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Central Pittsburgh tends to be what people see when they look at the skyline of the city, encompassing much of the land that’s cradled by both the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers. This is where most of the bigger businesses reside, and where nearly every bridge over the Three Rivers leads to.
In 1870, father and son Henry and Charles Lum purchased land on Miami Beach for 75 cents an acre. The first structure to be built on this uninhabited oceanfront was the Biscayne House of Refuge, constructed in 1876 by the United States Life-Saving Service through an executive order issued by President Ulysses S. Grant, at approximately 72nd Street. Its purpose was to provide food, water, and a return to civilization for people who were shipwrecked. The structure, which had fallen into disuse by the time the Life-Saving Service became the U.S. Coast Guard in 1915, was completely destroyed in the 1926 Miami Hurricane and never rebuilt.
The next step in the development of the future Miami Beach was the planting of a coconut plantation along the shore in the 1880s by New Jersey entrepreneurs Ezra Osborn and Elnathan T. Field, but this was a failed venture. One of the investors in the project was agriculturist John S. Collins, who achieved success by buying out other partners and planting different crops, notably avocados, on the land that would later become Miami Beach. Meanwhile, across Biscayne Bay, the City of Miami was established in 1896 with the arrival of the railroad, and developed further as a port when the shipping channel of Government Cut was created in 1905, cutting off Fisher Island from the south end of the Miami Beach peninsula.
Collins’ family members saw the potential in developing the beach as a resort. This effort got underway in the early years of the 20th century by the Collins/Pancoast family, the Lummus brothers (bankers from Miami), and Indianapolis entrepreneur Carl G. Fisher. Until then, the beach here was only the destination for day-trips by ferry from Miami, across the bay. By 1912, Collins and Pancoast were working together to clear the land, plant crops, supervise the construction of canals to get their avocado crop to market, and set up the Miami Beach Improvement Company. There were bath houses and food stands, but no hotel until Brown’s Hotel was built in 1915 (still standing, at 112 Ocean Drive). Much of the interior land mass at that time was a tangled jungle of mangroves. Clearing it, deepening the channels and water bodies, and eliminating native growth almost everywhere in favor of landfill for development, was expensive. Once a 1600-acre, jungle-matted sand bar three miles out in the Atlantic, it grew to 2,800 acres when dredging and filling operations were completed.
With loans from the Lummus brothers, Collins had begun work on a 2ï¿½-mile-long wooden bridge, the world’s longest wooden bridge at the time, to connect the island to the mainland. When funds ran dry and construction work stalled, Indianapolis millionaire and recent Miami transplant Fisher intervened, providing the financing needed to complete the bridge the following year in return for a land swap deal. That transaction kicked off the island’s first real estate boom. Fisher helped by organizing an annual speed boat regatta, and by promoting Miami Beach as an Atlantic City-style playground and winter retreat for the wealthy. By 1915, Lummus, Collins, Pancoast, and Fisher were all living in mansions on the island, three hotels and two bath houses had been erected, an aquarium built, and an 18-hole golf course landscaped.
The Town of Miami Beach was chartered on March 26, 1915; it grew to become a City in 1917. Even after the town was incorporated in 1915 under the name of Miami Beach, many visitors thought of the beach strip as Alton Beach, indicating just how well Fisher had advertised his interests there. The Lummus property was called Ocean Beach, with only the Collins interests previously referred to as Miami Beach.
Carl Fisher was the main promoter of Miami Beach’s development in the 1920s as the site for wealthy industrialists from the north and Midwest to and build their winter homes here. Many other Northerners were targeted to vacation on the island. To accommodate the wealthy tourists, several grand hotels were built, among them: The Flamingo Hotel, The Fleetwood Hotel, The Floridian, The Nautilus, and the Roney Plaza Hotel. In the 1920s, Fisher and others created much of Miami Beach as landfill by dredging Biscayne Bay; this man-made territory includes Star, Palm, and Hibiscus Islands, the Sunset Islands, much of Normandy Isle, and all of the Venetian Islands except Belle Isle. The Miami Beach peninsula became an island in April 1925 when Haulover Cut was opened, connecting the ocean to the bay, north of present-day Bal Harbour. The great 1926 Miami hurricane put an end to this prosperous era of the Florida Boom, but in the 1930s Miami Beach still attracted tourists, and investors constructed the mostly small-scale, stucco hotels and rooming houses, for seasonal rental, that comprise much of the present “Art Deco” historic district.
