Banner Lake Clubhouse historical designation celebrated
From left, Niki Norton, Julie Preast, Harold Jenkins, Wendy Reynoso; back, Scott Berry and Alfred Miller. Photo from Firefly
On March 8, the Banner Lake Clubhouse was officially placed on the Martin County Historic Register.
The Banner Lake Community Center dates back to 1939, a time of segregation in the South. Local philanthropists William and Francoise Barstow donated the land and financed the construction of a recreation center and storm shelter specifically for the use of the African American Banner Lake community. They stipulated that it would be open to all, regardless of race, for the betterment of the community.1
The center was the social hub of Banner Lake for decades and continues to be a source of community activity and pride. Besides its historical value, the center also has architectural significance. The original structure was made with poured concrete walls, a newly developed construction feature that William Barstow had worked on with Thomas Edison in the construction of the earliest electrical plants.
Dedication and plaque placement ceremonies were held May 7 and included residents, volunteers, students, dignitaries, and community partners.2
The Banner Lake Community Center is located at 12212 SE Lantana Ave. in Hobe Sound. It is home to a variety of programs and services offered to have a transformative impact on the lives of children and families throughout the Banner Lake community and beyond. The Banner Lake Club became a nonprofit organization in 2011, with a mission of improving the quality of life for Hobe Sound residents, especially those in the Banner Lake community requiring financial, social and educational support.3