Volusia County

Residents are fighting to keep a piece of Daytona Beach history

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Update:

On Tuesdauy, Daytona’s Historic Preservation Board votes 5-1 recommending the Orange Avenue Recreation Center be designated a historic site. The boards recommendation will be passed on to the City Commission who will make the final decision.

Previous Story:

Some Daytona Beach residents are fighting to save what they said is a historic site.

The Daytona Beach Recreation Center was built in 1943 for the Women’s Army Corps as a recreation center when the women were stationed in the city during World War II.

On Tuesday, residents will try to convince the city’s Historic Preservation Board to declare it a historic site and seek grant money to repair it rather than demolish the building.


“Back in 1942/43 there was a lot of sentiment that women shouldn’t be in the Army and there was a lot of criticism of woman who joined the WACS,” said community activist Anne Ruby.

Back in its heyday, Daytona’s Orange Avenue Recreation is where people came to dance.

Now, 80 years later, the center has fallen into disarray.

Read: Crews rescue person who climbed crane on State Road 417

A report from the city says the building has considerable water damage, there are holes in its roof and its electrical and HVAC system need to be replaced.

The city said repairing the damage will cost about $1 million.

Read: Gov. DeSantis eliminates FSA in all Florida public schools

“There are of historic connections here and I think a lot of them have not even begun to be explored,” Ruby said. “The WACS were very important and this is a building dedicated to their eell-being and we should honor it by preserving that/”

Ultimately the decision to preserve this building will be up to the City Commission which will take whatever the board decides tonight under advisement.

Read: Orange County Sheriff’s Office releases final report about Bob Saget’s death

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.