Carl Fisher brought Steve Hannagan to Miami Beach in 1925 as his chief publicist. Hannagan set-up the Miami Beach News Bureau and notified news editors that they could “Print anything you want about Miami Beach; just make sure you get our name right.” The News Bureau sent thousands of pictures of bathing beauties and press releases to columnists like Walter Winchell and Ed Sullivan. One of Hannagan’s favorite venues was a billboard in Times Square, New York City, where he ran two taglines: “ ‘It’s always June in Miami Beach’ and ‘Miami Beach, Where Summer Spends the Winter.’ ”
Postï¿½World War II economic expansion brought a wave of immigrants to South Florida from the Northern United States, which significantly increased the population in Miami Beach within a few decades. After Fidel Castro’s rise to power in 1959, a wave of Cuban refugees entered South Florida and dramatically changed the demographic make-up of the area. In 2017, one study named zip code 33109 (Fisher Island, a 216-acre island located just south of Miami Beach), as having the 4th most expensive home sales and the highest average annual income ($2.5 million) in 2015.
A thriving textiles market is located along Northwest 20th Street between Northwest 17th and 27th Avenues, with several garment manufacturing and wholesale outlets from Latin America and the Caribbean makers along the row. The Produce Market, the largest open-air food distribution center in Miami, serves local supermarkets and bodegas with the freshest variety of South Florida produce, tropical fruits and many other products.
The industrial district of the city of Miami is located in an area straddling the Civic Center and Allapattah, along a former FEC corridor just north of Northwest 20th Street. Trades ranging from clothing manufacturers, auto repair, carpentry and upholstery shops. Additionally, several shipyards and dry docks located along the neighborhood’s banks of the Miami River.
The Acadia subdivision was platted in 1915 by the Realty Securities Corporation and George E. Merrick. Although the subdivision evokes the memory of Longfellow with such names as Acadian Way, Evangeline Circle, Tropical Trail, and Druid Walk, the houses developed here are distinctly Mediterranean Revival in influence. This is due perhaps to the fact that only two houses were constructed prior to 1925. Development took off during the Boom years of the mid-1920s, however, when Wykoff and Estes Builders constructed an outstanding cluster of large, two-story Mediterranean Revival style houses near the eastern end of NE 70th Street.
The last subdivision to be subdivided was Washington Place, which was also developed between 1925 and the mid-1940s. Samuel J. Prescott, who platted the subdivision in 1925, had constructed his own winter home at 7101 N.E. 10th Avenue some years before. The house remains today as one of the last intact bayfront estates in Northeast Miami. The estate once featured a recreational golf course for residents and guests. Prescott was the founder of the firm of Samuel J. Prescott Co., Inc., building contractors, which developed several significant buildings in downtown Washington, D.C. Prescott was chairman of the board of the Second National Bank of Washington, D.C., president of the Master Builders Association, the Builders and Manufacturers Exchange, and the Prescott Farms Company of New Hampshire.
Buena Vista, Lemon City, and Little River were founded before the turn of the 19th-century and represent some of the earliest settlements in Miami-Dade County. The area known as Buena Vista was once a small village adjoining, but not within the corporate limits of Miami proper. Although preceded in age by pioneer Lemon City, a town located a little further north, the small village of Buena Vista dates its birth, development, and growth along with Miami’s. The founding of Buena Vista dates back to the days when the immense rock ridge extending between the Atlantic Ocean and the Florida Everglades was covered by a dense pine forest. The earliest history of the village is recorded in a survey made by government surveyors, and the locations of the land tracts are to this date still founded on this early document.
The land which became Buena Vista was originally part of the homesteads of William Henry Gleason and E.L. White. Gleason, a prominent and somewhat notorious figure in early Miami-Dade County politics, arrived in Miami after the Civil War was elected Lieutenant Governor of Florida. He left the area in 1876 but retained his homestead for several years, eventually turning it over to his son. As early as 1892, E.L. White homesteaded the area from North 41st Street to 54th Street between West 2nd Avenue and East 2nd Avenue. This was the area from which the Biltmore and Shadowlawn Subdivisions, which today make up the “Buena Vista East Historic District”, were carved in the early 1920s.
