"A fascinating tour of the historic neighborhoods along McGregor Boulevard, blending local history and documenting Fort Myers's architectural legacy with lavish photographs."--Gerri Reaves, author of Legendary Locals of Fort Myers
"With its striking photographs and engaging stories of past and contemporary characters, this book captures the architectural and historical significance of houses in Fort Myers."--Linda Stevenson, principal architect, Stevenson Architects, Inc.
"Covers a unique historical precedent by using architecture as snapshots of time during Fort Myers's growth and development to show how it has become the dynamic and successful city it is today."--Guy W. Peterson, FAIA
River & Road is a visual and narrative history of the architectural evolution and urban development of Southwest Florida as shown in Fort Myers, Florida. A top tourist destination to this day, the Gulf Coast city has been home to the winter estates of the rich and famous, including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and oil tycoon Ambrose McGregor. The city's famed McGregor Boulevard continues to draw visitors with its eclectic blend of houses and unique histories dating back to the nineteenth century.
As the twentieth century dawned, the reputation of Fort Myers as a haven for health cures, business opportunities, and tarpon fishing lured adventurers and opportunists. Hundreds of attractive homes of varied styles were designed for millionaires and magnates during the boom of the Roaring Twenties and beyond, and today houses representing every significant architectural period--including the Spanish, Mediterranean, Italian Renaissance, Greek, and Colonial Revivals--line the roadway along the Caloosahatchee River.
Jared Beck and Pamela Miner share stories about the creators and owners of these one-of-a-kind properties, accompanied by striking photographs. Historic places have been carefully preserved and creatively renovated according to the visions of their owners, and modern designers have been drawn to the neighborhood to build masterpieces of their own. These dream homes showcase the work of nationally renowned and local architects, including Henry Van Ryn, Gerrit de Gelleke, Nat Gaillard Walker, William Frizzell, Robert Matts, Bruce Gora, Kathryn Kelly, and Jeff Mudgett.
With privileged access into many of the private residences, Beck and Miner unveil the historically and culturally vibrant neighborhoods at the heart of Fort Myer's past and present.
Jared Beck is an urban planner with a focused background including urban redevelopment, historic preservation, and community development. Pamela Miner is a historian with experience in historic preservation, museums, and education and is the former curator of collections and interpretation for the Edison & Ford Winter Estates.
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