Bank of Dania, 1923

Bank of Dania 1923 Dania Beach Historic Properties
2 South Federal Highway

The Bank of Dania may be eligible for local significance for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in the areas of architecture and community and economic development. The structure possesses significance for its association with men of the Dania’s key pioneers, including A.C. Frost, I.T. Parker, and Art J. Ryan, Sr., in connection with the development of the city’s downtown economy. One of Dania’s first Main Street structures, the Bank of Dania represents the pinnacle of Dania’s economic prosperity and growth.

The Bank of Dania also possesses significance for its unique Neo-classical style, including the incorporation of numerous classical elements. The building’s architectural features are rare in the region and the retention of the building’s brick structural system, classical elements, and distinct front façade and exterior fabric make the building a considerable asset to the community’s architectural heritage.

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE

A.C. Frost originally founded the Bank of Dania on May 1, 1912. The bank’s founders included Frost, William S. Parker, I.T. Parker, A.J. Ryan, Sr, and M.C. Hardee. Originally located at 1 North Federal Highway, where the Pirate’s Inn stands today, the Bank of Dania moved to its location at 2 South Federal Highway in 1926, where it remained until 1956. Designed by architects John Peterson and J.L. Hardgrove, construction on the new bank began in 1923. In 1926, the bank was reorganized as the Dania Bank and taken over by the Parker brothers. The final cost of the structure totaled a whopping $35,000. The bank shared the building with other businesses such as the T & T grocery. In 1956,  the bank moved to anew location at 255 East Dania Beach Boulevard and the old bank building sat idle until the city purchased the structure in 1966. The building currently lies at the heart of the city’s CRA district and remains a staple to the community’s economic development.

ARCHITECTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

Located in the heart of downtown Dania Beach, the two-story, commercial brick structure measures 3 bays by 6 bays. Pattered after the Neo-Classical style, the structure’s exterior façade consists of such distinct architectural features as colossal, fluted Ionic columns, a wide frieze with dentils on the east elevation,
 
and decorative das-relief designs above a titled string course on the north elevation. The contrasting gold brick exterior compliments the white Neo- classical architectural ornamentation. Fenestration includes modern, single light windows with metal frames. A decorative stepped brick parapet surrounds the structure’s flat, built-up roof.

The interior of the structure has been altered from its original design but retains its high, cathedral ceilings and red brick walls. The commercial structure remains a staple to the city’s downtown commerce and is a landmark. Documented as  the only remaining example of Neo-classical architecture in Dania Beach, preservation of the building remains critical for the retention of the city’s physical history.

The City of Dania Beach designated this structure as a historic property in 2000 by Ordinance Number 2000-038.