The arrival of the railroad in 1896 marked the end of an era for the pioneer bayfront village of Lemon City, which had enjoyed tremendous importance to the Miami area by virtue of its docks. Now the train brought much needed supplies to the rest of Dade County, and lured people away from the bayfront community to Miami and its outlying areas. The Lemon City depot, built in 1896, drew business further west away from the bay, and the small village of Buena Vista gradually developed. One of the earliest subdivisions in the Buena Vista areas was the Buena Vista Biscayne Badger Club Subdivision, which was developed in 1910 as a bayfront community with a private water plant, streets, and a park with recreation dock on the bay. However, it was inland where the village took shape. By 1910, suburban Buena Vista could boast of one hotel known as the Courley House, its very own railroad depot on the Florida East Coast Railway line, a small post office building, tropical fruit groves, a fruit-packing house, a grocery store, and one religious institution, the Holy Cross Episcopal Church.
In the decades that followed its incorporation, growth was steady. A variety of architectural styles were introduced, yet the community emerged as the type of development the Shoreland Company envisioned. The community retains many of its original characteristics well situated and serviced by major highways, having tree-lined streets and wide roads, a downtown area, well-maintained homes provided with efficient services. and a variety of community activities.
As Miami’s population expanded during the late 1920s and early 1920s, new subdivisions reached northward along Biscayne Bay. In 1922, a large, undeveloped bayfront tract near the northern city limits was platted. Called Bay Shore, this area was subdivided by the Bay Shore Investment Company and was the first of three phases that would be developed by the company between 1922 and 1924.Houses constructed in the Morningside Historic District reflect the eclecticism popular in the early twentieth century. The earlier buildings in the district are predominantly Mediterranean Revival in style, while structures built in the 1930s and early 1940s are frequently Art Deco. Outstanding examples of both styles are found here. Morningside also features a large number of masonry vernacular buildings that frequently utilize elements of several styles. An unusual Tudor Revival style house and one of the City’s best examples of Mission style architecture add to the area’s architectural diversity.
South Florida had been roamed by Native Americans (Tequesta, Calusa, and Jaega), probably for centuries, before white pioneers advanced through Little Hunting Ground (later known as Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood) to Big Hunting Ground (now known as the Cutler neighborhood of Palmetto Bay).
Wilson Alexander Larkins (1860ï¿½1946) was 36 years old when he, his wife (Katie Estelle Burtashaw) and five children, and their livestock arrived in Fort Dallas (now the Lummus Park Historic District of Miami) in 1896. He purchased property west of Red Road and Sunset Drive, where he built a home and barn. He also built the first general store east of that area in 1898 at what is known today as ‘ “Cartagena Plaza” or “Cocoplum Circle” (actually in Coral Gables, Florida), and as the community grew, he established a post office in the community. Larkins became the first Postmaster, a role he held for sixteen years; he named the area Manila, but the majority of the settlers, who began building homes around his store, preferred the name “Larkins” in his honor.
A depot was placed along the Florida East Coast Railway in 1904, and in the same year, John Moses Dowling built the first house within what is now South Miami city limits. His son-in-law opened the first store on the west side of the tracks, called the White Palace Grocery.
Other prominent historic families have historic buildings and streets named for them, such as Dorn Avenue (Southwest 59th Avenue) and the Shelley Building, among others Harold W. Dorn and his brother Robert moved to the area in 1910; their primary interest was growing mango and avocado. Mary E. Dorn was the first president of the Cocoplum Thimble Club, the first Women’s club in Larkins. In 1925, the Dorn brothers built the Riviera Theatre at 5700 South Dixie Highway; in 1934, Charles T. Fuchs moved his Holsum Bakery from Homestead to South Miami on the land where the Riviera Theatre had been.
The first African-American to purchase land in the Larkins area was Marshall Williamson, who moved there from Madison, Florida. He built his home at 6500 SW 60th Avenue and allowed it to be used for church services even before the construction was completed. In 1916, he donated land for the St. John’s AME (African Methodist Episcopal) Church, one of Larkins’s first churches and the first church in the black community; it is located at 6461 SW 59th Place. Later, Williamson also donated land for the J. R. E. Lee School. Because of his generosity, the black neighborhood became known as Madison Square, after Williamson’s hometown. Williamson died in 1972. Named after him is Marshall Williamson Park, at 6125 SW 68 Street.
This area if for anything outside of the mapped out districts and things. Such as the swamps and other places around Miami but not collected on the main map(Mostly because Miami is huge). These wont be broken down into districts, just places found out of town.
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