Accomplishments


RESTORATION EFFORTS, AWARDS AND COLLABORATIONS  

1972 1981 1989 2000 2005 2011 2016
1974 1983 1990 2001 2006 2012 2017
1975 1984 1996 2002 2007 2013
1977 1985 1998 2003 2008 2014
1980 1986 1999 2004 2009 2015


BRHS&M publishes a new book, Palm Beach County During World War II, in partnership with sister agency the Historical Society of Palm Beach County.

The Boca Raton History Museum becomes an official Palm Beach County Welcome Center for downtown Boca Raton.

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1972

Boca Raton Historical Society (BRHS) is incorporated. The formation of the Society was a project of the Junior Service League (later the Junior League of Boca Raton).

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1974

At the urging of the Boca Raton Historical Society, the Boca Raton Bicentennial Committee sets a goal of creating a local history museum in the old City Hall.

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1975

The City of Boca Raton passes an historic preservation ordinance that creates the Boca Raton Historic Preservation Board, a project spearheaded by the Boca Raton Historical Society. Six properties are singled out in the ordinance as historically significant so they would not be torn down, including the Cloister Inn (original part of the Boca Raton Resort & Club), Town Hall, the F.E.C. Railway Station, and the Mizner Administration Building.

The City of Boca Raton passes a resolution designating the Old City Hall (Town Hall) as the site for a future historical museum. The BRHS immediately moves its office to the second floor of the building and begins to raise funds for the restoration.

The Boca Raton Historical Society convinces the Florida Legislature to create a local office for the Division of Historical Resources in Boca Raton, named the Historic Boca Raton Preservation Board. Several members of the BRHS board are appointed to the board, assuming new powers with state backing.

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1977-1979

The Boca Raton Historical Society spearheads the saving of Singing Pines, a 1912 cracker-style cottage, headed for demolition. The BRHS persuades the City to donate land for the re-location and pays for and arranges the move, while an architect and a builder donate their services for the restoration. The Junior Service League raises $60,000 for the restoration, and in 1979, Singing Pines opens its doors as Boca Raton’s first children’s museum.

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1980

The Old City Hall (Town Hall) and the F.E.C. Railway Station are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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1981

The Cabana Club, which served as the hotel’s beach club since the 1930’s, is slated for demolition to make room for a new high-rise condominium. The Cabana Club, which also served as the social center for the community in the summer months, was made of wood except for the portico entrance. The Historical Society persuades the developer to save the portico (porte-cochere) and move it at his expense ($50,000) to a new Palm Beach County park at the Boca Raton Inlet. The porte-cochere now serves as an elegant structure at a beautiful site that the public can enjoy.

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1983

The restoration of Town Hall begins at the same time that Sanborn Square across the street is being expanded. These two projects, using the same architect and working closely with the City, become the demonstration projects for downtown redevelopment. Design elements of architect Addison Mizner, who originally designed Town Hall, are incorporated into the Boca Raton Beautification Plan and later become part of the Downtown Redevelopment Plan. Boca Raton’s successful redevelopment efforts are now recognized throughout the country.

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1984

In November, the $500,000 plus restoration of Town Hall is complete. The restoration was made possible through private and corporate donations and a $62,500 state grant. The project receives the prestigious Florida Trust Award for Historic Preservation.

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1985

The Mizner Administration Building is named to the National Register of Historic Places.

The F.E.C. Railway Station is to be sold by the Florida East Coast Railway to a local restaurateur. Incensed BRHS members appeal to the City to intervene. The Boca Raton Community Redevelopment Agency negotiates and secures the purchase of the property and the BRHS Board of Trustees agrees to accept responsibility for organizing and leading a community-wide effort to raise funds for purchasing and restoring the Depot and landscaping the site. A coalition of ten local banks arranges for interim financing, and within two months the deal is consummated.

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1986

The fundraising campaign for the Depot is underway. Local citizens, wearing engineer caps, blowing railroad whistles and “buying” stock in the Boca Scenic Railway Company, join in the campaign. With community donations, a $400,000 state grant, and a gift of $500,000 from Countess de Hoernle, the largest single gift to a preservation project at that time in the county, the necessary funds are raised.

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1987

Members of the Historical Society board arrange for four rail cars to be delivered to the Depot site. A steam locomotive and a caboose from the 1930’s and two 1947 streamliner passenger cars are placed at either end of the Depot.

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1989

The Boca Raton Historical Society receives the prestigious Florida Trust Award for Historic Preservation for the restoration of the F.E.C. Railway Station, Count de Hoernle Pavilion.

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1990

The Old Floresta Historic District is created by the Boca Raton Historic Preservation Board and approved by the City Council.

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1996

The exteriors of the four railway cars at the F.E.C. Railway Station, Count de Hoernle Pavilion are restored by the Historical Society with a designation of $40,000 by the Board of Trustees.

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1998
The Boca Raton Historical Society receives the Outstanding Educational Program Award from the Florida Historical Confederation for lesson plans on local history created for area teachers.

At the request of the Boca Raton Historical Society, the Historic Preservation and Review Board of Palm Beach County designates Camino Real and the Camino Real Bridge as historic. This is an effort to save the roadway, designed by Addison Mizner, and the bridge built in the 1930’s from being changed due to high traffic.

The BRHS begins sponsoring Boca Raton’s Walk of Recognition, which annually recognizes local residents who have gone above and beyond their normal careers to improve the community. The honorees’ names are permanently inscribed in granite stars displayed at Royal Palm Plaza.

