Boynton Beach Boulevard and Seacrest Boulevard

Boynton Beach Boulevard and Seacrest Boulevard

Location

Boynton Beach Blvd and Seacrest Blvd, Boynton Beach, FL

The junction of Boynton Beach Boulevard and Seacrest Boulevard is one of the most important intersections in the city as it provides access from Interstate 95 to the downtown area and to the many municipal, cultural, and religious buildings located there.

Boynton Beach Boulevard was originally named Lake Avenue. All of the streets in the city were named until the introduction of the current street numbering system in the 1950s, which was requested by the Post Office to help with mail delivery.

Seacrest Boulevard, named Green Street until 19541, originally stretched only as far as Woolbright Road. In 19502, it was extended to Swinton Avenue in Delray Beach.

The following map shows the intersection of Boynton Beach Boulevard (Lake Avenue) and Seacrest Boulevard (Green Street) marked with a red dot and the original names of the streets in the downtown area. The only street which retains its original name is Ocean Avenue. City Hall is located on the block named “Boynton Center”.

map shows intersection of Boynton Beach Blvd (Lake Ave) & Seacrest Blvd (Green St)Boynton Beach Blvd (Lake Ave) & Seacrest Blvd (Green St)

City Hall

Old City Hall Building on U.S. 1City Hall Building on U.S. 1
The original City Hall was located on U.S. 1 just north of Boynton Beach Boulevard on the site of the present Memorial Park. As can be seen from the photograph on the left, the building was extremely small. The structure to the north (right) of City Hall was the Fire Station.

The current City Hall was completed in 1958 and was built without incurring any debt due to money being set aside for the new building in previous years. The building originally had an area 14,000 square feet and was planned to allow future expansion on three sides3. The photograph below shows the 1958 City Hall building viewed from Boynton Beach Boulevard. The 1958 building was significantly altered and expanded between 1987 and 1990. As the photographs show, the only recognizable remaining feature from the 1958 building is the setback in the façade.

City Hall 1958 and 2014City Hall in 1958 and City Hall Today

First Baptist Church of Boynton Beach

The First Baptist Church of Boynton Beach was constituted in 1925. Records indicate that services originally took place in a church on Palmetto Avenue until 1926 when they were moved to a church on Green Street. In 1929, a new church was erected at the southeast corner of Boynton Beach Boulevard and Seacrest Boulevard where City Hall is now located. This building was a rectangular stucco and wood structure which was painted a cream color4.

The church was moved to its new location in 1947 when a new structure was built in the Neoclassical Revival style. This style, also known as Classical Revival, resulted from an adaptation of the Greek temple front.

First Baptist ChurchFirst Baptist Church
Over time, the church has been enlarged; however, the original 1947 brick building is the rectangular section with the large portico (facing Seacrest Boulevard). Notable features include the full-height entrance portico with a pediment supported by four square Doric columns, the arched and rectangular wood-frame, double-hung sash windows, and the ornamental door surround which features a broken pediment, an urn, and a keystone detail. The church originally also contained a large steeple; however, this has been removed. The photograph below5 shows the church with the steeple and the junction of Seacrest Boulevard and Boynton Beach Boulevard c.1961.
First Baptist Church c. 1961First Baptist Church c. 1961

The Post Office

Boynton’s first post office was established on April 28, 1896, with William H. Cox as the postmaster. In 1900, after Cullen Pence and Ira Butler had served as postmaster, Charles W. Pierce took over the position and put the post office in his general store6. Pierce was a significant figure in the history of the Boynton Beach Post Office.

Charles W. PierceCharles W. Pierce
Pierce, who was born in 1864, came to Florida in 1872 and started the postal service in Hypoluxo in 1886 as a barefoot mailman. Barefoot mailmen carried mail from West Palm Beach to Miami by boat and by walking along the beach. From 1893 until 1895, Pierce captained the mail steamer “Hypoluxo” that made daily deliveries to Lake Worth. He served as Boynton postmaster from 1900 until 1903 when he went to work on Henry Flagler’s railroad; however, he was reappointed as postmaster in 1908 and served in this position until his death in 1939. On his death, his wife Ethel succeeded him and held the position until 19567. In 2009, Charles W. Pierce was designated a “Great Floridian”, which is an award presented by the Florida Department of State in recognition of the outstanding achievements of men and women who have made significant contributions to the progress and welfare of the state.

