The West Palm Beach Register of Historic Places

The West Palm Beach Register of Historic Places is a listing of locally designated buildings and
districts significant to the City of West Palm Beach.  The Historic Preservation Division of the
Planning Zoning and Building Department is responsible for identifying significant properties for listing
in the local register and for reviewing modifications, additions and alterations to historic sites and to
properties within historic districts.

Process for Designation

Applications for designation can be initiated by the Historic Preservation Board, the City
Commission, the owner(s) (in the case of a Site designation), a majority of owners (in the case of a
District designation, or by the Preservation Planner(s).  Only the Historic Preservation Board or the
City Commission may initiate designation of a Building, Site, Structure or District owner by the City,
County, State or by a state law-created entity.

The Historic Preservation Board then conducts a public hearing to determine whether or not the
property meets the criteria to qualify for listing in the West Palm Beach Register of Historic Places.  If
the Historic Preservation Board recommends that the property be listed, that recommendation is
submitted to the City Commission.  If the Commission votes in favor of the historic designation, an
ordinance is enacted which designates the property a historic site or district and lists it on the West
Palm Beach Register of Historic Places.

Criteria for Designation

A property must be at least 50 years old and possess architectural, aesthetic or historical value.  That
value is judged by: (1) an association with events that have made a significant contribution to the
broad patterns of history; (2) an association with the lives of persons significant to the past; (3) the
distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represent the work of a
master, or that possess high artistic values, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity
whose components may lack individual distinction; (4) an association with a singular location that is
unique or possesses singular physical characteristics that make it an established or familiar visual
feature; and (5) the yielding or possible yielding of information in prehistory or history.

West Palm Beach Historic Districts

Old Northwood           1991
Northboro Park           1992
El Cid                          1993
West Northwood         1993       

Belair - Designated in 1993

The Belair Historic District generally lies between South Flagler Dr. to the east and South Dixie Hwy.
to the west.  The southern boundaries are the 200 and 300 blocks of Plymouth Rd.  The northern
boundary includes the 300 block and the south side of the 200 block of Pilgrim Rd. including the
original homestead of William Ohlhaber at 205 Pilgrim Road mentioned below.

The area essentially includes all of the subdivision plot of Belair which was recorded in 1923.  
Entirely residential in nature, the district consists of Mediterranean Revival Mission Revival, Frame
Vernacular and Masonry Vernacular style houses.  While most of the historic homes were built in the
late ‘20’s and early ‘30’s and represent the Florida Land Boom era, there is one structure that
predates 1900 and is the Richard Hone/Brombacher House, circa 1895.  Other prominent structures
include the John Stephens home (1927), the Eric Shroeder home (1926), B.V. Zeigler home (1926 –
one of the few early frame vernaculars), and the Jonathan Sirich home (1927).  

The area was part of a land grant from 21st President Chester Arthur on February 25, 1885.  to
James Wood Davidson.  Mr. Davidson sold the tract of land to John Huntington Jones in 1886.  The
tract became the property of Richard Hone, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England and Mary
Jones Hone, his wife on February 9m, 1895.  This tract of land was thought to be the dowry of Mary
Jones.  Richard Hone developed a pineapple and c citrus plantation on this tract of land.  His house
was known as one of the finest on Lake Worth and still stands at 211 Plymouth Rd.

Richard Hone met with an untimely death and his murder made headlines in the local newspaper,
“The Tropical Sun.”  The newspaper’s account of the murder said that during a severe thunderstorm,
an assassin approached the house on horseback and shot and killed Richard Hone through the
window of the dining room.  At the time of his murder, Hone was sitting in his dining room writing a
letter to his sister in England while his wife sat beside him reading.  The jury assembled by the Deputy
Sheriff found that “the deceased, Richard Hone, came to his death by a gunshot wound, at the hands
of a party unknown.  Mary Hone became the sole heir to the estate as their three children died in
infancy.  To provide herself with some income, Mary Hone obtained a mortgage of her property
from J.F. Olmstead on December 30, 1904.

Olmstead, in turn sold the property to Mr. George Currie on January 26, 1906.  Within 30 days of
obtaining this property, Mr. Currie created the Currie Development Company.  Currie created this
company to acquire money that would give him the freedom and leisure to write and publish more
books of poetry.  Although he aspired to be a poet, Mr. Currie was best known as a lawyer, and an
early real estate developed.  In 1919 a journalist once wrote of Currie, “It can be said without
contradiction that (Currie) has done more than any other one individual to develop Palm Beach
County and its vast resources.”

