By: Marisa Gottesman Associate Editor
It was once home to a member of Delray’s Mayor John Sundy’s family, the “Lima Bean King” Clint Moore and is referred to by some as “Delray Beach’s White House.”
Now, its history will be preserved as the property has been approved by commissioners as an individually historic property.
It will go before the commission for a final hearing this month. It received an initial OK at a recent city meeting. “This is a great opportunity for the city to make sure one of its assets is around for future generations,” said planning director Tim Stillings. “It’s a beautiful property.”
In order for a property to be listed as an individual designated historic property it must have historical or cultural significance or architectural or aesthetic significance. The designation indicates any modifications to the home will go before the Historic Preservation Board and may be held to a different standard.
Home owner Blaine Minton applied for the designation and was thanked by locals who cherish the property.
“If the city had a historic champion award, you would get it,” Commissioner Mitch Katz said of Minton.
Commissioner Jordana Jarjura said she considers the home one of the premiere properties in the city.
Known as The Clint Moore House, the Georgian Colonial style home is located at 1420 North Swinton Ave. between Grove Way and NW 15th St. in the Lake Ida neighborhood. The 6,177-square-foot home sits on a 1.7 acre parcel.
In a 1992 Sun Sentinel article about the home, Historic Preservation Consultant Clemmer Mayhew said the home is “irreplaceable and priceless” and “museum quality.” The article also pointed out the huge Royal Poinciana tree right in the middle of the front yard, which has stood since its inception.
It is estimated that the single-family residence was constructed in 1925 by LeRoy T. Hirth, but according to a previous owner a fire in City Hall about 20 years ago destroyed records of the home including the names of the architect, builder and year of construction. County property appraiser records show a patio and wall was built in 1928.
The Georgian Colonial style has roots tracing back to the early American colonies. The American version of the homes were less ornate than the houses in England. The Clint Moore House is representative of simple styling. It has a symmetrical style with a paneled front door at the center of the facade, decorative crown over the front door and a front portico supported by columns.
Instead of having a set of chimneys flanking both sides of the home, this house only has one chimney on the north side. The home has a medium pitched roof and short overhang.
Moore purchased the property from Ben Sundy in 1929 for $25,000, according to state records. The Moore family owned the property until 1950. Moore is known as “the first person in Delray Beach to farm west of 441” in the 1930s. His farm was approximately 4,500 acres on both sides of 441 south of Atlantic to the Boca/Delray line where Clint Moore Road is located.
The Palm Beach Post dubbed him “The Lima Bean King” in 1940. He also completed dredging and paving work.
Moore died in 1948. His wife, Ethel, and five children resided in the home until the 1950s. Records show that Moore supported many community causes such as the Boy Scouts and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where his wife was very involved in the music program.
Paul and Eleanor Gringle purchased the home from the Estate of Ethel Moore in the 1950s and lived there until widowed Eleanor Gringle sold the property in 1987, according to records.
Paul Gringle was a local attorney and municipal judge from Detroit. The family also had a real estate agency. City records say they were the only ones to decorate the outside of the home on Swinton for Christmas.
Former DDA director Marjorie and her husband Joe Ferrer owned the home in the 1980s and 90s. They opened it up to all sorts of community events and even television commercials.
The house will join other designated properties including the Sandoway House, Solomon D. Spady House and the Scott House.