The Rio Vista neighborhood is a community of over 1,000 homes, situated next to downtown Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. With the tree lined streets, side walks and unique architecture, you soon realize the beauty and history of the Rio Vista, one of the oldest communities in Ft. Lauderdale. This community is generally bound by Federal Highway (US1) on the west, bordered on the east by the Intracoastal Waterway, south of the New River and north of SE 12th Street.
At the close of War War I, Ft. Lauderdale had approximately 2,000 residents. An era of prosperity and new transportation in the 1920’s allowed Fort Lauderdale to begin the migration from an agricultural community to a resort town. Residential areas, such as Rio Vista and Colee Hammock, began to develop. The first plat of the area was recorded by Mary Brickell a native of Miami and major landholder. Upon her death, the land was purchased by C.J. Hector, who began his “River View” development. By February 1923, the Ft. Lauderdale Herald reported that Rio Vista was booming, with over 5,000 feet of sidewalk laid and streetlights were installed.
The land boom reached its zenith by 1925, when Ft. Lauderdale’s population reached 16,000. On September 18, 1926, the coast of South Florida was devastated by a Hurricane which put the area into a depression, three years before the rest of the country entered its economic depression. With the onset of World War II, thousands of servicemen discovered this area and settled here after the war. Rio Vista development began again, and today, the area reflects the history.