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Fort Myers/The Historic Section

The fate of the Edison Park area of Fort Myers, Florida was sealed in 1925 when the land was purchased by St. Petersburg developer C. Perry Snell, and his brother, local attorney G.E. Snell.  The Snells offered a portion of the plat for sale to New Homes Development Company, which was soon headed by James D. Newton. Together the Snells and Newton created their vision, a plat of lots and curved roads, naming the subdivision "Edison Park" in honor of their famous neighbor.  Newton took over the 55 acres to the north, and the Snells owned the southern two-thirds of this parcel. In early 1926, it was Newton's vision that defined the influence and character of the rest of Edison Park.  HIs deed restrictions set forth that all architecture was to be of Moorish, Spanish, Italian or American modifications.  In addition, every homeowner was given a unique guarantee.  For the first time, property owners were assured that they would be provided with asphalt streets with curbing, sidewalks, landscaping, and ornamental street lighting and street signs.  By the end of 1926, Newton's visions bccame reality.

On April 7, 1926, one year after purchasing Edison Park, Newton held the grand opening ceremony dedicating its main entrance on McGregor Boulevard.  The backdrop to the entrance was a sculpture of Aphrodite, goddess of water, which was unveiled by Mrs. Edison and served as a part of the impressive fountain flanked by ornate columns and arched walkways.

Edison Park was designated as the first Historic District in Fort Myers in November, 1995.   The Edison house is a popular stop for tourists.  As for resident, they greatly enjoy walks on Mcgregor Boulevard and strolls to the Caloosahatchee River.  

Published Wednesday, May 18, 2011 8:33 AM by LLoyd Nichols

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