Following a series of sales, the land tract became the property of William and Sophie Ohlhaber on
June 6, 1923.  Finally, Mr. William Ohlhaber platted the subdivision in June 1923 and constructed
the home at 205 Pilgrim Rd., the first house built in the subdivision of Belair.  Mr. Ohlhaber was an
architect from Chicago who wintered in West Palm Beach for many years.  According to Mr.
Ohlhaber’s grandson, Mr. Ohlhaber acquired the tract to provide dockage for his 90 foot yacht.  
Unfortunately, Mr. Ohlhaber’s yacht never reached Lake Worth as it ran aground in the Gulf of

In the mid ‘20’s members of the Ohlhaber family created a lakefront nursery on the property.  The
nursery specialized in coconut palm trees and ferns.  These specimens could be seen prominently until
the 1977 coconut palm blight.  A few of the palm trees and several of the ferns still exist on the
original property.

Flamingo Park              1993

Flamingo Park - Designated in 1993

Prospect Park/Southland Park - Designated in 1993

This historic district consists of 217 (57%) contributing and 165 (43%) non-contributing properties.  
The district lies generally between Lake Worth to the east, S. Dixie Hwy. to the west, Monceaux Rd.
to the north, and Monroe Drive to the south.  The area includes part, if not all of the following
subdivisions: Prospect Park (1920), Southland Park (1923), El Cid Court (1937) and Monceaux
(1926).  Primarily residential in nature, the district consists of Mediterranean Revival, Mission
Revival, Monterey, Colonial Revival, Art Moderne, American Foursquare, International. Tudor
Revival, Frame and Masonry Vernacular and Craftsmen./Bungalow style homes.  Most of the
historic homes were built during the 20’s and 30’s and represent the Florida Land Boom era.  Of the
contributing properties, 136 are individually eligible for listing on the National Register.

The initial area was promoted as a higher end residential neighborhood patterned after the prominent
district of Prospect Park in Brooklyn.  The configuration of streets in Prospect Park was developed
as a supportive neighborhood to the south with more grid-like characteristics.  Monceaux and El Cid
Court were less developed initially and remained so until the 50’s and 60’s.  The entire district was
developed as a lakefront subdivision for the middle to upper-middle classes with many houses being
developed as smaller estates for prominent business people and investors from the north.

The early history of the Prospect Park/Southland Park area begins in December 1874 when the
Mason Dwight family arrived in then Dade County and established a homestead on the shores of
Lake Worth.  They brought with them a widow named Elizabeth H. Wilder as their cook.  When the
Dwights returned to the north in June 1876, another pioneer, Charles Moore, asked Mrs. Wilder to
remain here and marry him.  The ceremony was the first in the area.  Under her former name, Wilder,
Ms. Moore filed a patent on Government Lots 1 through 3, Section 34, Township 43 South.  Ms.
Moore’s homestead was bounded by the shores of Lake Worth to the east and by the present-days
centers of Belvedere Road to the north, South Dixie Highway to the west, and the southern property
lines of the properties along the south side of Monroe Dr.  Later in the early 20’s, portions of her
homestead would be platted as the four subdivisions.

Mr. Hubert F. Krantz served as the developer of the Prospect Park subdivision, which was the first
area platted in the historic district.  Mr. Krantz was born April 1, 1863 in Germany and came to
South Florida in 1894.  He was heavily involved in the development of electrical switchboards and
safety devices and held over 60 electrical-type patents.  As an electrical engineer, Mr. Krantz was
presented with a gold medal from the American Bureau of Safety, which is associated with the
Federal Government, and served with the Western Electric Co.  He also designed and built electrical
devices for many large business concerns and his clients included the Astors and Vanderbilts.

With Prospect Park, Krantz utilized the design of the subdivision of the same name in Brooklyn, NY
where he resided.  The curvilinear nature of the original development and English origin of the names
for the streets appealed to the owner who worked Mr. George W. Carr to lay out the new
subdivision.  Later, Mr. H.C. Fugate, Engineer, assisted with platting additions to Prospect Park
South.  The neighborhood had its own water and electrical system with three parks dedicated to the
City by Mr. Krantz.  Landscaping was provided by the Krantz’s Royal Palm Nursery in Boynton
Beach.  Other amenities included a neighborhood pier at Lake Worth, Royal Palm Park, and a
central part with fountain, benches and lights.  Krantz also owned the Hotel Leamington in downtown
West Palm Beach and built his own home at 200 Argyle Rd. in 1924 in an unusual Mediterranean
Revival style; it cost $50,000 to build.

For Southland Park, the Heights Land Co., Inc. served as developer.  Mr. A.O. Greynolds served
as president of the company.  Both the H.C. Fugate Engineering Co. and the Riddle Co. provided
engineering services.  Monceaux was developed on the estate of Mr. Harold E. Spencer with
Ruggles, Flowers, Farnum and Mason as engineers.  The El Cid Court plat, the last in the area, was
developed on property previously owne4d by Ms. Rosa S. Anthony and Mr. Howard Phipps.

