Historic Markers Across Florida

F.E.C. Railway Depot, Boca Raton

Marker ID: FLHM 
Location: 747 South Dixie Highway, Boca Raton, FL
County: Palm Beach
Coordinates: N 26° 20.583    W 080° 05.334
  26.34305    -80.0889
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM407E


F.E.C. Railway Depot, Boca Raton

The rails of Henry Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway first reached Boca Raton in 1895 providing an essential link in the extension of the railroad system south to Miami and the Florida Keys, and fostering the tourism and agricultural development around which the community of Boca Raton was founded and grew to prosper. The 1930 railway depot on this site was not the first station in Boca Raton. While the F.E.C. was crucial to the opening of the area, it was during the era of the 1920s and 1930s that Boca Raton received its unique architectural character, due largely to the influence of the architect and developer Addison Mizner. In 1928, following the collapse of the explosive Boom Era in southeast Florida, Mizner lost his extensive holdings in Boca Raton. Clarence A. Geist, a self-made man who began his career as a brakeman in New Jersey and rose to become a utilities magnate in Philadelphia, bought the bankrupt development. Geist, too, had vision, and set out to build on Mizner's achievements. His plans included the construction of a passenger depot on the F.E.C. line to provide service for guests of the exclusive Boca Raton Club, the crown jewel of Mizner's plans for Boca, and to provide a gracious entrance to the showplace community. In order to ensure the station would be designed in a style to complement the Club, Geist donated the necessary land and rights to the F.E.C. and is reputed to have made a considerable investment in the railway at the time. Built in 1930, the station was designed by F.E.C. architect Chester G. Henninger in the Mediterranean Revival style of architecture with a gently pitched gable roof, stuccoed walls and arched loggias with delicate spiral columns. This distinctive style, generally associated with the work of Mizner, contributed richly to the unique physical character of Boca Raton which remains visible today. The F.E.C. Railway Passenger Station in Boca Raton was operated until 1968 when passenger service along the line was discontinued. A living testament to the Boom Era in Florida history, the station was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, and was restored in 1989 by the Boca Raton Historical Society with the generous assistance of the Count and Countess de Hoernle and the widespread support of the community.

Phi Alpha Theta, XI Omega Chapter, Florida Atlantic University
in Cooperation with the Florida Department of State


City: Boca Raton, FL