- Alexandra Seltzer Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Now that the Boynton Woman’s Club building is owned by the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency, the CRA board needs to decide if they want to change the name of the building.
The board, which is the City Commission, spoke about a name change at the last CRA meeting in October, and is expected to make a decision at the Nov. 14 meeting.
Director Mike Simon said a name change would help differentiate the 1010 S. Federal Highway building from the woman’s club that will continue to operate.
“From a marketing perspective the Boynton Woman’s Club is still alive and well as an entity, an organization. Now the Boynton Woman’s Club can meet anywhere,” Simon said.
Or they can choose to leave the name.
The pinkish-colored building just north of Woolbright Road is 12,626 square feet and is the only one of Addison Mizner’s projects in Palm Beach County open to the public. The building is on both the national and local registers of historic places. It was built as a memorial for Maj. Nathan S. Boynton, the city’s founding father.
In World War II, the building hosted many Red Cross dances and served doughnuts and coffee to service members.
Through the years, the women have held fashion shows, concerts, even a Roaring ’20s celebration. And each year they host a scholarship program in which they award $1,000 each to a handful of students.
The building’s ballroom, dining room and library are still able to be rented for community and private events. The CRA already has 11 events they inherited.
Simon recommended keeping the name simple and not to get away from Major Boynton, or Boynton.
Commissioner Joe Casello said he would like to keep the name as is because of its history.
Mayor Steven Grant put the question out to a Boynton Beach community group on Facebook for their feedback. He said he’d be open to simply adding “historic” to the name, making it the Historic Boynton Woman’s Club.
The women of the club, all volunteers, offered the building to the CRA, saying they have tried their best, but struggled, to come up with money to restore the historic 1925 building. The CRA bought it for $110,000 and the women will use the money for scholarships. They closed Sept. 29.