Here’s another trip into the wayback machine, a Thanksgiving gift from 9 Island Avenue resident Josh Fisher, a frequent Belle Isle Blog contributor.
The image you see (you can click on it to make it bigger) shows Belle Isle in 1975. The vacant lot in the foreground is where 9 Island Avenue, the biggest condo on our island, was built in 1981.
If you look on the right, you see the vacant lot that became the Grand Venetian. It’s notable, also, because it means in 1975, the Venetian Isle Motel (from our postcard collection) had already been leveled.
Across the Venetian Causeway from that vacant lot is Belle Isle Key Apartments, in 1975 still looking every bit like the barracks the complex originally was. The renovations with the mansard roofs that developer EuroAmerican has been seeking to level for a sleeker steel and glass complex came after 1975.
One last note: On the northwest corner, where The Vista now sits, is another low-rise complex that also was leveled for new development.
The Vistas is now a 48-unit condo.
For a little more fun, look east. No Sunset Harbour condos facing the island, a straggly mess of greenspace where we now have Maurice Gibb Memorial Park, and generally a lot less density.
Then compare these two images — a Google map view of the island today, and the 1975 view. You can click through so see more detail on the Google map.