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Art Deco Home in Delray Beach Named to County Historic Registry

Art Deco Home in Delray Beach

An Art Deco home, the Wenger House in unincorporated Delray Beach, is the first residential property to be added to the Palm Beach County register of historic places.

The house is located at 3811 Wall Street, Delray Beach, and was built in 1948 by Ray Wenger as a dream house for his sweetheart Ruth. The current owner, Linda Stabile, wanted to honor the Wengers for their efforts as folk architects by preserving the home that was made one room at a time, mostly from salvaged materials. In addition to preserving the house, Stabile converted the backyard into a modern art sculpture garden.

The Art Deco influence is clearly evident when observing the front of the house. The period termed “Art Deco”manifested itself roughly between the two world wars, from 1920 to 1939. Modern elements of Art Deco include echoing machine and automobile patterns and shapes such as stylized gears and wheels, or natural elements such as sunbursts and flowers.

According to Palm Beach County Archeologist Christian Davenport, the historic register helps to preserve county treasures. For property owners, the benefits of the historic designation include ad valorem tax incentives, increased property value and code waivers. In general, homes designated as historic are at least 50 years old.

Currently the county has six historic sites or districts in addition to the Wenger House. In 1997, the Tindall House in Jupiter and the Cabana Club Porte Cochere were designated as historic sites. In the same year, Camino Real Road and drawbridge in Boca Raton became the county’s first historic district. In 1999, Riverbend Regional Park was named a historic district. Old Indiantown Road was named a historic site in 2004, and the old County Courthouse was added to the list of historic sites in 2005. The Dubois Historic District in Jupiter will also be added to the list this year.

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