Broward Trust for Historic Preservation - HISTORIC PROPERTIES
Built in 1930
Built in 1925
Built in 1916
Built in 1912
Built in 1920
Built in 1927
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.
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.
Fort Lauderdale's oldest home built in 1901.
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 ten 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.
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 view current home and read more .
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.
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 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 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 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.
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 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.
Lucile had apparently 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 the age of 51. What is even sadder is that Ada died suddenly not 10 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.
Never having the chance for protection by historic designation, the same real estate developers demolished the historic home in favor of this modern structure that stands there today.
Martin C. Frost House
The Martin Frost House is significant at the local level in the area of architecture and community planning and development and may be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The house is associated with Martin C. Frost, one of Florida’s largest tomato farmers and a Dania politician and developer. The residence stands in the Dania Heights subdivision, which Martin Frost opened for development in October 1923. The dwelling was completed by the following year by Edgar S. Tubbs, a local contractor.
The property possessed significance as one of the largest and best-executed examples of the Mediterranean Revival style in the city. The residence typifies the exuberant architecture of South Florida during the land boom of the 1920’s. In addition, it stands as one of the best preserved historic building in the city along Federal Highway. Indeed, few buildings in Dania Beach better portray the city’s heritage than the Martin Frost House.
Born in Wisconsin in 1886, Martin C. Frost arrived in Dania in 1901 with his family. After completing public school, Frost opened his father’s general store and, for a brief period, worked in the lumber industry in his native state. Then, 1910, he returned to Florida to embark on a career in farming, specializing in the cultivation and marketing of tomatoes. He acquired property west of the Town of Modelo (the original name of Dania Beach), where he began draining and clearing land for a farm. In 1915, he formed a partnership with Miami businessman M.C. Hardee. Through their association, named Hardee & Frost, the pair developed the East March grove, a 200 acre tomato farm at Hallandale. Hardee had arrived in Dania Beach in 1905, but moved to Miami in 1919.
At East March, the partners installed a pumped drainage system to remove excess water from the fields during the rainy season, an innovative feature in south Florida. The system saved several large crops from ruin, and eventually, the Hardee & Frost built packing houses in Dania and Hallandale to market their vegetables. In 1922, the company harvested five hundred crates of tomatoes per acre from its East Marsh fields, making Hardee & Frost the largest producer of tomatoes in the state. The company’s East Marsh variety of tomato became a standard in Florida’s truck crop industry.
Martin Frost success as a farmer spilled over into local politics. He first won election as an alderman in November 1912. Two years later, he won the mayoral race, serving as mayor of Dania Beach between 1914 and 1917 and again, after a two-year hiatus, between 1919 and 1922. Nine years later, in 1931, the voters of Dania Beach returned him to the mayor’s office.
When Frost’s father, A.C. Frost, left Florida in 1920, Martin inherited his position as a sales representative for the Model Land Company in Broward County. Martin also represented the Florida Atlantic Coast Canal and Transportation Company and served as a director of the Dania Bank. Frost also succeeded his father on the Board of Commissioners for Broward County, winning the election of the county commission seat in 1922. The following year, near the peak of this business and political careers, Martin Frost opened the Dania Heights subdivision and built the dwelling on South Federal Highway. He retired from farming and politics soon thereafter, excepting his brief return to the mayor’s office in 1931. He also ended his decade-long association with M.C. Hardee in 1923, though he continued to serve as a Director of the Dania Bank. Martin Frost died in 1965.
* The City of Dania Beach designated this structure as a historic property in 2000 by Ordinance Number 2000-038.
Information provided by: Martin C. Frost Residence, 1923 | Dania Beach, Florida (daniabeachfl.gov)
Established in 1928 and recognized as a national landmark, Cap’s Place is Broward County’s oldest surviving restaurant.
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, one of the earliest settlers in the Lighthouse Point area and a colorful character in Broward County’s history.
(historic info and photos provided by Caps Place website)