Richard Jones Architecture To Design Historic Restoration For Iconic Masonic Temple

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Staff Report
Delray Beach Architect Richard Jones has been chosen to design the historic restoration/ adaptive re-use of the 1920’s Era Masonic Temple at 44 East Atlantic Avenue. The site sits directly across the street from Old School Square and was owned by the Masons up until the mid-90s. During the 40’s and 50’s the first level was home to the Delray Beach Post Office.
Richard Jones, who recently won a Historic Preservation Award from the State of Florida for his restoration and re-use of the Sam Ogren Chevrolet Dealership/21 Drops building is very excited. “I have a personal connection to this project,” Jones said.“It’s been my office for the last 10 years.” Jones discussed the plan for a meticulous restoration of both interior and exterior will be based on the mid-20’s original architectural plans and old photographs that he found in a safe within the building. All original building materials on the inside and outside will be preserved and repurposed. The downtown building with the great location, had fallen in disrepair over the years and portions sit empty, previous downstairs tenants included a vape shop.
“This will certainly make a clean, safe, and well utilized corner,” said Todd Herbst, Partner with Big Time Restaurants, who also operates City Oyster and Rocco’s Tacos in the downtown. Herbst will bring his Bossi concept to Downtown Delray as Osteria Bossi. He promises a warm comfortable interior along with fresh foods and home baked breads.
The 2-story restaurant will have a new feature window and stair that will showcase the buildings historic interior while leading patrons to a second-floor outdoor dining area overlooking Old School Square. The project faces a 3-month zoning approval process before building permits can be issued. Jones, who will need to relocate his architectural practice after 10 years overlooking Old School Square is optimistic, “Change is good, he said, I plan to stay in the building right up to the start of construction.”