William Manley King actively practiced architecture in West Palm Beach between 1920 and 1962.  
He designed Palm Beach Jr. High School in 1929.  In a partnership with K.M. Campbell they
collaborated as the architects for the Harvey Building at 226 Datura St. in 1927.  Their firm
produced plans for the Palm Beach Central School’s auditorium and the Mediterranean Revival
home at 3131 Washington Rd.  This structure is one of two in the area that can be attributed to a
local architect and exhibits extensive Moorish influences and was constructed in 1940, which was a
rather late date for such a building.

Belford Shoumate was a Miami architect who designed the prominent International Style structure
located at 3135 Washington Rd.  A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Shoumate studied
with Paul Philippe Cret.  After graduation, he worked for Joseph Urban in New York City.  Urban
designed Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach.  Shoumate’s first design in South Florida was the home at
1221 North Lake Way in Palm Beach.  Built in 1937, this Art Moderne residence was named “The
House of the Future” at the 1939 World’s Fair.

There are two homes in the district which are attributed to local architects William Manley King and
Belford Shoumate.  There were many contractors and builders.  For a complete list and for a
bibliography of primary and secondary sources for this information, contact the West Palm Beach
Historic Preservation Division at 561-659-8031.  Additionally, they can provide a list of all
addresses within the district including the builder and year built, if known, and architectural style.

The Prospect Park-Monceaux Homeowners Assn. has a web site at

Northwest - 1993
Central Park - 1993
Grandview Heights - 1995
Mango Promenade - 1995
Clematis Street Commercial District - 1996
Northwood Hills - 2003

Northwood Hills - Designated in 2003


The Northwood Hills Historic District is significant for its significance related to an association with
events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of the City’s history.  It is
significant is for its role in community development. It is also significant for distinctive characteristics
of a type, period or method of construction, representative works of a master, possession of high
artistic value, or representation of significant and distinguishing entity whose components may lack
individual distinction.  Northwood Hills is significance for its collection of architecture representative
of the period from 1925 to 1953. The area has a number of Mission Revival style houses, and a
number of houses that reflect Post-War architecture.  The district maintains the integrity of setting,
design, materials and scale that reflect its development during the Florida Land Boom era of the
1920s, the Great Depression Era, the Post-War Period, and the Cold War Period.

The Northwood Hills Historic District is located in the northern area of West Palm Beach, Palm
Beach County, Florida.  The proposed district of approximately ninety-one (91) acres is bounded on
the north by 39th Street, on the south by 29th Street, on the west by Windsor Avenue, and on the
east by Greenwood Avenue.  The district consists of 592 primary buildings, 426 of which are
contributing properties and 166 of which are non-contributing.  The district is made up primarily of
one- and two-story vernacular forms, and Mediterranean Revival and Mission Revival style
residences, built between 1925 and 1953.  A number of the residences have accessory buildings,
primarily garages.


The streets in Northwood Hills were laid out before 1920, and mahy articles began to appear in the
“Post” showing homes for sale and heralding the beautiful geography of the area.  Development firms
that had purchased the land previously owned by Dr. Gale built many of the early homes.  Lainhart
and Potter, a builder at the time and still in business for construction materials on 25th street nearby,
was one of these.  An unlikely legend has it that the Mediterranean Revival castle homes which stand
along the top of the hill were constructed by pirates and rum runners.  From the tops of these houses
they had an unobstructed view of the Intracoastal and the sea.  This allowed them to watch for the
arrival of ships laden with their valuable but illegal cargoes.  

The Northwood Hills Historic District has a distinctive street pattern.  Near the center of the District
are two oval blocks.  The southern block is oriented in a slight northwest to southeast direction.  It
also has a slight curve at its southern end.  The northern block has a slight northeast to southwest
direction.  Each oval was platted as rectangular lots, measuring 25’ X 120’, with eight pie-shaped
blocks at each end of the ovals, and an additional four lots on the southern oval with trapezoidal
shapes.  This street pattern is found no where else in West Palm Beach.  The remainder of the
neighborhood streets are laid out in a traditional grid.  The primary east-west arterial through the
Historic District is 36th Street, which separates the two oval blocks and is divided by a landscaped

The Northwood Hills Historic District is also unique in its location on a coastal ridge, with land
sloping to the east and west from an elevation that is from sixty to seventy-five feet higher than the
rest of the city.  A City park, Sullivan Park, is located within the boundaries of the Northwood Hills
District.  It is located at the west end of the District, between 30th Court and 31st Street.

The streets and the landscaping in the Historic District are generally well maintained.  Some of the
contributing properties have undergone some type of restoration during the past few years.  
Investment speculation is beginning to take place, and the neighborhood is recovering from a period
of decline, spurred in great part by an active neighborhood association.  Most of the properties
remain in single-family use and owner-occupation of the residences is increasing.   

