Historic Neighborhoods Abound in Fort Myers

While many people are searching for a new construction home, others are attracted to the charm of historic homes and neighborhoods. Luckily it seems historic neighborhoods truly abound in Fort Myers.

Today, there are four historic districts in Fort Myers overseen by the city’s Historic Preservation program. The designated historic districts include Seminole Park, Edison Park, Dean Park, and Downtown Fort Myers.

The Fort Myers of today looks very different than it did in the past. Originally known as Fort Harvie, the area was formerly known as a cattle and farming community in the mid 1800s. 

Over the next couple of decades, the city gained a commercial core and a strong reputation for its recreational fishing. Some of the old brick and masonry buildings that replaced the original wood buildings of Downtown still stand today.

The very first skyscraper in the downtown area went up in the mid 1920s. This was also the time when Edison Bridge was constructed, spanning the Caloosahatchee River.

These days, the historic Downtown area still boasts brick lined streets and plenty of history. The River District is where you can still view the former winter residences of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. You can also learn more about the Calusa empire at the IMAG History & Science Center or take a walking tour, strolling past century-old buildings with a lot of history mixed in along the way.

Several new residential areas of Fort Myers began to develop outside of Downtown when a rail line opened around the turn of the century, connecting Fort Myers to Punta Gorda. Named for one of the city’s most famous former residents, Edison Park first began going up in the mid 1920s.

The homes of Dean Park primarily went up between 1916 and the mid 1920s and sit within walking distance of Downtown Fort Myers. Yet another option is the Seminole Park Historic District.

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