At various times since it was built in 1875, a wood-framed building on South Beach Street, dubbed “the Abbey” by its owners at the turn of the 19th century, was a general store, church meeting room, home of a popular writer, a lending library and the closest thing the newly formed city of Daytona had to a city hall.
But a move to buy the property with the aim of preserving and showcasing it did not fare well in the county’s ECHO grant process. It was ranked last among the proposals that made it to the ECHO Advisory Board for consideration.
The ECHO program provides grants for ecological, cultural, historic and outdoor-related projects. Last year, one of the program’s most high-profile grants provided $350,000 for emergency repairs to the Daytona Beach Bandshell.