1963 Post Office Building1963 Post Office
The Boynton Beach Post Office has been situated in a number of buildings. The earliest offices were located in the downtown area in general stores such as Lyman’s general store and Pierce’s general store8. Around 1915, the post office was moved into a wood frame building located on the north side of Ocean Avenue just east of Dewey Park on the site of the current Arcade building9. The post office was badly damaged by the 1928 hurricane but was rebuilt in a couple of days by friends of the Pierce’s10. In 1949, the post office was relocated to another site on Ocean Avenue and was formally opened on December 1011. The post office remained here until 1963 when it was moved to its current location.

Post Office after 1928 HurricaneThe c.1915 Post Office after the 1928 Hurricane

Old Post Office with altered roofThe altered roof and stucco/paint on the adjacent building suggest this is the rebuilt Post Office

First United Methodist Church

First United Methodist ChurchFirst United Methodist Church
The Methodist Episcopal Church South was established in 1905 with 21 members. Services were conducted in various homes and at the school house by a travelling minister named Reverend Ludwig Oser. By 1908, the Methodist congregation had constructed its own building on the corner of U.S. 1 and East Ocean Avenue on land donated by Fred S Dewey and Cullen Pence12. This building was later sold and, in 1926, a new Methodist Tabernacle was built on the site of the present church at the corner of Seacrest Boulevard and NW 1st Avenue13. This building was destroyed by the 1928 hurricane and replaced in 1930 with the present Sanctuary, Fellowship Hall and Youth Building. The main sanctuary was begun in 1945 and dedicated in 1955, and the church was continually expanded and remodeled until 198914.

The church is built in the Gothic Revival style which achieved popularity in the United States between 1840 and 1870 and remained a favored style for religious and educational

Boynton Beach Methodist ChurchBoynton Beach Methodist Church
buildings, including those in Florida, well into the twentieth century. Identifying features of the Gothic Revival style include steeply pitched gable roofs, pointed elliptical arches, lancet windows, corner towers, recessed panels and arches, and oculus windows.
First United Methodist ChurchFirst United Methodist Church

  • 1. Boynton Beach City Commission Minutes, December 6, 1954.
  • 2. Boynton Beach City Council Minutes, November 6, 1950.
  • 3. Farace V.K. et. al., Boynton Beach, The First 100 Years, Boynton Beach Historical Society & Friends of the Boynton Beach City Library, 1995, p.28.
  • 4. Florida Memory image number 1301020, http://207.156.20.146/items/show/250451
  • 5. Simons G.W., Comprehensive Plan, Boynton Beach Florida, May, 1962
  • 6. “Boynton Opens New Post Office”, The Boynton Beach News, December 1, 1949.
  • 7. “From Fourth Class to First Class: Boynton Beach Post Office: 1900-1974”, The Examiner, July 25, 1974.
  • 8. “Boynton Opens New Post Office”, The Boynton Beach News, December 1, 1949.
  • 9. Farace V.K. et. al., Boynton Beach, The First 100 Years, Boynton Beach Historical Society & Friends of the Boynton Beach City Library, 1995, p.17.
  • 10. “From Fourth Class to First Class: Boynton Beach Post Office: 1900-1974”, The Examiner, July 25, 1974.
  • 11. Boynton Beach City Council Minutes, December 5, 1949.
  • 12. Research Atlantica, Inc. City of Boynton Beach, Florida, Historic Sites Survey. Coral Springs: 1996, p.20.
  • 13. DeVries J., Around Boynton Beach. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2006, p.89.
  • 14. First United Methodist Church, A People Persevering. Boynton Beach, 1990.