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Moore Haven Downtown Historic District | Photo © 2014 Bullet, www.abandonedfl.com

Moore Haven Downtown Historic District

Location Class:
Built: N/A | Abandoned: N/A
Historic Designation: National Register of Historic Places (October 12, 1995)
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: David Bulit

A satellite view of the historic district in 2003.

The Moore Haven Down Historic District was designated on the National Register of Historic Places on October 12, 1995. The district runs from 3 through 99 Avenue J., 100 1st Street and Lone Cypress Park, a park which houses the only Cypress tree in the district, and contains 7 historic buildings… or that’s atleast how it is described.

The buildings that were within this district fulfilled all the needs of a small town. The district was the location of the bank, post office, pharmacy, real estate office, physician’s office, law and abstract offices, grocery store, telephone office, barbershop, shoe repair, furniture store, hardware store and general mercantile store. It was the town gathering place, and the prevalent use of sidewalk canopies to provide shade is an indication of the social nature of the business area.

Several buildings were also located on the block now known as City Park, but were destroyed by a devastating fire on April 26, 1921. The hurricane of 1926 also destroyed many of the surrounding structures leaving behind many vacant lots. In 1954, US 27 was rerouted to the north, away from the original downtown area, to align with a newly constructed bridge over the Three Mile Canal. This caused many businesses to abandon the historic Moore Haven downtown in favor of the new route and its higher traffic volume. Thus, many of Moore Haven’s historic commercial structures became vacant as well.

Of the buildings which were a part of the original downtown area, the Gram Building is only one building in the district which is located at the end of the block. The other buildings listed as part of the historic district were demolished since the district’s designation.

The Mitchell/Davis Building, the Moore Haven Arcade, and the Swindell Building and Residence were demolished sometime between 2009 and 2010. In 2017, the City of Moore Haven purchased the Frierson Building and the First Bank of Moore Haven which were also demolished so the land can be resold.

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A satellite view of the historic district from 2018.

David Bulit is a photographer, author, and historian from Miami, Florida. He has published a number of books on abandoned and forgotten locales throughout the United States and continues to advocate for preserving these historic landmarks. His work has been featured throughout the world in news outlets such as the Miami New Times, the Florida Times-Union, the Orlando Sentinel, NPR, Yahoo News, MSN, the Daily Mail, UK Sun, and many others. You can find more of his work at davidbulit.com as well as amazon.com/author/davidbulit.

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