4414 Surf Rd., Hollywood, FL 33019
Wi-Fi is available in the meeting room.
The Marine Environmental Education Center at Carpenter House
About Carpenter House
The Hollywood property known as Carpenter House comprises three buildings totaling 4,400 square feet: the two-floor main house, which includes quarters for an on-site student program administrator on the first floor; the garage, which includes an artist’s studio upstairs; and the beachfront cottage or cabana house, which is now a gift shop. This compound of approximately 0.54 acres also included a large pool that was added to the back yard at a later date. The complex has been restored and rehabilitated by Broward County Parks and Recreation, working with the Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources and Nova Southeastern University.
Access to the house is available by rental only for private functions; night-time rentals are limited to November through February only. The maximum capacity of the entire Carpenter House estate is 50 people.
The centerpiece of the house is a large second-floor room that can be rented for small meetings or other gatherings. The room, which includes windows at the east and west ends, measures 26’7” by 16’1” and includes a conference table with seating for 12 and a nonworking fireplace. The room can also be set up classroom-style with tables and chairs to accommodate approximately 24 people, and basic audiovisual equipment is available. Banquet-style setups are not permitted. The meeting room can accommodate up to 50 people standing. Wi-Fi is available.
There are three additional rooms off the main room: two small rooms to the south, measuring 15’ 2” by 13’ and 12’ 8” by 13’, and an east-facing room known as the reading room, which has windows on three sides in the style of a Florida room and measures 14’ 9” x 11’ 5”. These three rooms have not yet been furnished.
A kitchen adjacent to the main room and the reading room has been fully restored, although no cooking is allowed in the house (food may be served inside the house, however). Functions requiring food service can arrange for a caterer to set up on the grounds in the common area behind the house between the site’s three buildings, where outdoor cooking is permitted. Those grounds are available for small outdoor weddings, receptions, or other functions (up to 50 people maximum).
There is a 25-car parking lot across the street from the house. Metered public parking is also available on nearby side streets. One handicapped parking space is available at the house.
$1,500 + tax per 12 hours - includes use of second-floor boardroom, additional second-floor rooms, art studio, and patio
$900 + tax per six hours - includes use of second-floor boardroom, additional second-floor rooms, art studio, and patio - $100 + tax per additional hour, up to six hours
$750 + tax per six hours - includes use of outside patio area only - $100 + tax per additional hour, up to six hours
$400 cleanup/security deposit also required for all rentals
Please note: For a wedding on the beach, you must also contact the City of Hollywood's Special Events Office at 954-921-3404; a permit and an additional fee may be required through this office.
More information on meetings and small outdoor weddings can be found here, or you can call Anne Kolb Nature Center at 954-357-5161. Maps and directions.
The estate was built in 1941 by Henry Godfrey Carpenter Jr., a Massachusetts native and retired U.S. Navy lieutenant commander. Carpenter and his first wife, Rachel Clews, an A&P grocery chain heiress, used the property as a summer home from 1946 through 1956. Henry, who at the time lived in New York, then moved into the home permanently after he and Rachel divorced.
In 1962, Carpenter married June Anderson, a Minnesota native who had moved to Hollywood in 1957. They met through the Lions Club, in which both were active. It was just one of many organizational affiliations for the socially prominent couple, who later became known for environmentalism and community service. A fellow sailor recalled Henry Carpenter as someone who "ran around doing good without a lot of fanfare."
Carpenter House was one of the first few residences established on northern Hollywood Beach, where it lies along the Hollywood Broadwalk, a 2.2-mile stretch of multipurpose recreational trail that has been in use since the early 1900s. The house was used as a location for the 1984 Paul Newman movie Harry & Son. June Carpenter lived in the house until she died in 2003. Broward County purchased the property from the June A. Carpenter Trust the next year, using funds from the 2000 Safe Parks and Land Preservation Bond Referendum and Florida Communities Trust.
In 2009 the County commissioned a survey of the parcel by the Archaeological and Historical Conservancy Inc. The report determined that a portion of the house’s interior qualifies for listing on the National Register of Historic Places: “The house has some significance…as an interesting example of a beach home of its period, architecturally forward-thinking.”
Aside from the house and its outbuildings, the site itself is significant in that it includes remnants of a beach dune community and a maritime hammock, both of which are ecosystems identified as imperiled by the Florida Natural Areas Inventory. When the house was constructed in 1941, homes in the area tended to be widely spaced and tucked into natural dunes along the beach. The surrounding vegetation was grassy and low-growing. Today, most dune systems in Broward County have been disturbed or replaced by development, allowing sea grape to dominate the landscape.