Fort Lauderdale as “Greater Hollywood.”
As I noted in a previous blog, Hollywood isn’t part of Fort Lauderdale, even though current advertisers for developers from out-of-town seem to think otherwise. IMHO Hollywood’s tourist board should be pointing out that the airport is “Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood” on shared land, and furthermore that Port Everglades was initially “Port Hollywood” and Hollywood still can claim the greater part of it.
A bulletin put out by Young’s companies June 1, 1925 gave some then-current statistics describing the new city’s growth in just over two years. A deep-water harbor was being created. There was hourly bus service to Miami, for fifty cents round trip. On the beach, the 30-foot wide, five and a half mile cement walk was nearing completion. Other amenities included the railroad station, Golf & Country Club, bank, light & water, fire station, hotels including a $3 million hotel being erected on the ocean, numerous parks, and, “the only city to start with a zoning system.”
As the population grew, Young’s city expanded. By January of 1926 before founder Joseph W. Young decided to have his city incorporated, the city of Dania voted to become part of Hollywood. Young’s company already owned the ocean front all the way to Lake Mabel/Port Everglades. The acquisition of Dania to the north allowed Young to increase his land holdings west of the Inland Waterway between Dania and Lake Mabel. As Young’s ambition expanded northward and west, Fort Lauderdale was in danger of becoming part of “Greater Hollywood.”
This map, published by the “Hollywood Research Bulletin,” another of Young’s subsidies, indicates these changes.
The solid black line represents Hollywood’s new corporate limits as of January, 1926. The line made of dashes indicates its former boundaries. Dania’s former boundaries are indicated by the dotted lines. Young’s publications indicate that he had big plans for the land south and west of the port, which would have included industries and businesses. Had the September 1926 hurricane not occurred, Hollywood might well have expanded along Fort Lauderdale’s west boundary as well!
Hollywood “suburbs.” More about Hollywood’s early expansion. By 1924 Young’s news magazine, the Hollywood Reporter, had become The Hollywood Magazine. A Florida Magazine with National Appeal. In the September issue the centerfold is an interesting plan of then-greater Hollywood.
For orientation, find North and South Lakes, bottom center, with the golf course the empty block above North Lake, then find today’s Young Circle, above it. The long horizontal line with a downward bend at the right is the FEC railroad and Dixie Highway. (Note: the lots indicated surrounding West Lake were never developed.) Hallandale is the small rectangle on the Dixie Highway at the left, and Dania is the triangular plan on both sides of the Dixie at the right.
It’s particularly noteworthy to see that Young’s companies did not develop all the land in what is today’s Hollywood. Others were jumping on the development bandwagon.
In this detail, find the Golf Course,rectangle bottom left. The street along its north edge is Johnson Street. Follow Johnson across the heavy line that represents the railroad and Dixie, and note that the section abutting Johnson Street to the north is called “Hollywood Terrace.” North of that is “Hollywood Park.” Young didn’t own or develop these properties. And north of these, upper center, is Young’s original plan for Liberia with its central boulevard off the Dixie (then the main road), its circle park, and the land for a hotel, identical to Young’s plan for his Circle Park (Young Circle) with the island that once held the Park View Hotel. When I’m asked why Young didn’t put Liberia next to Hollywood the answer comes clear with this drawing—he didn’t own the land there.
Next is a detail of the area between Johnson Street and Dania, east of the railroad and Dixie. On this map detail, below, the bottommost road running right to left is 18th Avenue. (Bear in mind that US 1 didn’t then exist here. It was put through in the 1930s.) Johnson Street is the long vertical street at the far left.
Starting from Johnson Street and going north, here are developments labeled: Hollywood Lawns, St. James Park. F. C. Dickey subdivision, Chattanooga Park, Montery [sic] Park, Olustee Park, St. James Park North, and North Hollywood. Anything labeled “xxx Addition” indicates land bought by Young’s companies in addition to the original purchases. Woodlawn Cemetery is also indicated at center right, where it is today. Of these subdivisions, I only know the name of one developer, Frank Dickey, who was Young’s chief engineer.
This residential area, particularly “Hollywood Lawns,” off Johnson is still quite attractive today.
First, here is Johnson Street today, going east off U. S. 1, which is 18th Avenue. The Hollywood Golf & Country Club’s green sign may be seen in the middle distance at the right of the photo.
Remember, from 1922 to 1926 Johnson Street was a main throughway, and the only road in Hollywood with a crossing to the beach.
Here, at right, is 17th Court, at one time apparently part of “Hollywood Lawns.” We are looking south to Johnson Street in the distance.
Note that this roadway is divided, with trees and other plants down the center. No other area in early Hollywood had such a gracious layout.
Most of these historic homes have been beautifully restored, some dating from the 1920s, while others represent excellent examples of Hollywood’s large inventory of 1930s International Style, or Streamline Moderne (below).
18th Avenue Hurricane Damage. This information about other developers in the area between Johnson Street and Dania is interesting in relation to these dramatic and often used photos of destruction following the 1926 hurricane.
