Now home to multi-million-dollar lots and ultra-luxurious estates, Port Royal sets the standard for upscale living in Naples. While the area once looked very different than it does today, it wasn’t long before an eager developer conceived plans to construct a grand new community.
A former advertising exec first came up with plans for the neighborhood well more than a half-century ago. He designed it as a getaway for the wealthy and named it after a Jamaican port city.
Crews used the dredge-and-fill method to turn former marshland into land that could be used to build the impressive new neighborhood. The developer planned to market the homes toward wealthy buyers, with homes designs of around 2,500 to 3,000 square feet.
As the largest of the Ten Thousand Islands, Marco Island is known today for its beautiful beaches and its ample opportunities to enjoy life out on the water. While the picturesque island offers an enticing location for residents and visitors alike, it also maintains a rich and unique history.
Its roots can be traced all the way back to 500 AD. That’s when the Calusa people inhabited what we now call Marco Island, as well as much of the rest of Southwest Florida. It was Spanish explorers, however, that reportedly gave the island its name.
It’s thought that centuries ago, Juan Ponce de Leon made landfall on the south end of the island. When Spanish explorers arrived in the mid 1500s, they called the island “La Isla de San Marcos”,
With dozens of unique shops, waterfront dining and water-based activities, Tin City is an ideal spot for locals and visitors alike in Naples. While it’s a fun place to visit these days, it’s hard to believe Tin City once served a very different role in Naples.
This part of the waterfront was originally settled by pioneers in the 1800s. Tourists, investors and snowbirds eventually followed. By the 1920s, the original Tin City began greeting its visitors, with a unique location right alongside the Gordon River.
The descriptive name “Tin City” comes from the buildings and their tin roofs. The rustic buildings were used at that time as a busy center for oyster processing, clam shelling and boat building. They also served as
While they serve as landmarks around Southwest Florida and the Caribbean, there’s now one less builder to construct the iconic chickee hut in Naples. OB Osceola, a legend of sorts in the region for constructing chickee huts, no longer commercially builds the structures.
Up until his retirement, Osceola was one of the last remaining old guard Seminole builders responsible for constructing the many chickee huts you see around the region. He and his father were two of the first to build the huts commercially, and he’s well known in the area.
Osceola’s final hut was actually a rebuild project. Decades ago, he helped construct the roof of the original chickee hut over the dock at the Cove Inn. Not too long ago he helped rebuild
A great place to catch a sunset, fish or spot dolphins; the Naples Pier is also a historic landmark. The 1,000-foot long pier provides a place to take a stroll, take in some scenery and also soak up some history in Downtown Naples.
Originally built in the late 1800s, the pier first served as a freight and passenger dock. Soon, though, the pier became a location to do much of what you still see visitors do today, including fishing or simply take a stroll. At one time a post office even stood at the foot of the pier.
The Naples Pier has been rebuilt a number of times through the years due to hurricane damage and even a fire. Fast forward to just a few years ago and a major reconstruction project at the pier wrapped up, bringing a new deck and
As Naples moves ahead toward the future with new development, some within the community are working to ensure that history is preserved for years, and potentially even generations to come. Several groups play a part in the effort, with the goal of maintaining the historic charm of Old Naples.
The Naples Historical Society is one such group that’s working to preserve some of the city’s historic buildings. The group works out of a more than 100-year-old cottage and now wants some help from the state in protecting similar properties.
That’s the thought process behind a Naples historic preservation program, aimed at safeguarding some of the city’s historic structures. Preservationists want the city to have a say before designated historic properties undergo
Visitors to Naples are likely impressed by all of the exciting new development, but for longtime residents, they’re sure to be just as dazzled by the historic charm of the community. While ambitious developers see a real need for more modern buildings and homes, others are working to preserve the Naples Historic District.
Examples include Cottage Rose, a small cottage that dates back to the 1930s, situated along 7th Avenue South and located just outside the district. With a nod to Old Naples, the house wasn’t knocked down to build a new, more modern home, but instead was lovingly restored. It’s something the Naples Historical Society would like to see more of, preserving old homes and bringing them back to their former glory.
Now home to a number of luxury condominiums, the Park Shore, as we know it today, appears very different from how it once presented itself decades ago. In fact, in the mid-1960s Park Shore was simply undeveloped marshland, tucked away between the area’s white sand beaches and US 41, then the only main road linking Naples to the north. It took another six years to dig out Venetian Bay and complete the first condominiums in the area. This was only the beginning, though, of Collier County’s first planned unit development district, one of the first to grace the entire state.
Along with the bay came a natural dune system, opening the way to home sites, storm water systems and underground utilities. For more than a decade spanning from the early 1970s to 80s
The sun-drenched white sugar sands and miles of beaches of the southwest coast of Florida in the late 1800s appealed to financiers, such as Walter Haldeman, the owner of the Louisville Courier Journal newspaper. Haldeman and Louisville senator, General John. S. Williams were looking for a winter retreat for themselves and their families. They sailed down Southwest Florida and discovered paradise when they sailed to present day Naples. The sunny peninsula looked a lot like the Italian peninsula for which they named it---much like the Mediterranean seaport town.
In 1888, Olde Naples Pier was constructed, a T-shaped wharf in the 18-foot water on the Gulf side. The wooden pier was where passengers and freight were loaded and unloaded, entering Gordon