Barbara Hoffstot (1919-1994)
Barbara Drew Hoffstot was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1919, graduated from Rollins College in 1943, and was a winter resident of Palm Beach, Florida. In 1964, she founded the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation. After moving to Palm Beach, she witnessed an ever-changing built environment and took it upon herself to document the remaining historic resources. Her windshield survey led to the publication of Landmark Architecture in Palm Beach in 1974. Her effort also led the Town of Palm Beach’s Landmarks Preservation Ordinance in 1979. The ordinance is intended to protect Palm Beach’s most significant architectural achievements, ensuring that the heritage of Palm Beach would not be lost for future generations. Her groundwork was instrumental in assisting with legislation that ultimately produced the National Register of Historic Places. Hoffstot was quoted as saying, “Don’t let your very fine past be taken away uncaringly or without your knowledge or consent. Be prepared to fight when necessary.” She passed away in 1994.
Collection: The Hoffstot photography collection was donated in the late 1990s and includes over 200 original photographs from the publication of Landmark Architecture in Palm Beach. The photographs are part of the Property Files collection at the Foundation which document vital information about the built environment of Palm Beach.