Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Florida History: Fort Lauderdale reaches for the sky in the 1960s

Fort Lauderdale condos
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By Jane Feehan

Residential high rises rule Fort Lauderdale’s skyline these days. For some it’s hard to remember what the city looked like before them. Cooperatives  - co-ops – were the beginning of the skyward push. The first was the Breakwater Towers, near Port Everglades. Completed in the early 1960s, this 16-story co-op was once the largest residential building in Broward County.  It couldn’t make that claim for long.
Miami News, Feb. 13, 1963

The first high rise condominium in Fort Lauderdale was Sky Harbor East, announced in 1963 and completed in 1964.  A few blocks from the Breakwater on South Ocean Drive, Sky Harbor East also reaches 16 floors, and holds about 186 units.

In 1963, condos at Sky Harbor were going for $14,900 to $29,430. Today the same units (956 to 1,474-square feet ) sell from $220,000 to about $600,000. Near the harbor entrance, South Ocean Drive is still one of the most beautiful parts of the city.

And so it went from there, condominiums reaching for the clouds, from Port Everglades to Las Olas and northward to Galt Ocean Mile.  Only Lauderdale-by-the-Sea pushes back with its height limits for new construction … for now. Copyright © 2011. All rights reserved. Jane Feehan.
Miami News, Feb. 13, 1963
Gillis, Susan. Fort Lauderdale, The Venice of America. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2004

Tags: Fort Lauderdale history, Broward County history, Fort Lauderdale condos, aerial view of Fort Lauderdale

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