8 Responses

  1. Chelsea Patrick

    I have actually used both of these books, At First Glance, and Not To Be Missed, as references in a paper on and architectural review that I was assigned for school just a few weeks ago. During my research I went to the Central Brevard Library in Cocoa and met with Micheal Boonstra who gave me very valuable information on the town in which I’ve resided for a number of years. When I went upstairs to the genealogy department and met with Michael, I didn’t know what to expect. I needed information on my home that I currently live in, and which was the topic for my review. Before reading this particular article, I didn’t know exactly how lucky I was being able to get advice from such a reliable and knowledgeable source such as Michael. I merely went in to get the facts and to better understand the history of my home and how I can better respect and appreciate it. From immediate introduction Michael was easy to talk to and easy to understand. Once again he was extremely intelligent and eager to help me in my research. He helped me come to the conclusion that my house, along with many in the area and of the time, did not have an architect, and plans were not in existence. Although my house is in Rockledge, I work and play in historic Cocoa village, and eagerly found his book on the shelf and flipped through, finding such fun facts about the places where I frequent, now, over 100 years later. I highly recommend BOTH books, and look forward to any further texts these men decide to muster up.

  2. Danielle Elkins

    Sounds like a fantastic book. It would be nice if every little town across the country had such a resource that their residents could have to learn more about the history of their town and its buildings. I don’t live or work in Cocoa, but my husbands grandparents and great aunts and uncles came from Georgia and made Cocoa their home many years ago. I hear lots of stories at family gatherings about “old Cocoa” and how it used to be. Everyone likes to tell stories about different buildings- and simply driving by a structure that has been around for a long time can bring back all kinds of memories. I am sure this book would be extra special for those that have been in the area for many many years. Every town has a story and each and every building, and home has history to tell. I would love to know more about the little town that I call home- perhaps these authors would branch out and start composing a book like this for other surrounding areas. Times change so much and so fast sometimes. Something as basic as a building can somewhat bridge that gap between decades and time periods, and perhaps tie us all together through the years.

  3. Veronica Tarducci

    I think it is wonderful that this book was written to draw attention to the history that took place in Brevard County. I especially loved the metaphor which compared houses and commercial buildings to conch shells. It is always interesting to learn more about the history of these old buildings, and recognizing materials within them that are relevant to the time period they are from. It is sad that so many people want to completely change the look of some of these structures by renovating rather than honoring their historical integrity by restoring them. Although I am not very familiar with many of the historic building in Cocoa other than the Cocoa Village Playhouse, I would be very interested in reading about them in this book. It sounds like a great amount of detail has gone in to researching the necessary information about each individual building mentioned in the book. More so than learning about the history of buildings, I love discovering the stories of the people that inhabited the homes, and how some of the commercial spaces, such as the churches, had come to be. I always enjoying taking the ghost tours of old historic towns when I am on a vacation where they are available. Recently, I discovered that some of the tourist shops also sell books documenting hauntings in places like retail establishments and homes, so I make it a point to collect them now. However, I have yet to find one on hauntings within Brevard County, but it could possibly be a great way to go further into the history behind some of these buildings for their third edition of the book, and it would make me a very happy camper as well.

  4. Noelle Garrison

    This book sounds amazing! I’m sure it took so long to get all this information, but it sounds like it was worth it. I love old buildings and history usually interests me. I don’t really know a lot about Cocoa, so this would be a good thing for me. I’ll definitely have to read this sometime. I bet it was fun getting all this info for the book too, and I’m sure they probably got to see some amazing sights and meet some really cool people. I’m kinda jealous!

