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You’ve Never Seen Anything Like This Offshore Ghost Town Hiding In Florida

It might be hard to believe from these photos, but these weathered wood stilt houses on the edge of Biscayne Bay were once the hottest spot in Miami.

The stilt houses, or Stiltsville as they’re now called, were built in the early 1930s, possibly because at the time gambling was legal a mile offshore. It started with a couple of clubs, like Crawfish Eddies and the Calvert Club, and by the ’50s and early ’60s, it was the coolest place in town for wealthy locals. At its height, there were nearly 30 stilt houses.

In 1965, Hurricane Betsy heavily damaged the stilt village, and regulations were put in place to curtail rebuilding and end new building. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew brought the remaining number of buildings down to only seven. Stiltsville was nearly demolished in 1999, but a petition supported by over 75,000 people convinced the National Park Service to preserve the buildings instead.

The non-profit Stiltsville Trust strives to rehabilitate and protect the remaining structures, and has even begun allowing the rental of some of the structures (with some restrictions). To learn more about Stiltsville and possibly staying in one of the houses, check out stiltsvilletrust.org.

Have you ever seen Stiltsville? What are your favorite unique Florida landmarks?

Victoria W
Victoria is a staff writer for OIYS.