Historic Significance

The Northwood Hills Historic District is part of the large Northwood subdivision, one of the largest
Land Boom period developments of the early 1920s.  The first three Northwood plats (extending
roughly from 26th to 39th Streets, between Broadway and North Dixie Highway) were filed between
November 1921 and April 1923.  All of the Northwood plats and additions to those plats were
developed by the Pinewood Development Company (later known as the Northwood Investment
Company).  G. W. Bingham was president of the company.  Other principals in the firm were David
F. Dunkle and Orrin Randolph.  These three men significantly impacted the development of the
northern end of West Palm Beach.

G. W. Bingham, a Alabama native, studied law at Georgetown and Columbia Universities.  After
serving six years as secretary to Alabama congressman W. F. Aldrich, Bingham spent two years in
the Indian Territory as a member of the Commission to the Five Civilized Lands.  The following four
years he practiced law in Oklahoma.  Bingham came to West Palm Beach in 1903.  While residing in
West Palm Beach, Bingham concentrated on developing real estate for town sites and subdivisions.  
He served as president of Pinewood Development Company and the Northwood Bank and Trust
Company.  He was also president of the Golden Gate Development Company, developing Golden
Gate, south of Stuart.  

Orrin Randolph earned a degree in civil engineering in Colorado in 1906, and worked on engineering
projects for railroads and on irrigation and land reclamation projects in Colorado and New Mexico.  
He came to Florida in 1912 to carry out a drainage and agricultural development project for the Palm
Beach Farms Company.  He also became the chief engineer for the Lake Worth Drainage District
and was involved in its land reclamation projects.  Randolph became president of the Palm Beach
Bank and Trust Company and president of the Bank of Lake Worth.  He organized the Northwood
Development Company, and between 1923 and 1926 served as vice president of the Pinewood
Development Company.  Randolph also served on the West Palm Beach City Planning Board.  

David Forrest Dunkle was born in Pennsylvania in 1888.  In 1914, after obtaining a law degree at
Stetson University, he opened a law office in West Palm Beach.  His career was interrupted by
military service in 1917, but he returned to West Palm Beach in 1919.  The following year he was
elected to a two-year term as Mayor of West Palm Beach.  His career took a different turn in 1920,
when he founded the Palm Beach Guaranty Company, an organization that financed building
projects.  The company erected the Guaranty Building at 120 South Olive Avenue in 1922.  Dunkle
was also one of the organizers of the American National Bank and a director of the First American
Bank and Trust Company.  As secretary-treasurer of the Pinewood Development Company, he
became actively involved in real estate development.  He did not fare well when the bottom dropped
out of the Florida real estate market.  In 1928, Dunkle was charged and convicted of embezzlement
of Palm Beach Guaranty Company funds.  The Florida Supreme Court overturned his conviction in

The 400 acres for the Northwood subdivision were purchased in early 1921 from a Colorado
corporation, the Lake Worth Realty Company, by the Pinewood Development Company.  The Lake
Worth Realty Company had acquired the land in 1914 at a cost of about $75 per acre.  The
Pinewood Development Company noted that the land had increased in value by 850% since 1914.  
Clearing of the land began in September of 1921 and the first lots were offered for sale.  The
subdivision was highly advertised in local papers.  Its main selling points were its cast concrete
curbing, sidewalks, city water and gas mains, electric lights, and its street surfaces.  George
Fryhoefer was hired as the general sales manager and auctioneer.  Frederick Morrison was the
assistant sales manager.  The property was advertised, buses transported prospective buyers to a
tent erected on the property and the first sales were held.   Sales were held every two weeks,
attracting crowds of 300-600 people.  Fryhoefer distributed $1 bills and boxes of candy with every
sale.  The company anticipated that it would take ten years to develop and sell the property;
however, every lot had sold within three years, all by auction.

After the initial Northwood development was sold, the Pinewood Development Company created a
new subdivision, Northwood Terminals.  This development was industrial in nature and was desirably
located near both the Florida East Coast and Seaboard Airline railroad facilities.  The entire plat of
Northwood Terminals sold in five months.

The third development undertaken by the Pinewood Development Company was Northwood Hills.  
Northwood Hills consists of Northwood Plats 8, 9, and 10.  Plats 9 and 10 were filed in 1925, and
Plat 8 was filed in 1928.   This development also proved to be popular and by 1926, property in the
area was selling for four times the original purchase price.

The first public offering of lots in Northwood Hills took place in October 1923.  The close proximity
to a developing commercial center along Broadway and the area’s elevated terrain and scenic views
of Lake Worth, the Atlantic Ocean, and Lake Mangonia were selling points for the development.  
Some lots had a fifty-foot elevation.  The developers provided rocked and oiled streets, cement
curbs, some ornamental light posts, and had provided city water and electricity.  The developers also
stipulate that homes on the oval blocks (Blocks 67 and 78) must cost at least $8,000 and that
purchasers had to buy not less than 75 feet of frontage (or three, twenty-five foot lots).  Lots 56, 68,
69 and 84 were restricted to houses of $3,000.  All other blocks were restricted to $4,000 and the
purchasers were required to purchase at least two twenty-five foot lots.  