The photographer, Higby, labeled the street where this devastation was, the Dixie, or “East Dixie.” This refers to 18th Avenue (OK, now think US 1), which had become a convenient drive from Dania to the Circle, rather than following the original or “West” Dixie.
The photo at left is of 18th Avenue before it became US 1, looking south from about McKinley Street down to Johnson Street.
The photo above, on the right, taken near Garfield Street, shows the imposing, if damaged, Brandon’s Hippodrome, with its semicircular facade (top right).
As the plans copied above show, this area along 18th Avenue wasn’t developed by J. W. Young, whose publicists rightly bragged that Hollywood had a building code from the start. Apparently the properties on 18th didn’t follow that building code, and we know that structures there ranged from tents to tarpaper to tin roofs, quick and easy to erect, and equally quick to blow away. The rest of Hollywood experienced flooding, which receded quickly, while roofs stayed on and buildings remained standing. For proof, drive around the Central (Parkside) and Lakes Section and note the hundreds, literally, of houses built between 1922 and 1926, still standing and occupied.
Now for some other May and June news:
Young family: On June 6, 1923, the Youngs’ oldest son Jack (John) graduated from Culver Military Academy in Indiana, and went on to Indiana University.
In June, 1925, next son Tonce (Joseph Wesley, III) graduated from Culver Military Academy and
One June 1, 1931 Billy (William) graduated from Riverside Military Academy in its headquarters in Gainesville, Georgia.
On May 28, 1943 the Sun-Tattler announced that Rodney Young, grandson of Joseph and Jessie, was given a party by grandmother Jessie to honor his 15th birthday, in the Young mansion at 1055 Hollywood Boulevard. Other guests included his sister Rene Ann, and Marjorie Croll, Mary Ann Causey, Tom Ellis, and Merle Banazak, and others.
Earlier, the Youngs’ two younger sons had been married in the 1925 mansion, Tonce in 1927, and Bill in 1937.
Less than a month after grandson Rodney’s party, on June 4, 1943 the Tattler announced that Jessie Young had sold the mansion to Mr. and Mrs. Edward P. Naus, owners of the oceanfront Hollywood Beach Trailer Park.
Golf, an ever-popular topic:
according to Virginia TenEick, in 1920 Lee Nelson was designing a golf course for Carl Fisher in Miami Beach. By 1923 Lee and his brother Erwin, or Chick, were J. W. Young’s golf pros at his Golf & Country Club.
Here is the first clubhouse on the course.
Note Jessie Young standing at the right on the ground in front of the structure.
Photo at right, Joseph Young, center, with his pros Erwin Nelson, left and Lee at right, at his Golf & Country Club.
At right, with some trees now surrounding the fairways, Young’s Reporter brags about some celebrities. Left to right, James Cox, former governor of Ohio, famous golfer Gene Sarazin, Erwin Nelson, and Judge T. T. Ansberry.
Below, a 1925 postcard, posed for advertising the beautiful Country Club, seen here from its east facade overlooking the course. The striations along the top are postal cancellations on the card.
Finally, a 1942 postcard of the west facade, taken after June 13, 1942, when Oscar Johnson, manager of the Hollywood Beach Hotel, had turned the Country Club over to servicemen. Those pictured are sailors, but not officers, so very likely from the Gunners school that had been established in Riverside Military Academy’s buildings on Hollywood’s third circle. About a year later, the Navy took over the Beach Hotel (which then owned the Country Club). The result was that the club was for officers, then in training at the Beach Hotel, and the Servicemen’s Club was moved by Hollywood citizens to locations downtown. While there were numerous service women stationed in Hollywood, their presence in the clubs isn’t mentioned.
Hollywood’s Casino Pool goes to War. The pool was originally constructed by J. W. Young, in 1925, for the benefit of the public, with its Olympic-size salt-water pool and surrounding grandstands and cabanas. On June 20, 1928 Hollywood’s city Commission approved the purchase of Beach Casino from the Young Companies.
Taken from the third story diving tower, this photo is of some sort of boating entertainment, possibly each crew trying to capsize the other boat.
The site of Young’s Casino Pool is now occupied by Margaritaville.
The Casino Pool goes to war.
On July 2, 1943, the Sun-Tattler announced “Sailors to Demonstrate at City Pool.” Forty Navigation cadets and Naval Air Gunners would take part. The program featured competitive events, demonstration of rough water strokes taught to all air crews, rescue methods, abandon ship drills, swimming in clothes, use of clothes for staying afloat, and other standard drills for air men. Officers’ families and Hollywood residents were invited to witness the demonstration.
This was serious business, a long way from the fanciful events that were put on in the pool in the 1920s, and a clear indication that the city, like the rest of the country,was at war.
On May 7, 1945, called V-E day, the Nazis surrendered. V-J Day (Victory over Japan) would follow that August.
A personal, peacetime postscript:
On May 30, 1947 my father, Anton C. Tony Mickelson, who had worked for J. W. Young beginning in 1919, and continued to work for the city after Young’s companies were defunct, was named Hollywood City Manager.