Created By: Fort Myers CRA
Originally established as a Seminole War Post in 1850
known as Fort Harvie, Fort Myers grew into a farming and
cattle community in the late 1860s and 1870s.
► By the mid-1880s, Fort Myers developed a commercial
core and also was nationally known for recreational fishing.
► Fort Myers incorporated its government in 1885.
► Following the 1904 opening of a rail line connecting Fort Myers to Punta Gorda, a series of building booms fostered many residential subdivisions beyond the downtown area, as well as spurring the replacement of original downtown wooden buildings with masonry and brick structures―many of which exist today.
► Like most cities in the country, suburbanization in the 1960s and 1970s drastically altered downtown Fort Myers;
but the City addressed the need for revitalization in 1984 by establishing the Fort Myers Community
Redevelopment Agency (Fort Myers CRA).
► Restored streetscape—the brick-lined streets, sidewalks,
and street decor you will see as you tour the Fort Myers
River District—is one of the Fort Myers CRA redevelop-
ment projects to renew the setting in which the historic buildings reside. The charming surroundings encourage owners of historic buildings to maintain their properties in the original style, and provide an inviting atmosphere
for visitors to dine, shop, stroll, and enjoy many special events held throughout the year.
► Keep in mind that this is sampling of public art and
historic buildings within walking distance of each other.
Other pieces of public art―such as Albert Paley's Naiad
sculpture in front of the Riviera and St. Tropez high rise
towers on East First Street―as well as additional historic
buildings―such as the Dean Park residential neighbor-
hood―exist throughout the Fort Myers River District.