JB: It was an inspiring peak into the treasure chest of Southwest Florida
Jared, you’re an urban planner and community planner, while Pam, you’re a historian, educator, and museum professional. How did your different backgrounds contribute to the development of this book?
PM: As a historian with a master’s degree in historic preservation, I have
studied architecture, material culture, and what they tell us about lifeways.
My passion is to research ways to interpret homes and educate others about
them and the “stuff” within them.
My museum experience, especially with historic sites, helps me to share the
value of historic homes. A home does not need to have been lived in by
someone famous to tell a significant story. Fort Myers is lucky to have the
Edison and Ford Estates as anchors to an area filled with historic homes. Once
visitors leave the Estates, I hope they take the time to explore the surrounding
JB: My background in design and development lets me easily interpret various building styles and the functional design intent based on the era. As urban design today is based on centuries-old principles while incorporating elements
developed over the decades, I understand how development periods link to
previous national trends in those periods.
Did you find yourself attracted to any specific architectural style or house while writing your book?
PM: I previously owned a 1930s Craftsman Bungalow, and I still have a soft
heart for that style. But, the Mid-Century Modern has grown on me. Jeff
Mudgett’s new creation is a gorgeous home.
JB: I believe that regardless of the style, homes are meant to be adapted to
our own personalities and liking. The homes in River and Road reflect both an
architectural period and the taste infused by the owners. I generally like all of
them, but if I had to pick, the Van Tyne and the Shadow Lane houses are my
What do you hope that readers will take away from your book?
PM: I hope they’ll see that Fort Myers has many stories to share that most
people mistakenly believe are only textbook lessons. Life happens around us,
influencing our everyday experiences. Take the time to have a Sunday walk
or drive around Fort Myers and beyond to see. Be inspired to live in historic
neighborhoods and to save older homes.
JB: I hope people will have a greater appreciation for the dedication those
before us made to develop our community with far less convenience than we
How did you manage such amazing photographs?
PM: Photographer Andrew West’s eye and talent made the homes come alive
more than only words could have ever done.