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Commissioners consider reconstruction options for historic Delray Beach train station damaged in fire

City to decide between 3 proposals for historic landmark
Historic Delray Beach train station after fire
Posted at 4:33 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 19:42:58-05

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Firefighters spent hours battling the flames that engulfed the historic old Delray Beach train station last February.

Now city leaders are moving forward with several proposals to reconstruct the station.

The former Seaboard Air Line Railway Station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 but has sat empty for decades. Recent plans to revitalize it were almost destroyed with the fire.

GALLERY: Massive fire engulfs old Delray Beach train station

Commissioner Ryan Boylston said it's amazing that the structure of the building was saved. Now commissioners must decide how to reconstruct and open it, considering several options proposed by city staff.

"I said, 'Let the needs of our city and our community really drive what we leverage that building for,'" Boylston said.

Commissioners will be presented with three different options.

Winnie Edwards, with the Delray Beach Historical Society, said she was watching history burn when four teenagers set fire to the building.

"I love the idea of office space, incubator space, a museum, of course," Edwards said. "We're always up for a museum."

Edwards said the station, which was built in 1927, was the catalyst for the city's tourism and Mediterranean design. She said it seems like the city is respecting the historic impact in the design plans.

Picture of old Delray Beach train station courtesy of Delray Beach Historical Society
The former Seaboard Air Line Railway Station was built in 1927 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

"I'm very proud of what the city has done," Edwards said. "I'm very proud that they've paid attention to this."

The city has $1.8 million in insurance money to use for reconstruction.

Commissioners will discuss the matter during a workshop next week.

"We're going to move quick, so over this next year, you're going to be able to actually see this happen," Boylston said.

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