A0089 – Robert F. Katz Collection
Title: Robert F. Katz Collection
Date span: 1998-2003
Physical description: 3 linear ft. (2 boxes)
Creator: Robert F. Katz (1956-2006)
Language note: English
Closed or open collection: closed
Restriction on Access: The collection is available for supervised use by appointment during normal Boynton Beach City Library hours. Users are required to comply with the library’s regulations governing use.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction: Materials in the collections are to be used for private study, scholarship, or research in accord with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code). The Boynton Beach City Library adheres to all conditions specified in the law when providing reproductions of copyrighted material. Any use of a reproduction in excess of “fair use," may result in the user’s liability for copyright infringement.
Additional physical form available: Some of the photographs have been digitized and are available for viewing online.
Acquisition information: Donated by Janet DeVries Naughton, 2021.028.001, 2020.002
Custodial history: Given to donor, Janet DeVries Naughton, by Richard Katz, brother of Robert Katz in c. 2019.
Preferred Citation: Robert Katz collection, A0089, [specific identification number if digitized], Boynton Beach City Library Local History Archives.
Processing Information: Collection processed in July 2021 by Georgen Charnes. Date of finding aid: July 2021.
Scope and Content Note:
Collection is chiefly photographs related to three historic houses remodeled by Katz with the contractor John Dority in 1999-2002. The major part of these photographs are of the Andrews House remodeling in 2000, including loose photographs and others in a scrapbook with clippings. The remodeling of the original Boynton Woman’s Club and the Daugharty House are also documented. Scrapbook also includes a chain of deeds document for the Andrews House ownership. Collection also includes a folder of newspaper clippings on the revitalization projects and handmade cards from elementary students, thanking Katz for one of the historical essay contests he sponsored in 1998 and 2001.
Robert Katz (1956-2006) and Boynton Beach plans
Robert Francis Katz Jr. lived part of his early years in Boynton Beach, Florida. After being discharged from the Navy in 1976, he worked with Trans World Alloys, in California. In 1998, he returned to Boynton Beach and purchased several properties, chiefly historic buildings in the downtown area, as well as at least two properties on Martin Luther King Boulevard. His intent was to revitalize Boynton Beach with several projects. The most significant of these was remodeling the Andrews House (306 SE First Avenue) and creating a museum, which was completed in 2000. Other major projects include the remodeling of the Daugharty House (405 E. Ocean Avenue), the original Boynton Woman’s Club building (502 E. Ocean Avenue), and Harry’s Restaurant (119 E Martin Luther King Blvd), all of which were to be restaurants. Of the three planned restaurants, only Booker T’s was completed; it opened in 2002. In 2003, Katz was negotiating a downtown development featuring luxury condos, parking garages, and boutiques, a marine museum.
Edith Andrews House (306 SE First Avenue)
Frame vernacular built between 1901 and 1909 by Bert L. Kapp. The land (Block 11, lots 4, 5, 6) was purchased by Kapp from Birdie and Fred Dewey in either 1901 or 1909. It operated as a guest house as early as 1913. Kapp sold the property to Mrs. Alice Fields of Georgia in May 1924, then it was purchased by Katie Gager Andrews (1887-1971) in July 1925 and continued as a guest house. The house was deeded from her son, Charles Lee Andrews (1912-1991) to Katie Andrews’ other son, George Kermit Andrews (1916-1993) in 1972, and to George’s widow Edith Burns Andrews (1916-2003) at his death in 1993, and finally purchased in March 1998 by Robert Katz. The house was renovated in 1998-2000. Miami-based movers Russell Building Movers propped up the 25,000 ton house and lowered it onto a new concrete foundation 40 feet east from the original location in May 1998. Contractors John Dority and O’Shea stripped the walls to the framing, sandblasted the paint off, used salvaged Dade Pine (now extinct) when necessary. Jim Warnke as consultant took photos, including those from a helicopter during the move. The house opened as a pioneer museum in c. 2000. It held history essay contests for elementary school students in 1998 and 2001. At this time (2021), the house is not offering tours or being maintained.
Daugharty House (405 E. Ocean Avenue)
According to notes from local historian Hazel Daugharty Houston who lived in the house, this frame vernacular building was built in 1902 by Chas. B. Mayberry, and her father rented it and operated a general store there, then purchased the building and lived there until 1906. However, a newspaper announcement (1907-04-03 Miami News) detailed Ida Daugharty purchasing the property (Block 5, lot 8) from a F. M. Taggett in 1907. The property was kept in the family until 1985, when it was sold to Donald J. Stark. Robert F. Katz purchased the house from Stark in October 2000. In 2001, Katz filed a plan for extensive renovations with the City of Boynton Beach. However, in 2011, the house was demolished by Katz’s heirs.
Original Boynton’s Woman’s Club (502 E. Ocean Avenue)
Frame vernacular, built in 1911, reputedly from lumber salvaged from the ship Coquimbo. Original owner was the Boynton Woman’s Club, who rented part of the building to various businesses, including Martin’s Electric; the Boynton Woman’s Club moved from the building in 1925. The building was later occupied by Western Auto, Beane’s Exterminating, Sharp Real Estate, and several antique shops. In March 1998, it was purchased by Robert Katz from the Beanes. The last occupying business, Early Attic-Yesterday’s Furniture, had a liquidation sale in August 1999, assumedly the approximate final date of occupancy. Plans were made in 2000 to turn the building into a restaurant, The Shipwreck, including negotiations with the city for assistance. The back portion of the building was removed in the renovation process in 2000. In January 2003, a permit for demolition was filed with the City.
Booker T’s Restaurant (119 E Martin Luther King Blvd)
Tony Harvey’s Restaurant and Lounge was sold to Bob Katz in 1998. In 2001, Katz renovated the building and opened Booker T’s, named after Booker T. Norfus (1933-2006), who was to operate the establishment and whose cooking was well known. The restaurant opened in July 2002. However, the restaurant failed, and the property was sold to the Boynton CRA in c. 2005 to develop for the City’s Heart of Boynton initiative. In Sept 2006, the Boynton CRA filed a demolition order. Images A0089-N-017 and A0089-N-018 feature this building before remodeling.
- Folder of newspaper clippings on Katz’s revitalization projects, c. 1998-2001
- 25 handmade cards from elementary students, thanking Katz for one of the historical essay contests he sponsored in 1998 and 2001
- Scrapbook with clippings and photographs of the Andrews House remodeling, 1999-2000.
- Two BBCL cards.
Box 2: Loose photographs and negatives
- Andrews House (306 SE First Avenue):
- A0089-001 to 002 & A0089-135 to 141: before remodeling
- A0089-003 to 016, 164-182: interiors
- A0089-017 to 029: polaroids from unknown date
- A0089-030 to 035, 144-163, 184-191: moving house
- A0089-036 to 041 & 142 to 143: aerial views of moving house, by Jim Warnke
- A0089-042 to 045: renovated house
- Daugharty House (405 E. Ocean Avenue):
- A0089-046 to 058: during remodeling
- Original Boynton Woman’s Club (502 E. Ocean Avenue):
- A0089-059 to 073: during and after remodeling, including the removal of the back section
- A0089-074 to 082: interiors
- A0089-183: before remodeling
- Other Boynton buildings
- A0089-083 to 108
- Party, marked “95th Birthday,” “1 August 2002,” and “2001.” Features candid shots of unidentified guests at a party at the Andrews House.
- A0089-109 to 134
- Panorama photos
- A0089-p001 to p020
- Negatives. Chiefly of prints included in collection. Those featuring images not included here as prints have been digitized and are available online.