The two-story wood-frame house at 426 S. Beach Street, just down the street from the Halifax Yacht Club, was the place where Daytona Beach started.
“It’s the mother of Daytona Beach,” says William Braun, who has been spearheading efforts to preserve the historic building.
Built in 1875, the house, dubbed “the Abbey” in the nineteenth century, recently passed its 140th birthday and on Monday the Abbey Historical Trust will hold a celebration to commemorate the event. The city will present a proclamation declaring the day The Abbey Day and the building will be open to the public from 1 to 5 p.m.
The event coincides with the trust’s new push to raise $450,000 to buy the building from private owners and turn it into a multifaceted community asset. Plans include working with Bethune-Cookman University on an art center behind the building as well as a visitors center, also in the backyard, according to Braun. Last year, the effort attracted a $38,000 grant from the Daytona Beach Racing and Recreation Facilities District.