By Jared Beck and Pamela Miner, coauthors of River and Road: Fort Myers Architecture from Craftsman to Modern
We hope you’re enjoying learning about some amazing Fort Myers homes in our book River and Road. Now that you’ve had the opportunity to peek at the houses in our book, we thought you’d enjoy another perspective. Here are a few choice samples of the homes our book highlights, as well as what the homeowners see from the inside out.
1625 Menlo Road
From Chapter 23:
This typical three-bedroom, two-bath Michigan model home is nestled near the entry of the Edison Park Historic District. The subdivision, aptly named after the neighboring winter estate of Thomas Edison, contains a mix of old and new. It boasts the distinction of being the only residential historic district in Fort Myers containing homes built in every decade since its 1920s beginnings.
Mostly hidden behind luscious foliage, this ranch along Menlo Road drew us to discover what exists behind. It is stunning! Candlelight adds a soft glow to this back lounge connected to the pool area, displaying a Miami Beach vibe. Owner Sean McGowan’s photo highlights a calming view when relaxing around the home. Looks like a Sunday afternoon scene is set. Time for a cool drink and River and Road, of course!
2642 McGregor Boulevard
From Chapter 2:
Classified as a Mediterranean Revival home, this Spanish-Italian-Moorish hybrid has a traditional central hall floor plan with flanking rooms. Exterior finish materials create a unique appearance not expected of the basic rectangular house form. This was one of many desirable premade (or kit) homes produced by nationally known Gordon Van Tine, a popular catalogue home manufacturer throughout the early twentieth century based in Davenport, Iowa.
We are thrilled to have Villa Palmera on the cover of River and Road. This home drips of architectural design that was embraced in Fort Myers during the Roaring ‘20s. The previous owners, our pals Marnie and Tony Paulus, wholeheartedly opened their home to us as we began this journey. The cover photo by Andrew West shows the warm welcome Villa Palmera sends to all guests. The next photo is an image Jared snapped looking out from the façade’s second story balcony, the twisted iron balusters providing an old-world view of the tropical oasis beyond.
2506 McGregor Boulevard
From Chapter 26:
Florida pioneer homes had designs guided by function and livability in the hot, humid state. The “Cracker” name derives from the cracking sound of the whips used by pioneer cattlemen. This style is commonly known today as “Old Florida.”
The “Old Florida” design of Bruce and Pam’s home wasn’t just an aesthetic, but a way of living. French doors open onto the outdoor living and dining rooms, expanding the overall main floor space. Countless hours of enjoyment relaxing under the cool fans and river breezes while taking in views of the sweeping Caloosahatchee await the Stanleys for years to come.
Below are more photographs that showcase the eclectic blend of houses and unique histories featured in River and Road.
Jared Beck is an urban planner with a focused background including urban redevelopment, historic preservation, and community development. Pamela Miner is a historian with experience in historic preservation, museums, and education and is the former curator of collections and interpretation for the Edison & Ford Winter Estates.