Because of the work necessary to clear the land, and provide infrastructure and streets, houses were
not under construction until 1925.  In 1926, it was reported that more than 250 homes had been
completed and occupied in the development.  In the Historic District, approximately 120 of the
contributing properties were constructed in 1925.  However, a decline in the real estate market was
evident by August of 1925, and brought this brief, but most active period of Northwood Hills
development to an end.  In 1926, the Pinewood Development Company was reformed as the
Northwood Investment Company, with Dunkle as President.  As the City began to feel the effects of
the Great Depression, there was little new construction in Northwood Hills.  Less than thirty houses
in the Historic District were built in the decade of the 1930s.

The neighborhood was platted in 1925, but one of its early residents, Dr. Elbridge Gale, established
a mango plantation here long before the building boom of the 1920’s.  Dr. Gale, a retired horticulture
professor from Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University) planted some of the
first mango trees in the U.S. here.  David Fairchild, for whom Fairchild Tropical Garden is named,
sent Dr. Gale the seeds for these first trees.  Many of these early trees can still be seen on the
properties throughout the neighborhood.  And, there is some evidence that the seedlings from these
trees were given to Captain John Haden and the variety became known as the Haden mango.

Northwood Hills is adjacent to the historic Greenlawn Cemetery.  Early residents from the south end
of the neighborhood tell stories of being kept awake at night by the sound of hammers and saws
preparing coffins for the victims of the 1928 hurricane.

Because materials and manpower were channeled to the war effort, construction of single family
homes essentially came to a standstill in the early 1940s.  After the war, returning veterans were
anxious to resume their lives, set up households, and take advantage of VA loans to finance houses.  
This is reflected in the Northwood Hills Historic District by a second burst of construction activity in
the late 1940s, when approximately 112 of the houses in the Historic District were built.

Architectural Development

The architecture of the Northwood Hills Historic District reflects the styles popular between 1925
and 1953.   Mission Revival architectural styles was widely favored during the early phase of
Northwood Hills’s development.  Approximately 32% of the contributing properties in the Historic
District are Mission Revival style. Most of the Mission Revival style architecture in Northwood Hills
is modest in size, such as the residence at 3512 Greenwood.  A two-story example is seen at 820
33rd Street.  Approximately 37% are vernacular forms.  In the Northwood Hills Historic District the
contributing residential vernacular buildings vary in scale, setting, and design.  Most are simple, one-
story structures with gable or hip roofs, surfaced with composition shingles.  Building plans are
usually square or rectangular.  Clapboard, stucco, or asbestos siding are the most common exterior
wall fabrics.  The house at 937 39th Street is a good example of a vernacular house. The district also
has a good number of other styles.  Excellent examples of the Mediterranean Revival architectural
style are found in Northwood Hills, including the residences at 3509 Eastview, 3915 Eastview, 3511
Eastview, 828 30th Street, and 832 30th Street.  

Minimal Traditional, post-war houses are generally modest in size and usually square or rectangular in
shape.  Many frills were eliminated such as porches and formal dining rooms, in order to minimize
cost.  However, some exterior reference to earlier styles, especially Colonial Revival, are often seen,
such as a gabled portico, dormers, or quoining.  In Northwood Hills, Minimal Traditional houses are
generally of frame construction with clapboard or asbestos siding exteriors.  Examples in the
Northwood Hills Historic District include 955 34th Street and 3721 Eastview.

Minimal Traditional, post-war houses are generally modest in size and usually square or rectangular in
shape.  Many frills were eliminated such as porches and formal dining rooms, in order to minimize
cost.  However, some exterior reference to earlier styles, especially Colonial Revival, are often seen,
such as a gabled portico, dormers, or quoining.  In Northwood Hills, Minimal Traditional houses are
generally of frame construction with clapboard or asbestos siding exteriors.  Examples in the
Northwood Hills Historic District include 955 34th Street and 3721 Eastview.

Modern architecture is characterized by a progressive movement away from historical references and
the elimination of all references to traditional architectural idioms.  Architects embarked on a search
for new forms and ways to use new materials, such as aluminum, glass blocks.  Characteristics of this
style would be large windows, rows of windows (ribbon windows), shed and asymmetrical gable
roofs with one roof slope much longer than the other, the use of lally columns, and the incorporation
of a carport into the design of the house.  In the Post-War years, a modest modern house form was
developed that paralleled the Minimal Traditional residence.  The term “Minimal Modern” is an
appropriate term for a small, Modern house.  Examples of the Modern style in Northwood Hills are
963 30th Street and 4020 Greenwood Avenue.

