2016 Homes on Tour


Annie Beck House

Circa 1916

1329 NE 7th Ave
Middle River Terrace Park

 Alfred and Annie Beck home which presently is located at 1329 NE 7th Ave. in Middle River Terrace Park is a traditional Craftsman style, front-facing gable bungalow with a small front facing gable end porch. This architectural style was prevalent throughout the United States in the early twentieth century.  The house was built ca. 1916 at 334 E Las Olas Blvd.  Annie Beck sold the house to Mr. Shelby Grant Smith and Smith fell in love with the house.  He made sure any renovations to the home maintained its historical integrity to its style and the period.  In August of 1977 the house made it first relocation to 310 SE 11th Avenue to avoid demolition.

 The house was used for numerous television commercials, print ads and photoshoots which include a Kodak ad campaign, local retailer Maus a Hoffman photo shoot with Winston Groom, an American novelist and nonfiction writer known for his book Forrest Gump, in addition to many others.

In recent years, the house was owned by Diana Heileman who purchased the house in 2000. She donated the bungalow to the Broward Trust for Historic Preservation and agreed to help finance its second and final move. "In the time I have lived in Fort Lauderdale, I have seen so much demolished to make way for newer, bigger homes," Heileman said. "I wanted to preserve a little something."

This house represents our heritage in South Florida - its history of the people who helped found our city.  Heileman already moved and settled in Pompano Beach is glad the house will be preserved. There are so few people today who have respect for buildings like this;  we are so glad she felt the same way as us. 

-Broward Trust for Historic Preservation

-Diane Smart, Former Trust President

-Tamara Peacock, Local Architect

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Marshall House

Circa 1918

1130 SW 6th Street

The Marshall House was built in 1918, certified by the City of Fort Lauderdale’s Historical Society. Although I have been told it was built at an earlier date by old-timers in the neighborhood. There is an urban legend that the house rested north of the river but during the 1927 hurricane it floated to it’s present location. Frank Marshal, brother William Marshall the first mayor of Fort Lauderdale, built the house. It sits on one half acre in the Riverside Park neighborhood. The structure is still the size of its original foot print with the only major renovation was the enclosing of the wrap-around porch to add additional rooms. The property is located in an oak hammock near the New River. The house, completely made of wood, has been modernized but still maintains it’s historic character with wood floors throughout with tall ceilings, metal roof and the original windows in the second story bedroom suite and den.


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Telli's Tara

Circa 1923

1209 N Rio Vista Blvd

One of the first homes built in Fort Lauderdale, Telli's Tara was built in 1923. The owners Bill and Susan Telli have lived there since 1956. Located on the mouth of Tarpon Bend and the New River this charming two story home is a lovely representation of both old South Florida and traditional old world charm.

The home consists of four bedrooms, three full baths, formal living room with a wood burning fireplace, a Florida sun room, country-style kitchen and a wrap around covered porch for outdoor entertaining.

Bill and Susan are well-know philanthropists and use their lovely home for as many as 20 parties throughout the year. They consider their guest extended family and are usually entertaining more than 75 people for a sit down affair.

Christmas being their favorite time of the year, their longtime friend and designer, Alyson Kass starts the holiday transformation in early November to create a magical feeling in virturaly every room in the house. A delightful treat for everyone, both young and old.

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The Needham Estate

Circa 1925

828 SE 4th Street

Designed by Fort Lauderdale’s premier architect Francis Luis Abreu, the 6,500 square foot house was built in 1925 for John Wesley Needham, the first manager of the Broward Hotel. It was one of five houses Abreu built on the New River during the 1925 “boom” period. At one time the house belonged to Sheriff Walter Clark of Kefaufer hearing fame. Clark entertained such notables as Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill at the house. In later years the house was known as the John Robert Powers Modeling School and at another point in its history, Gordon College, a “girls’ finishing school.”

The house was designed in the then-fashionable Mediterranean Revival style. Other Abreu buildings in Fort Lauderdale include the Riverside Hotel built in 1936, St. Anthony’s School, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, and the Moroccan-style Casablanca Cafe, a 1920s era home converted to a restaurant located at 3049 Alhambra Street on Fort Lauderdale Beach. In addition to creating some of Fort Lauderdale’s grandest homes and public buildings, Abreu also designed the Casino Swimming Pool in 1928 and the Sailboat Bend Fire Station that was recently restored.