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1999

The Boca Raton Historical Society announces that the Countess de Hoernle has made a $2 million endowment bequest to the Society; $1 million for the upkeep of Town Hall and $1 million for the upkeep of the F.E.C. Railway Station, Count de Hoernle Pavilion. This is the largest single endowment gift to an Historical Society in the State of Florida.

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2000

The Boca Raton Historical Society begins working with the City and the Palm Beach County School Board to save the gymnatorium at Boca Raton Elementary School. The building, built by the WPA in the 1930’s, was the only combination gym and auditorium still in use in the county and was at the center of Boca Raton social life since WWII days. Ultimately, the gym was demolished to make room for a playground for the re-built Boca Raton Elementary School.

Boca Raton Historical Society entered into a community partnership with the Boca Raton Magazine, the Design Center of the Americas (DCOTA), and DuPont – O’Neill & Associates to completely restore the interiors of the two 1947 streamliner railway passenger cars located at the F.E.C. Railway Station, Count de Hoernle Pavilion. Everyone in the community was encouraged to get All Aboard the Boca Express. The cars were brought back to their original condition to serve as a museum. In August 2001, the BRHS received a Special Category Grant from the state of Florida for the train restoration in the amount of $120,200.

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2001

The Boca Raton Historical Society nominates architect Addison Mizner to the Florida Artists’ Hall of Fame. Mizner is chosen as the first architect to receive this award, and the induction ceremony is slated to take place in April 2001 at the Boca Raton Resort & Club.

The BRHS collaborates with local teacher, Deborah Rothberger, to write and publish a children’s book on the history of Boca Raton: A Stroll Through Boca Raton’s Early History from A – Z. The book is for sale in the Society’s gift shop and is donated to local schools through the program “Books for Boca.”

The two 1947 streamliner rail cars are named to the National Register of Historic Places.

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2002

Pearl City is designated by the City as an historic neighborhood. The Palm Beach County office of the Division of Historical Resources, working with the Boca Raton Historical Society, completed the site survey of Pearl City, Boca Raton’s only African American neighborhood.

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2003
The inaugural Boca Bacchanal Winefest & Auction is successful. This is a new fundraiser for the Society to raise funds for its heritage education programs in the community.

The Boca Raton Pioneer Club donates $17,000 that was raised to save the gym to the BRHS to digitize and microfilm the Society’s collection of hometown newspapers. The papers are carefully unbound, ironed and sent for copying.

The BRHS undergoes the Community Assessment Program (CAP), sponsored by the IMLS, to assess the care given to archives and collections, including buildings and properties.

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2004
Boca Express Train Museum opens to public. The Ticket to Ride children’s educational program is started.

The BRHS receives an award from the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation for its exhibit, Mizner’s Dream: The Built and the Unbuilt.

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2005
The BRHS undergoes the Museum Assessment Program I (MAP), sponsored by the IMLS, which is the first step for accreditation by the American Association of Museums.

The BRHS collection of hometown newspapers, digitized in 2003, are put on the web for easy access by those interested in Boca’s history from 1938 – 1969. The funds for this were raised at the Boca Bacchanal Wine Auction 2005.

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2006

Boca Raton Historical Society is recognized by the American Association for State and Local History's Award of Merit for its website, www.bocahistory.org.

BRHS&M receives its first Florida Cultural Endowment matching grant of $240,000 forming a $600,000 endowment. 

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2007

BRHS publishes a new pictorial history, Boomtime Boca: Boca Raton in the 1920s, by curator Susan Gillis.

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2008
The Historical Society receives a collection of antiques from Addison Mizner's Worth Avenue apartment, on long term loan from the Norton Museum.

BRHS publishes a new scholarly history entitled The Boca Raton Resort & Club: Mizner's Inn by historian Donald W. Curl.

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2009
BRHS, in conjunction with Google, makes the Boca Raton News archives 1970-2005 available on line through Google News Search.

The Society receives a significant collection of Mizner related antiques from the Boca Raton Resort & Club.

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2011
BRHS&M initiates a Twitter account for pioneer farmer Frank Chesebro; each day tweeting the entry from Frank’ s diary from 100 years ago.

The FEC Depot gets a historically appropriate new roof and lamp posts.

BRHS&M is awarded the American Association of Museums MAP 3 grant, for community engagement assessment. 

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2012
BRHS&M celebrates its 40th anniversary and adopts a new strategic plan.

The Boca Express launches a new first person interpretive tour.

Website www.bocahistory.org is greatly expanded with additional historic resources and new format.
 

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2013
The Historical Society announces its rebranding as the Boca Raton History Museum.

The Boca Raton History Museum partners with the state’s Viva Florida 500 event with an exhibition titled “Native Floridians.”

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2014
The Historical Society initiates its Boca Raton Jewish Community oral history project tin partnership with Lynn University’s College of Communications.

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2015

BRHS&M receives its second Florida Cultural Endowment matching grant of $240,000 forming a $600,000 endowment.

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2016
The Walk of Recognition holds its 20th Year ceremony.

The Historical Society hosts a trolley tour of the new downtown Boca Raton developments, “Meet Your New Downtown.”

BRHS&M prints a new edition of its popular 1975 cookbook, the Pioneer Cook in Southeast Florida.  

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2017
The BRHS&M major fundraiser Boca Bacchanal, celebrates its 15th year.

 

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BOCA RATON HISTORICAL SOCIETY & MUSEUM
71 North Federal Highway|Boca Raton, Florida 33432
P: 561.395.6766 F: 561.395.4049|Monday - Friday 10:00am - 4:00pm
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