The Fort Lauderdale Historical Society Launches Fundraising Effort to Preserve the 1905 New River Inn

Apr 28, 2014, 14:10 ET from Fort Lauderdale Historical Society

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., April 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The New River Inn operated for 50 years as a hotel. Now, as the main museum on the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society's campus, donations are needed to help keep it preserved so future generations can learn about the history of early Fort Lauderdale and Broward County.

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A new roof is needed for the New River Inn, Broward's oldest hotel building still in existence. The Fort Lauderdale Historical Society is asking individuals, businesses and organizations to pitch in and help fund the matching grant program.

This important preservation project was initiated earlier this year when the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society received a Historic Preservation Grant Award Agreement in the amount of $50,000 from the State of Florida, Department of State and Division of Historical Resources. With these funds, the Historical Society has already furnished a new roof for the historic King-Cromartie House and the New River Inn is next: construction is expected to commence June 2014.

Although the original guests, employees and proprietors have long since passed away, the property is still enjoyed today by locals, tourists from all over the world and is one of the Fort Lauderdale's (and South Florida's!) most unique wedding venues.

Built in 1905 for Nathan Philemon Bryan, a U.S. Senator originally from Jacksonville, by Edwin T. King, the area's first contractor, the building is made of hollow concrete blocks and sand barged from the beach. It set the standard for modern construction back then – 24 guest rooms, a dining room, sewer and irrigation systems, running ice water and was lit with carbide lamps.

One of the rooms is still kept looking as it did when the hotel was in its prime. And the museum store carries a vast array of unique items including a collection of historic prints and books, original art, old-time toys and one-of-a-kind accents for the home.

It stopped being used as a hotel in 1955, but set another standard years later in 1972 when it became the first building in Broward to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Bonnie Flynn, Executive Director of the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society, says "the hotel is important because it helps connect today's generation with those of the past."

"Children who come for tours learn what it was like to live back in those days. They're so excited to learn about something done many years ago, to know that life wasn't easy back then. And when they walk away, they say 'What an awesome day!'"

The New River Inn is located at 231 SW 2nd Avenue and is open for tours Tuesday through Sunday from Noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $10 and includes a self-guided tour of the New River Inn and a docent-led tour of the 1907 King-Cromartie House and the 1899 Replica School House. Docent-led tours begin at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

To donate to the New River Inn roof project, visit The Fort Lauderdale Historical Society is a 501(c)3 organization. All donations are tax deductible.

About the Ft. Lauderdale Historical Society
The Fort Lauderdale Historical Society (FLHS) brings the history of greater Fort Lauderdale to life through education, research and preservation for the enrichment of present and future generations. Believing that a sense of history is fundamental to understanding human experience, the FLHS collects, preserves and shares material from our community's past, so that present and future generations can comprehend more fully their predecessors, their community and themselves.

With education as the primary focus FLHS offers public lectures and workshops; publish teacher resource materials; arrange school and general group tours and activities; support scholarly research through significant research assistance; maintain a 1907 house museum and three other 1905 historic structures, and a museum of changing and permanent exhibitions, and operate a research center that has functioned uninterrupted for more than 50 years.

CONTACT: Laurie Menekou, (954) 271-4666 (or)

SOURCE Fort Lauderdale Historical Society