The Ranch style is theoretically based on houses found in old California ranches.  Its popularity was
undoubtedly related to a move away from the box-like houses of the Minimal Traditional style to a
house with a more flexible plan.  Ranch style houses are generally long, shallow (one room deep),
one-story houses with low gable roofs and deep eaves.  A rectangular, L, U, or splayed plan is
common in Ranch style houses.  A garage at one end or an attached carport is a common feature.  
They often have shallow front porches, sometimes running the length of the house.  It is common for
the front façade to project at one or both ends.  The orientation of the house is usually to a patio on
the rear elevation, accessed through sliding glass doors.  The desire to integrate the interior and
exterior is seen in the inclusion of large expanse of glass, such as picture windows or window walls.  
Clapboard or stucco are common exterior treatments, although a brick exterior is occasionally seen.  
Examples include the residences at 901 South Terrace and 921 37th Street.   

The Split Level style was developed in the 1930s, but became increasingly popular after World War
II.  The split floor plan of these two-story structures offered opportunities to separate adult from
children’s spaces.  In the Post-War years they became a standard alternative to the two-story,
Colonial Revival design.  Commonly, the garage is located on a lower level, with bedroom above the
garage, to one side of the front door.  Often, separate gable roofs cover both sections of the house.  
Because of its hilly terrain, the Split Level style was ideal for Northwood Hills.  Examples in
Northwood Hills are 3415 and 3605 Eastview Avenue

Builders working in Northwood Hills

Most of the residences in Northwood Hills were designed and built by contractors.  Among the most
active builders in the Historic District were Theodore Eissfeldt, Cliff Ewing, DaCamara and Chace,
and the Sunshine Construction Company.

W. M. Owens was president of the Sunshine Construction Company and of the Realty Development
Company.  Construction supervisors for the Sunshine Construction Company were J. W. Byrd and
J. L. Hargrove.  In 1925, the Sunshine Construction Company began construction on ten residences
in Northwood Hills.  Among the residences built by the Company in Northwood Hills are 839 30th
Court, 931 37th Street, and 964 38th Street.  

Clifford Ewing was listed in the city directory from 1920 to 1925 as a carpenter and as a contractor.  
By 1926, he joined with James Wilkinson to form the contracting firm of Ewing and Wilkinson.  
Among the residences built by Clifford Ewing in Northwood Hills are 3010 Greenwood Avenue and
3212 Greenwood Avenue.

William H. DaCamara, Jr., known as “Harley,” founded the DaCamera-Chace Construction
Company in October 1924.  DaCamara and Clyde Chace had been classmates at the University of
Cincinnati.  Both graduated in 1915 and embarked on careers.  DaCamara worked for the American
Bridge Company, designing and supervising the erection of bridges and causeways.  Around 1922,
he became a construction supervisor for the Ruggles Engineering Company.  Clyde Chace became a
well-known builder in the Los Angeles area.  The friendship between the two men was strengthened
by their marriages.  Clyde Chase married Harley’s sister, Marian.  Harley DaCamera married Chace’
s sister, L’may.  The DaCamara-Chace Construction Company was active in West Palm Beach from
1924 to 1937.  In 1925, Harley DeCamara built his own home, “Miraloma,” in Northwood Hills in
at 906 32nd Street.   Other residences built by the firm in Northwood Hills include 3800 Eastview
Avenue, 812 29th Street, and 835 37th Street.

In 1925, Theodore Eissfeldt began the construction of thirty homes in Northwood Hills.  In the 1920
City Directory, Theodore Eissfeldt was listed as an architect.  Following that, he was listed as a
contractor for several years.  By 1932 he was president of Northwood Millworks, Inc., and from
1935-1942 he was president of Northwood Builder’s Supply.  In 1925, he began the construction of
thirty homes in Northwood Hills, including 3306 Greenwood Avenue, 3718 Greenwood Avenue,
3916 Westview Drive, and his own home at 3815 Eastview Avenue.


Within the boundaries of the district are 166 non-contributing buildings and 19 vacant lots.  The non-
contributing buildings were constructed after the period of significance or are buildings that have been
significantly altered.  The district also includes a number of accessory buildings, especially garages.  
Separate garage outbuildings became popular during the land boom period and reflect the growing
importance of the automobile.  During the late 1940s to early 1950s, attached garages were
incorporated into the design of residences.