  5. Elizabeth Kiser

    THERE IS MANY HISTORIC HOMES AND BUILDINGS IN BREVARD COUNTY. THESE PLACES HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR GENERATIONS, MUCH OF WHICH UNFORTUNATELY HAS BEEN LOST IN VALUE AS TIME GOES BY. FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN CONSIDERING THE PORCHER HOUSE IN COCOA VILLAGE, THE HOUSE WAS BUILT IN 1916. DRIVING THROUGH COCOA VILLAGE, HOW MANY PEOPLE DRIVE BY THAT HOUSE AND NOT REALIZE HOW OLD IT TRULY IS? AS A CHILD, I WOULD NEVER HAVE GUESSED THAT THE BUILDING WAS HISTORIC.
    ANOTHER BUILDING THAT I HOPE THEY WROTE ABOUT IN THE BOOK WAS THE COCOA VILLAGE PLAYHOUSE. IT BECAME OPEN TO THE PUBLIC IN 1924! IT MUST HAVE BEEN AMAZING SEEING MOVIES LIKE FRANKENSTEIN IN THAT MOVIE THEATER. NOW, AFTER 90 YEARS OF EXISTENCE, IT IS A PLAYHOUSE.
    THE TRAVIS HARDWARE BUILDING IN COCOA VILLAGE IS ALSO ANOTHER BUILDING AND COMPANY THAT HAS HAD AN IMPACT. IT IS HARD TO IMAGINE THAT THIS COMPANY AND BUILDING WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1885. IT WAS ORIGINALLY A GENERAL MERCHANDISE STORE.
    THE BRIDGE IS ANOTHER PART OF HISTORY THAT I HOPE THEY HAVE INCLUDED IN THIS BOOK. IT IS NOT A HOME OR A BUILDING, BUT IT IS A PART OF COCOA HERITAGE THAT NOT EVERYONE KNOWS ABOUT. HARD TO BELIEVE THAT STATE ROAD 520 THAT RUNS STRAIGHT THROUGH TO THE BEACH DIDN’T EXIST UNTIL THE LATE 1960’S AND EARLY 1970’S.
    I AM GLAD THAT SOMEONE HAS WROTE A BOOK ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THESE BUILDINGS AND THE HERITAGE THAT MADE COCOA WHAT IT IS. UNFORTUNATELY AS TIME GOES BY, SOMETIMES SO DOES THE WONDERFUL HISTORY THAT EACH PLACE HAS.

  6. Jennifer Garcia

    I think it’s such an honorable thing for these three men to write a book about historic buildings in Cocoa, Florida. When you think of historic buildings, Cocoa, Florida is not on the top list. This is a great educational book about the area and the history that is in it. In my opinion this is a book not only outsiders to the area should pick up but more definitely the inhabitants of the area. Its great how their sharing with everyone their love for historic building and the area and researched every building so thoroughly. In my opinion I would love to own this book and better learn about the area, the area really is packed with many great artifacts that we don’t usually think are there. It seems they had really great resources as Mr. Boonstra to really get the history of the buildings and area. As one of the commenters mentioned about Mr. Boonstra, he does seem very acknowledgeable about the area and very helpful. Knowing so much about the buildings and area I am sure he was very enthusiastic about the project itself as well. Since I myself haven’t visit much historic sites in the Brevard area I would love to check out this book and visit some of the sites. It would also I’m sure be very intellectual on the historic buildings mentioned and offer many details not mentioned in websites, other books or even at the sites. I look forward to picking up this book in the future.

  7. Brittany Loper

    I was born and raised in Cocoa, FL and lived there for 21 years, so it is surely my home. I feel deep respect and admiration for these men who dedicated their time to organizing and putting into a timeline the history of my home. It is entirely true, if you grow up around something, you take it for granted. Let’s say, Cocoa Beach for instance. For a while, it baffled me that people were traveling, of all places to here for vacations. I later learned to have a deeper respect, knowing I do not always appreciate things I see every day. Even driving over the Hubert Humphrey Bridge is a lovely experience, especially if the sun is coming up.

    I enjoy the fact that these men also included structures that do no longer exist. This allows future generations and even us the ability to view and admire structures we can no longer do in person. I truly love the concept of the men interviewing and detailing the history, before we are unable to do so!

  8. Roy Laughlin

    Just wanted to thank the writers of the blog posts for their many kind words. That students are using these books and enjoying them is a big plus for me. These books are not the final word on Cocoa’s or Rockledge’s architectural heritage, but I hope that into the future, they are the place anyone can start, and it gives them a big boost. There’s still plenty of opportunity to explore Brevard’s architectural heritage.
    Again, thanks for the comments

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