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Museum of Coral Springs History - Wendy Wangberg


MUSEUM SURVIVES WINDSTORM

The one-room building in Mullins Park, between the pool and the Center for the Arts, was nearly history during a windstorm on 3/14/03. A giant ficus tree next to the building was uprooted by the wind and fell against the roof. But the structure was spared.


BUILDING USED AS REAL ESTATE OFFICE

Originally built by Coral Ridge Properties in 1964 as a 30’x 20’ real estate sales office, it sat at the northwest intersection of Wiles Road and #441. The location was not even in Coral Springs at the time, but Wiles was the only access into the City, which did not have a paved road, and only a Covered Bridge as architecture. Coral Ridge employees would market property using the City’s Master Plan, neighborhood plats and house models from builders’ brochures. By 1966, Coral Ridge had constructed a large administration building (now City Hall) and asked if the City of Coral Springs wanted the “old building”.


CORAL SPRINGS POLICE STATION IN 1968

The City moved it to 6500 Woodside Drive to use as its first administration building and in 1968, the first police station. When it was no longer big enough for their needs in 1972, the police moved out and the Jaycees used it as a clubhouse. The structure had been on borrowed land (and time) and had to be moved again to make way for construction in 1976.


BURNT OUT MUSEUM

Landmark Restoration committee members from left to right: Vice Mayor Carl Zeytoonian, Brian Hansen, John Cassidy, Sandy Cugno, unidentified, John Trout, John Lynch, Jack Lotsey,
Bill Sayers and Chuck Connor

Next stop was the City dump at 12700 NW 39th Street. While using it for smoke rescue drills, the volunteer fire department accidentally set it on fire. People took notice that the little building seemed indestructible, as it survived even this assault. The Landmark Restoration Committee formed to raise funds to restore the structure. On 10/20 /77, the building was moved yet again but this time with an accompanying parade as a flatbed truck towed it to its permanent home in Mullins Park. By 3/4/78, it was fully restored and opened as the Mini Museum.


MINI MUSEUM WITH MAYOR EDWARD HEAFY

As the Bicentennial surge of interest in local history waned, people forgot about the Mini Museum and it closed within a couple of years. It sat empty for over twenty years, used occasionally as a meeting room. In 2000, (another year of resurgent interest in local history) the City formed the Historical Advisory Committee, which identified the building as a landmark that should be restored to its prior status as a museum. Years of neglect had left the building in need of total restoration. And then the tree fell against it on 3/14/03. Rather than becoming history through its demise, it again survived.


THE NEW MUSEUM IS A RENOVATION OF THE ORIGINAL

It has now been renovated and is designated a Florida Heritage Site. The museum presents the master plans, subdivision plats and maps showing the how the City grew from a population of five to over 126,711 in 42 years. There are models and historic items of interest on display. The museum is open Tuesday and Wednesday, 10-2, and by appointment. Please call Wendy Wangberg, City Historian at 954/752-7535.