St. Ann’s Roman Catholic District - 2003

West Palm Beach Historic Properties

Seaboard Airline Station                     201 S. Tamarind Ave.        1991
Pleasants Home                                  5510 Spruce Ave.              1992
Professional Building                           310 S. Dixie Hwy.              1994
City of WPB Water Plant                   1009 Banyan Blvd.              1995
American National Bank Bldg.            114 S. Olive Ave.               1996
Halsey House                                     120 E. Lakewood Rd.        1996
Guaranty Building                               120 S. Olive Ave.               1996
Van Valkenburg House                       213 Rosemary Ave.           1996
Wax House                                        601 Evernia St.                  1996
Dacamara House                                237 29th St.                       1997
Woodlawn Cemetery Gate                 1500 S. Dixie Hwy.            1998
W.P.B. Fishing Club                           201 5th St.                        1998
Sadler House                                      233 8th St.                        1998
Ferndix Building                                  321 S. Dixie Hwy.             1998
Bullock House                                     214 E. Lakewood Rd       2000
George House                                     296 Barcelona Rd.            2001
Hurricane of ’28 Mass Burial               25th St./Tamarind Ave.     2002
927 Paseo Andorra House                  927 Maseo Andorra         2002
Gordon House                                    3636 Paseo Navarro         2002
Wilkinson House                                 1002 Paseo Morella          2002
Evergreen Cemetery                            2825 N. Rosemary Ave.   2002

Garrison House - 3208 Liddy Ave. - 1992

The James and Minnie Garrison House is located north of 31st St., south of 33rd St., west of Floral
Ave, and east of Poinsettia Avenue.  It is significant because of its architectural style; an excellent
example of early twentieth century frame vernacular construction and shows excellent integrity.  The
architect and builder are unknown.  It is likely that the house was designed by a builder/craftsman.  
James Garrison was a carpenter and a fisherman, and may have built the house himself between
1918 and 1919.

First Presbyterian Church - 301 S. Olive Avenue - 1996

The First Presbyterian Church, 301 S. Olive Ave., is located on the SW corner of S. Olive Ave. and
Evernia Street in downtown West Palm Beach.  Adjacent to the church, on the south, is a two-story
1960 classroom building which is visually united to the church by a walled courtyard.  Based on its
age, this 1960 building is considered non-contributing.  The building has served the City both as a
bank and as a church, representing the resilience and vitality of the City.  The building was
constructed in 1925 to house the Central Farmer's Trust Company Bank.  The bank was built in
response to the increased demand for financial services during the Florida Land Boom Era.  The
bank operated for only three years and then was forced to close when impacted by the financial
devastation of the Great Depression.  In 1934 the First Presbyterian Church, with an expanding
congregation which was outgrowing the seating capacity of their location on Iris Street, purchased the
building.  The interior was adapted for religious services; there is no evidence to suggest any major
alterations to the exterior.  It is an outstanding example of a Spanish Colonial Revival commercial
building.  Its identifying features of this style are bracketed eaves, stucco wall surface, arched
entrance and windows, iron balcony and window grills, and decorative stone accents.  The building
was designed by the prominent New York architect, Arthur L. Harmon, and is his only known work
in West Palm Beach.  The church is also an excellent, successful example of adaptive use that
accommodated a change in function without diminishing architectural integrity.

Palm Beach Cadillac Company - 2119 S. Dixie Hwy. - 1998

This two-story, automobile showroom was constructed in 1925 as the home of the Palm Beach
Cadillac Company.  There is a three-story tower and a service/repair shop to the west.  The
structure is significant as an excellent example of the Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival architectural
style.  Among its long list of architectural features, the interior of the showroom is noted for its pecky
cypress ceiling, fireplace and decorative woodwork.  It is also significant for its contribution to the
commercial history of West Palm Beach.

The Dixie Highway corridor became increasingly important during the '20's as the City felt the impact
of Florida's real estate boom and as tourist travel to Florida became more and more popular.  It also
symbolized confidence in the growth of the automobile industry.  The force behind the Palm Beach
Cadillac Company was Hoty C. LeMaster.  LeMaster acquired his knowledge of automobiles while
serving with the American Expeditionary Forces in France during World War I.  In 1923 he
organized the Palm Beach Cadillac Company and served as president and general manager.  By
1925, LeMaster was selling nearly 30 cars a month and had selected a prominent location on Dixie
Highway on the direct path of travel between Florida's major east coast cities to build an impressive
facility.  The Dixie Highway Association had been founded in 1915 and was an influential
organization that sought to oink the Midwest to South Florida.  The last link of the Dixie Highway
was completed in 1918.  This important tourist highway passed through the heart of West Palm
Beach and served as the foundation for a developing tourist industry.  The nation was being
bombarded with brochures that promoted the natural beauty and wonders of Florida.  The
automobile made visitations to the state possible for an increasing number of tourists.  LeMaster, by
building his facility on this major route, intended to give Cadillac owners the finest showroom and
service.  The building was fireproof, housed a complete machine shop, and had an automobile
service elevator.  It was recognized by Cadillac officials as the finest sales and service building in the
state of Florida and one of the finest in all of the South.

