Historic Preservation Efforts
Originally established as a Seminole War Post in 1841 known as Fort Harvie, Fort Myers began transformation into a farming and cattle community in the late 1860’s and 1870’s. By the mid 1880’s Fort Myers began developing a commercial core, and gaining national notoriety for local recreational fishing.
In 1885, Fort Myers incorporated and in 1887 Lee County was carved from Monroe County. Following the opening of a rail line connecting Fort Myers to Punta Gorda in 1904, a series of building booms fostered several new residential subdivisions beyond Downtown, including Dean Park, Edison Park, and Seminole Park. Over time the original wooden buildings of downtown were replaced with masonry and brick buildings, many of which still exist today. Fort Myers even saw its first sky scraper Downtown in 1924 with the seven-story addition to the Franklin Arms Hotel. 1924 also marked the construction of a wooden bridge spanning the Caloosahatchee, aptly named the Edison Bridge, after our most famous winter resident.
Although the boom times came and went throughout the years, Fort Myers grew to become the governmental, commercial, and social center of Southwest Florida.
Today the landscape of Southwest Florida has changed dramatically, however our history and dedication to our colorful past continues. To help celebrate, promote, and preserve that past, the City of Fort Myers has an established Historic Preservation program to better serve our historic neighborhoods and landmarks.