“Much of the house is original, from the wrought-iron stairway banisters, Cuban Tile floors and Pecky Cypress ceilings in the family room to the beveled glass in the floor to ceiling doors in the living room,” as Sandy Romanovitz proudly pointed out. Sandy and her husband Drew are the current owners of the Historic Needham Estate.

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Casa Palms

Circa 1926

900 SE 5th Court

The historical aspect of the house was one of the key reasons we chose our home and we are excited to be able to show it to you. It was built in 1925 as a one story home, by a married couple with one child. And for reasons unknown to us, the very next year they added the 2nd story. We know of one famous couple that owned the house in the early 2000s: one was a major league baseball player and the other was a successful author. We were told the author used the back cottage to write their legal/crime thriller books that are set in South Florida. We know the home has changed ownership 10 times over the last 90 years; with some making small changes and others doing major renovations. As the current owners, we find joy in its unique features; and although it could be considered small by today’s standards we find it to be just right for us! Besides regular gatherings, we open our home to family and friends on two special occasions each year. The first on Halloween, when we have a potluck dinner and have the kids start and end their trick-or-treating adventures at our home. We set out the lawn chairs in the front and partake in the festivities, from passing out lots of candy, to checking out all the great costumes and of course to seeing old friends and making new ones. The second is the evening of the Winterfest Boat Parade, where we make our home the meeting place for before and after the parade.  We live walking distance to a park along the New River and everyone gets to enjoy close up views of the beautifully decorated boats. And now we have a 3rd special occasion, this Historical Holiday Home tour.  Welcome new friends!

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Fort Lauderdale Fire House & Safety Museum

Circa 1927


After the 1926 hurricane hit Fort Lauderdale, architect Francis Abreu was engaged by the city in 1927 to build the beautiful Mediterranean styled Station 3.  This beautiful historic building, revived by volunteers as a 1920s fire station and education center, features an entry rotunda with a chandelier, wood beam ceilings, crown molding, inlaid tile eyebrow windows, gathering room fireplace, period furnishings in  rooms – bedroom, restroom and kitchen and an outside fountain that served as a water source for horses.   Featured exhibits showcase the service of firefighters since 1912, their uniforms, equipment and photos of their courageous service.  The visiting children learn fire prevention and escape methods.  Most exciting to the visitors are the two historic fire engines and the fire alarm exhibit showing how the fire station functioned in the 1920s.



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The Pink House aka The Maxwell House

Circa 1928


Simply known as the Pink House, the current owners are only the third family to occupy the home.

The home was pink when purchased almost 30 years ago so the current owners felt no need to stray from its original character. The home was built for Dr. Maxwell and family, with construction beginning in 1928 and completed sometime in 1929. The Mediterranean Revival home was designed by Francis Luis Abreu, one of Fort Lauderdale’s most noted architects. The front door is almost 10 feet high with nickel hardware. Architectural features abound in the living room and dining room and study. You will find original plaster crown molding and walls, cypress cabinetry and ceilings, Dade County pine molding, arched windows, doors and doorways throughout the downstairs. Some original double sconces flank the fireplace. The architectural detail in the dining room is of particular interest. The oak floors are original to the home. Upstairs are all original double hung windows. The butler pantry and kitchen have been recently remodeled. Cuban tile was found in some parts of the area, but was not salvageable. Enjoy the Pink House and a visit to 1920 Fort Lauderdale.

Felice Arrington

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Villa Rio Vista

Circa 1929

1220 N Rio Vista Blvd

Villa Rio Vista was built in 1935, certified by the City of Fort Lauderdale’s Historical Society. The previous owners took great care in preserving the historical charm to this colonial Mediterranean Rio Vista home. One of the few left in the neighborhood that has not lost its character and old Florida feel. The current owners, Liz and Daniel Caldwell, South Florida natives both grew up in Coral Gables and jumped on the chance to relive their childhood when the house came on the market.  With the assistance of local interior designer Tracy Dunn, the home has that “Palm Beach” feel with family antiques and tropical accents that enhance the already historical features the home has to offer.