West Palm Beach Areas Eligible for Designation

Flamingo Park Business District

From the 20's a popular Dixie Hwy. business district sprang up north and south of Flamingo Drive.  
In addition to grocers and butchers, there were little restaurants and other types of retail trade.  Many
of the store fronts along Dixie Hwy. in this area are lovely examples of early West Palm Beach
commercial architecture.  One such building is individually designated, The Palm Beach Cadillac Co.
now doing business as Ragtops Motorcars.  Some other buildings are contributing properties in the
Mango Promendade Historic District.  Taken as a group, they would make an important district
similar to the Clematis Street Historic District.

On March 5, 1994, as part of the West Palm Beach Centennial celebration, Stewart Pontiac
sponsored a "reunion."  At the time, Stewart Pontiac had been in business on the corner of Flamingo
Dr. and Dixie Hwy. since 1941; they no longer have a business at that location.  Having asked for
input from anyone who owned, worked in or patronized any of the old businesses between Palm St.
and Ardmore Rd. during the decades when this area was a bustling shopping district, the lobby of
Stewart Pontiac featured a display of photographs and memorabilia highlighting the heyday of the

Benefits of Local Historic Designation

Ad Valorem Local Historic Designation

On February 14, 1994, the City Commission of West Palm Beach approved an Ad Valorem Tax
Exemption Program for properties listed in the National or Local Register as an individual historic
property or a contributing property to a historic district.    Subsequently, Palm Beach County added
their Ad Valorem tax emptions so those properties which first went through the City program.  The
exemptions are a financial incentive to encourage more restoration, renovation, and rehabilitation of
historic properties and to stabilize and improve property values in the City.  This program allows the
exemption of up to 100% of the assessed value of all improvements (interior and exterior) to historic
properties resulting from renovation, restoration or rehabilitation of such properties.  The preliminary
application for proposed work must be approved by the Historic Preservation Board prior to
commencement of any improvements.  The work must be completed within two years of application
approval.  The improvements must be consistent with the Sectertary of the Interior's "Standards for
Rehabilitation."  The exemption remains in effect for up to 10 years regardless of change in
ownership, if the historic character of the property is maintained throughout the exemption period.  
This is not only a financial benefit to the owner, but could be used as a strong selling point should the
property be sold in the future.  Income-producing properties are also included within the Ad Valorem
Tax Program.


The property owner is required to receive approval from the Historic Preservation Board prior to
beginning any improvements.  (1) A preconstruction application and all required documentation must
be submitted for review by the Historic Preservation Board.  The review is based on the Secretary of
the Interior's "Standards for Rehabilitation."  (2) Once the preconstruction application has been
approved, the project may commence.  The project must be completed within 2 years of preliminary
approval.  Any changes to the project will require an amendment application to be submitted for
review by the Board.  (3) After the project has been completed, a completed work application and
supporting documentation must be submitted for review by the Board.  It will then be forwarded to
the City Commission to authorize the exemption from the City's portion of property taxes.  (4) The
information will then be forwarded to the County for approval of the County's portion of property

Sample Ad Valorem Tax Exemption Computation

The portion of the taxes affected by historic exemptions may only be granted by the following taxing
jurisdictions: (1) City of West Palm Beach - Operating; (2) Palm Beach County - Operating.  The
remainint taxing jurisdictions will tax the total property value, including the improvements granted
historic exemption.

Example:  Value before renovation = $100,000; value after renovation = $140,000; exemption =
$40,000.  Remember, even with the historic exemption, it is possible for the property taxes to
increase.  For questions, contact the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser's Office at 561-355-

Federal Tax Credits

This program is only available for income-producing Certified Historic Properties that are individually
listed or are listed as a contributing property to a designated district on the National or Local
Register.  Property owners can claim up to 20% tax credit on the cost or rehabilitation.  
Rehabilitation must meet the Secretary of the Interior's "Standard for Rehabilitation."

Property Protection

In order to ensure the protection of historic sites and districts listed on the West Palm Beach Register
of Historic Places, these properties are subject to review before building permits are issued for
exterior alterations.  The Historic Preservation Division will determine the degree of impact to the
existing architecture, and whether the work proposed is considered compatible with the historic
architecture of the property.

A local Historic District requires review of any exterior alternations to properties within the district.  
Historic neighborhoods have a unique character.  This character may be related to the architecture,
method of construction, vegetation, and/or other special attribute.  When an area becomes a historic
district, these characteristics are protected along with the architectural characteristics.

This does not mean that a property owner cannot alter the property.  The Historic Preservation
Division will review any exterior alternations to a property to ensure that the architectural integrity and
distinct characteristics are kept intact.  Staff also provides construction alternatives that may help to
improve the design and increase/maintain property values.  General maintenance which entails using
like materials does not require additional review by the Historic Preservation Board.

Historic Designation Plaque Program

Any structure that is individually designated on the West Palm Beach Register of Historic Places or is
part of an Historic District is eligible to "wear" a bronze historic placque which was designed by the
City.  When ordered through the City (659-8031 for details), research will be done on the property
to determine the year built so that the plaque can reflect this information.  The cost of each plaque is
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