Broward Trust for Historic Preservation - HISTORIC STRUCTURES

Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel

Original Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel

In 1936, Fort Lauderdale banker James Knight hired Miami Beach architect Roy F. France to design the three-story, 60-room Lauderdale Beach Hotel. This deluxe facility just north of Las Olas Boulevard was created in the prevalent Art Deco style. It was the first hotel in 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 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. However, in August 2002, demolition and construction were delayed by a historic designation application filed a few days later by a group that would later form the Broward Trust for Historic Preservation, becoming one of the first victories for Broward County’s newest Historic Preservation Trust.

Historic Hotel (forefront) with added Modern Tower

The Fort Lauderdale Historic Preservation Board unanimously recommended landmark status for the beach’s oldest hotel on January 14, 2002. However, it wasn’t until early 2004 that an agreement was reached between the City of Fort Lauderdale, the Broward Trust for Historic Preservation, and now-expanded property ownership. William Strine had joined forces with the Related Group of Miami to become known as TRG&S Las Olas Beach Club.

(Source; My Fort Lauderdale Beach.com)

Anheuser-Busch Estate

Built in the 1930s for the Anheuser-Busch family, the waterfront home has a long history. After Prohibition ended, the house was designed for the brewing dynasty by the architect Francis Luis Abreu, apprentice of the famed South Florida architect Addison Mizner, according to the Wall Street Journal. Completed in 1938, the Busch family home was dubbed Manga Reva.

Anheuser-Busch estate waterfront

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.

Anheuser-Busch estate

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, this beautiful historic home was recently purchased and demolished by Real Estate developers. Once again emphasizing the importance of historic preservation.

Annie Beck House

Fort Lauderdale’s historic Annie Beck house is owned by Broward Trust for Historic Preservation. We leased the home to the city of Fort Lauderdale, which assists us with our preservation efforts. This historic bungalow-style home constructed in 1916 out of the area’s indigenous Dade County pine by Fort Historic Annie Beck houseLauderdale’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.” 

Quinn House

The Quinn family, Hugh, Ada, and daughter, Lucile, migrated south to Florida, settling first in Sailboat Bend in 1919 in a bungalow called “Sleepy Hollow.” Hugh Quinn was a 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.

Original Quinn House built in 1926

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 and 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.

Soon after the 1925 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 rough financial times after the building boom collapse in the late 1920s, the Quinns rented out the Anchorage “in season” to help make ends meet. Unfortunately, Hugh’s health failed him ultimately, and he passed in 1936. His daughter Lucile married Peter van Dresser, a rocket scientist, solar pioneer, and environmentalist, in 1933 and moved to Solebury, PA. Ada remained in the house for a few more years.

Restored Quinn House

Later, Lucile had been in failing health for some time, with heart issues and TB. During one bad spell, Ada went north to Solebury to be with Lucile and was at her side when she died at 51. Even sadder is that Ada died suddenly, not ten days later, presumably from grief.

The latest owners put a lot of time and effort into restoring the house, adhering to its original old-world style. The Quinn house was put on the market early in 2018 and went through three reductions in price before finally being sold to real estate developers in late 2019.

 


However, never having the chance for protection by historic designation, the same real estate developers demolished the landmark home in favor of a modern structure that stands there today.

Fort Lauderdale's
Bonnet House
Built In 1920
Pompano Beach's
Sample - McDougald House
Built In 1916
Fort Lauderdale's
Oldest Surviving Home
The Stranahan House
Built In 1901
Fort Lauderdale's
Anheuser Busch Estate
Built In 1938
Fort Lauderdale's
Jova House Now
The Casablanca Cafe
Built in 1927
Dania Beach's
Martin C. Frost House
Built in 1923
Hollywood Florida's
Joseph Wesley Young Mansion
Built in 1925
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