FAU’s presidential residence opens without a tenant

Kelly Tyko

‘Eleanor R. Baldwin’ House for Rent: 14,000 square ft., two floors, atrium, library, 20-seat dining room, catering kitchen, entertainment room, three private bedrooms, a formal parlor, and a two-car garage. Located near the 20th Street entrance of the Boca Raton campus. Rent-free for future FAU presidents.


With a pair of scissors more than two-feet long, outgoing President Anthony Catanese cut through the red ribbon and one of his last tasks as FAU’s top administrator.


On June 6, in front of a crowd of 300, Catanese joined Eleanor R. Baldwin in the official opening of the presidential residence – a house that will remain vacant until a new president is appointed. The acting president, Rick Osburn, won’t live in the house.


“My successor will take the helm of a whole new FAU, and the Eleanor R. Baldwin House stands out as a shining jewel,” Catanese said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “For decades to come, it will provide a warm and gracious setting for university functions of all kinds.”


To Catanese the house has symbolic importance – not just as a home for the president, but for all of the university. He said, “As FAU approaches its fortieth birthday, it is time for students, alumni, faculty and friends of the university to have a place to come together in the spirit of celebration.”


Completely privately funded, 30 donors contributed a total of about $2 million to design, build and furnish the home. The lead gift of $1.5 million came from Baldwin, a retired teacher, whose parents have also donated to FAU. No state matching funds have been or will be sought, according to university officials.


The completion of the Baldwin House makes FAU the eighth of Florida‘s 11 public universities to have a presidential home.


While the house’s first floor is already decorated, the future first family will be able to add their own style to their second-floor quarters.