Broward County Libraries Division and the Broward County Historical Commission Present Broward County Heritage Celebration: See It, Save It, Celebrate It!

The Broward County Historical Commission

The Broward County Historical Commission

DATE: May 3, 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Maria Munoz, Historical Commission
PHONE: 954-357-5553

The Broward County Historical Commission will host the Broward County Heritage Celebration on Thursday, May 16, at 5:30 p.m. at the historic West Side Grade School, 301 Harmon (S.W. 13th) Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33312, where the Historical Commission is located. The theme for this year's event is, "See It, Save It, Celebrate It!" in honor of National Historic Preservation Month.

The program will include a presentation of the following preservation awards: the Judge L. Clayton Nance Award, the Dr. Cooper C. Kirk Award, the Stuart B. McIver Historian's Award and the Historical Commissioners' Award. Refreshments will be served, and musical selections will be provided by flautist Laura Sue, "The Silver Nightingale." Thorn Grafton, noted architect and historic preservationist, will be the keynote speaker. There will also be special recognition of the historical societies in Broward County. The Historical Commission gallery will have on display the exhibit entitled Broward County’s Playground: Tourist Attractions of the Past featuring artifacts from certain Broward County’s early attractions.

Since 1973, the Broward County Historical Commission has recognized individuals or groups who have made significant contributions to historic preservation, research, advocacy and education. The Historical Commission will present the following four awards:

The Judge L. Clayton Nance Award will be presented to both the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Durrs Community Association, Inc. Woodlawn Cemetery, located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was established in the early 1900s as the only cemetery within the city where African-Americans could be buried. This year, FDOT modified its original plans to widen the I-95 express lanes to avoid impacting this site. Members of the Durrs Community Association, Inc. played an active role in making FDOT aware of the concerns of the nearby community regarding protection of the historic cemetery. This commitment to the preservation of cultural heritage sites follows the tradition set by Judge Nance when he founded the Historical Commission in 1972.

The Historical Commissioners’ Award will be presented to Diane G. Smart, long-time president and founding member of the Broward Trust for Historic Preservation. Due to the efforts of the Trust, led by Smart, the Annie Beck house was moved to Annie Beck Park and restored. The house is located at 1329 North Dixie Highway in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This craftsman bungalow was built in 1916 of Dade County pine by pioneers Dr. Alfred J. Beck and his wife Annie. Smart is also being recognized for her efforts to preserve other historic structures throughout Broward County.

The Dr. Cooper C. Kirk Award will be presented to Joan Mickelson, Ph.D. for her book, Joseph W. Young, Jr., and the City Beautiful: A Biography of the Founder of Hollywood, Florida. This book was the culmination of 11 years of intense research which took the author to several states on treks to various Young-related sites. Mickelson is a Hollywood pioneer by birth and is the daughter of Lamora and Tony Mickelson, who were among the first residents of the city. Both worked for J. W. Young. Dr. Mickelson’s efforts to raise public awareness of the importance of preserving local history mirror those of Dr. Cooper C. Kirk, whose dedication to historical research of Broward County was unparalleled.

The Stuart B. McIver Historian’s Award will be presented to the City of Oakland Park and the Oakland Park Historical Society. The City passed an Historic Preservation Ordinance and now has a significant tool for designating and protecting historic resources. The Oakland Park Historical Society played an active role in making the city aware of the benefits and value of preserving its heritage. One such site, the Pioneer House, is a typical Florida wood-frame vernacular home. The house, located at 3876 N.E. Sixth Avenue, is now the home of the Oakland Park Pioneer House Museum.

The Broward County Historical Commission, the official historic preservation agency for Broward County, encourages residents and their communities to promote the unique archaeological and historical legacy of Broward County and to utilize the tools and financial incentives available to accomplish this effort. For more information, visit the Broward County Historical Commission's Web site at

The award-winning Broward County Libraries Division, founded in 1974, is the ninth largest library system in the nation by population served and one of the busiest, with more than 9 million walk-in customers visiting its 40 locations annually. The library has more than 3.4 million items and 2,000 computers for public use and offers hundreds of events and programs to meet the needs of the Broward County's diverse community. The library continues its strong emphasis on literacy, after-school programs and electronic access. In addition to our comprehensive Web site,, which provides information about library activities, links to online catalogs, reference information and databases, customers can visit BCL WoW – Broward County Library Without Walls – for free eBooks, music, audiobooks, apps and more. Customers may also follow Libraries on Facebook and Twitter. Libraries Division also administers the services, programs, collections and exhibits of the Historical Commission.

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