdale Beach and it was so successful that less than a year later, France was asked to design a six-story addition to the south, increasing the capacity to 150 rooms.
For nearly 40 years, the Knight and Stilwell families owned and managed the “Queen of the Beach” resort which grew to include a large swimming pool, tennis court and putting green. Longtime president and manager, Thomas Stilwell, was the son-in-law of Charles Knight, son of the original builder James Knight.

The popularity of this first beach hotel and resort-initiated development of Fort Lauderdale’s tourist economy following the disastrous 1926 hurricane and the Depression. In 1938, the Fort Lauderdale News called it “one of the most imposing structures in Florida.” It is the only Roy France Hotel in Broward County.

The Art Deco style elegance of Lauderdale Beach Hotel attracted notable patrons such as U.S. Senator Harry Truman. Travel guides and advertisements from the 1940s to 1970s promoted “black tie dining service, luncheon and dinner music, weekly dances, bridge, servants’ rooms and hotel limo service to and from stations.” For a time, a boardwalk extended along the beach in front of the hotel, where Las Olas Beach Club luxury condominium now stands.

In late 1946, the hotel reopened under the management of Charles Knight. In April 1974, it was purchased by the Dublin-based Guinness-Mahon Company who sold it a few years later to a Media, Pennsylvania developer, William Strine.  The marketing firm Strine hired is credited with starting the infamous Fort Lauderdale “Spring Break” by advertising the hotel’s beachfront features at 52 United States college campuses.

Original Hotel in the forefront with 2007 condo addition

Strine’s plans to demolish the hotel and build a 28-story condominium tower were presented to the City’s Planning and Zoning board on October 17, 2001 and approved 5-3. Demolition and construction were delayed by a historic designation application filed a few days later by a group that would later later be known as The Broward Trust for Historic Preservation. The Fort Lauderdale Historic Preservation Board unanimously recommended landmark status for the beach’s oldest hotel on January 14, 2002. It wasn’t until the early summer of 2004 an agreement was reached between the City of Fort Lauderdale, The Broward Trust for Historic Preservation, and the now expanded ownership of the property. William Strine had joined forces with The Related Group of Miami to become known as TRG&S Las Olas Beach Club. In a settlement Agreement, the Trust dropped a lawsuit against the City of Fort Lauderdale seeking to block the condo project. The trust agreed to support a modified development which moved plans forward for the 28-story condo tower and adjacent garage which are now the completed Las Olas Beach Club, perhaps the most magnificent luxury condominium on Fort Lauderdale’s beach. 

The entire north, east, and south sides of the 1936-1937 hotel, plus small portions of the west side, were protected by landmark status granted by the City Commission on October 19, 2004.

Information provided by: Fort Lauderdale realtor,  Andy Wieser. 

Quinn House

Original Quinn House River View

The Quinn family, Hugh, Ada, and daughter, Lucile, migrated south to Florida, settling first in Sailboat Bend in 1917 in a bungalow they called “Sleepy Hollow.” Hugh Quinn was a prominent civil engineer who designed and built the early bridges in this area for the Champion Bridge Company, including the 11th Ave. swing bridge which still operates today.

After an early hurricane destroyed their home in Sailboat Bend, Hugh commissioned Francis Luis Abreu to design and build a second home located on the Himmarshee Canal across from All Saints Episcopal Church which was completed in 1926. His daughter, Lucile, collaborated with Abreu on the interior design and named the house “The Anchorage” for its extensive waterfront location. The massive front entrance was an old abbey door brought to the U.S. from Cuba, and the house had a distinctive Spanish/Moorish style.

Pre demolition view

Soon after the 1926 hurricane, Ada initiated a garden club to help repair and beautify the landscape damage to the city, becoming a founding member of the Ft Lauderdale Garden Club and its first president. During tough financial times after the building boom collapse in the late 1920s, the Quinns rented out the Anchorage in season to help make ends meet. In later years, the house was used as a set location for movies and Playboy Magazine.

The latest owners put a lot of time and effort into restoring the house, adhering to its original old-world style.

However, in 2018 The Quinn house was put on the market and went through three reductions in price before finally being sold to real estate developers in late 2019. Unfortunately, never having the chance for protection by historic designation, the same real estate developers demolished the historic home in favor of this modern-day structure that stands there today.

Anheuser-Busch Mansion

Built in the 1930s for the Anheuser-Busch family, the waterfront home has a long history. After Prohibition ended in 1933, the Busch family commissioned architect Francis Luis Abreu, an apprentice of the famed South Florida architect Addison Mizner. Completed in 1938, The finished Busch family home was dubbed Manga Reva.

The Mediterranean-style compound was later used as a film location for some of the scenes in the 1960 comedy “Where the Boys Are,” about a group of college coeds who descend on Fort Lauderdale for their raucous spring break.

Most recently, the property was purchased in 2014 by the Canadian TV personality and merchant banker Michael Wekerle for $12.5 million.

One of the most significant waterfront properties in East Fort Lauderdale, the spread has 525 feet of deepwater frontage with expansive water views. On 1.21 acres, the grounds include an oversized lap pool, grassy lawns, banyan trees, and 12-foot privacy hedges.

Unfortunately, without the benefit of historic designation. The Anheuser Busch Estate was sold and demolished this year. Once again emphasizing the importance of historic preservation.

Caps Place

Established in 1928 and recognized as a national landmark, Cap’s Place is Broward County’s oldest surviving restaurant.

Eugene Theodore “Cap” Knight was born in 1871 in Cape Canaveral, Florida,

Originally known as Club Unique, the restaurant was a popular supper club and gambling ca­sino in the 1930s and 1940s.

Cap’s Place was owned by Captain Theodore (Cap) Knight, born in 1871. He is one of the earliest settlers in the Lighthouse Point area, and colorful character in Broward County’s history. 

Historic info and photos provided by
(Caps Place website)
Video provided by (M D’s Gin Mill Channel)