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Delray African-American museum to
seek as much as $1 million
By REBECCA ORBACH
12:26 a.m. Mar. 13, 2001
DELRAY BEACH -- More than
five years after envisioning an African-American heritage museum,
organizers have just one-third of the money they
Founders of the S.D. Spady Multi-Cultural
Historical Museum have turned to county sources such as Palm Beach
County Commissioner Addie Greene for help. The commissioner toured
the site of the museum at 170 NW Fifth Ave. Monday and loved it,
though she thought it was small.
museum is one little spot -- and it's not enough," said Greene, who
wants to help expand the museum's two lots to four.
The Expanding and Preserving Our Cultural
Heritage group has received $385,000 for renovations of the Spady
home from Delray Beach, the Community Redevelopment Agency and Palm
Beach County commissioners. Construction began in June.
But they still have a long way to go. EPOCH
plans to request an additional $800,000 to $1 million from the same
sources to renovate a 900-square-foot cottage next door for
administrative offices and children's programming and to build an
amphitheater and pavilion. The budget also includes a garden and
chicken coop behind the museum.
The main museum
will be in the 2,000-square-foot Spady home. Organizers hope to
build an indoor/outdoor amphitheater for performances and will
possibly add a third building, creating a complex instead of one
"It's really grown beyond our
initial vision," said Elaine Woods, executive director of EPOCH.
"(Greene) will be instrumental in getting that complex stretched
across and initiate some city funding and CRA
The museum will provide a history of
African-American pioneers of the Delray Beach area. "I can't think
of anyone who has more culture than we have and have not seen one
establishment in Palm Beach County where this has been preserved,"
said Greene, who was elected in September to represent a district
near the coast from Riviera Beach to Delray
Greene said she will work with county
commissioners to help fund the museum with recreation and
landscaping grants. She said the county also will match any city
The Spady Multi-Cultural Historical
Museum will become the second African-American heritage museum in
Palm Beach County. The other is in West Palm
Solomon David Spady, a teacher,
principal and activist, built the Mission Revival-style stucco home
Before museum renovations began, the
home had not been significantly changed. Spady's relatives are
working with EPOCH to renovate the home to its original style.
Organizers said they want the home to have a lived-in, 1920s
"I begged them not to fix this," said
Vera Farrington, founder and president of EPOCH, as she points to an
old brick fireplace during the tour. "In 1926, the kind of work that
was put into this house -- this was a house before its time." The
original light fixtures and archways in each room have remained
Rebecca Orbach can be reached at
2000, Sun-Sentinel Co. & South Florida Interactive,