With a new year approaching, another look to Belle Isle’s past

Here is a 1960s view of Belle Isle.

Here what the island looked like in 1962…..

Only three highrises — the first, Belle Tower, seven floors and 46 units, a classic built in 1958. Two others were completed in 1962. Terrace Tower, at 3 Island Avenue, is 12 floors and 140 units. The biggest of Belle Isle was Belle Plaza, 15 floors and 226 units, originally a a luxury apartment house.

You can see the last few estates on the south side of Belle Isle Park, including the Penney Estate where Nine Island was built in 1981. You also get a good look at the old DiLido Spa, now the Standard Hotel, and the hotel where the Grand Venetian now stands at the southeast corner of the island.

Only 13 years later, the island had much more development….

Here you see the addition of 22-story Costa Brava (1972) and Morris Lapidus’ Island Terrace (1967) at 16 stories.

The open tract, highlighted in pen (don’t know who did that), is the Penney Estate. Also note the undeveloped land that became Sunset Harbour. In this photo, that land looks prepped for development.


3 responses to “With a new year approaching, another look to Belle Isle’s past

  1. I adore these vintage images. Helps us appreciate more the virtues of where we live. Thanks for sourcing and sharing them.

  2. Pingback: Your Evening Sift - Florida Social Blog

  3. There was a restaurant in a hotel or motel at the east end of the island, pretty much right at the bridge to “the mainland,” just south of Venetian Way. The resaurant was known for its “Thumb Bits.” What was its name?

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