At the turn of the last century, Mary Brickell recognized how special Victoria Park was. When developer Henry Flagler wanted to drive his Florida East Coast Railway through our oak hammock on his way to Miami, Mrs. Brickell (a force of nature in her own right), denied Flagler a right-of-way through what would eventually become Victoria Park. When developer Henry Flagler wanted to drive his Florida East Coast Railway through our oak hammock on his way to Miami, Mrs. Brickell (a force of nature in her own right), denied Flagler a right-of-way through what would eventually become Victoria Park. She forced the train to curve west, and left our neighborhood to grow into the gem it is today (complete with those oaks). For the past 90 years, Victoria Park has had a ringside seat to the development of Fort Lauderdale from a sleepy agricultural trading post into a vibrant metropolis. Victoria Park is fortunate to sit atop an ancient coral ridge; because of that high ground, the area has been the historic crossroads of a growing community, bringing a cast of characters who continue to enrich our neighborhood.
Historically Significant Properties
Victoria Park is home to about 30% of the properties on the map of city’s historically significant properties. As of 2014, there are 1748 residential buildings in Fort Lauderdale built before 1945 that are still standing. Victoria Park is home to more than a quarter of them (494).
Victoria Park developed at the middle of the region’s transportation network — an interesting story of how our neighborhood came to be.
Fr. Singleton, a retired parish priest, recently wrote a history of the Saint Anthony parish — the oldest Catholic parish in Broward County.
ROB DRESSLER REMEMBERS
WILLIAM & MARY BRICKELL: FOUNDERS OF MIAMI & FORT LAUDERDALE — Book review by Peter Scott
Beth Brickell’s life of the Brickells is also a history of the South Florida wilds at a time when the few hundred remaining Seminole Indians vastly outnumbered the white settlers. There was no regular mail service and there was not even a dirt road. She paints a vivid picture of life, early industry, Indian relations and the bitter feuds over land and political power on the Florida frontier. The lawsuit that made Fort Lauderdale’s riverfront public