John Wesley Young had a dream to build a city so grand in scale that it would contain what he loved most from mile long beaches, a man made waterway, golf courses and industries that would transport people to Paradise.
Young, a real estate developer from Long Beach, California brought his sweetheart dream to southeastern Broward County and called it the City of Hollywood or ”Hollywood by the Sea,” to offset the reference of his upstate New York real estate venture of “Hollywood in the Hills.”
Once a challenge Young couldn’t escape when he ran aground on his speedboat. He envisioned a deep-water seaport. Today its home to one of the main petroleum ports of the state of Florida otherwise known as Port Everglades. In addition it has over 846 ship calls for vacationing passengers traveling through, making it the second busiest ports in South Florida. The Port generates over $30 billion in business for the state of Florida annually.
Incorporated in 1925 the City of Hollywood became what Young envisioned and more. Today it is a strategic gateway to over 135 cities around the world including cities from Dubai to London and the Caribbean. The Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport has over 700 flights daily from airlines such as American Airlines, United, Southwest and Allegiant taking off from its runways.
Located south of Fort Lauderdale and north of the City of Miami and it is one the largest cities in Broward County. Founded in 1925, known as recreational city by nature. Hollywood has over 60 parks, seven golf courses and a 2.5 mile Broadwalk along the Atlantic Ocean. Restaurants and cafés that dominate the area along with a theatre, ice cream parlors, and a farmer’s market make the city attractive to travelers and residents of the area.
In the 1920s Hollywood was known to attract snowbirds and even cause woman or two to faint because of the luring attractions surrounding the Broadwalk. Hollywood Beach has been named one of America’s Best Beach Broadwalks by Travel & Leisure and often the site for joggers, cyclists, rollerbladers and those that just want to enjoy the Sun.
Once 28.87 square miles of farmland, it is the ninth largest city in South Florida today. Once sold for $175 per acre, the city currently has over $1.45 billion in real estate currently under construction. Young incorporated three circles into his development plan for not only the flamboyant crowd of the 1920s but also for the meek working class. The three circles today make up Young Circle, City Hall Circle and Academy Circle and connects the Intercoastal Waterway and two man -made lakes that lead to the Ocean.
A destination city as Young envisioned Downtown Hollywood is comprised of six blocks of boutiques, shops, art galleries and restaurants along the boulevard is a haven for artists such as Tatiana Suarez, Evoca1, Rone, The London Police, Jessy Nite, Ernesto Maranje, Logan Hicks and Kenny Scharf.
ArtsPark at Young Circle, a 10 acre circle named after its first mayor and founder is often used for educational and recreational activities from Friday Night Movie Night to Salsa Casino Rueda Night and Hot Glass Activities. The area is used to showcase local, regional and international artists on the third Saturday of the month. One of the many attractions for residents and tourists of the area is Ritsuko Taho’s interactive fountain. Taho is a Japanese artist who takes interest in bringing people together through her urban sculptural creations. Romero Britto’s Butterfly sculpture is another popular splash for youngsters who seek to enjoy Hollywood amenities. Britto is a Brazilian, pop culture cubic artist that resides in South Florida and owns Britto Central Gallery.
The ArtsPark Amphitheater is another of the city’s attractions often used to serenade 2,500 guests with complete lightning effects, sound and dressing rooms for the young artists who dream of launching their music careers with both international sounds and a mix of jazz and rock.
The City of Hollywood’s Nightlife carries a healthy eclectic cultural mix of live jazz to R&B bars and Latin flavored clubs for both residents and tourists who seek to enjoy refreshing mojitos to conch fritters or an ice cold beer. On Monday nights one can often find a truck load variety of food from local food trucks that offer cuisines from the Mediterranean, Jamaica, Peruvian and the old fashioned grills cheese sandwiches and burgers.
Although one can be charmed into taking walk through the city’s unique art murals and interactive artistic sculptures and wide range of cultural attractions such as the Baobab Trees native to Madagascar Africa; Hollywood offers the “Sun Shuttle,” an on demand ride circuit app that allows pedestrians to leave their cars and travel through the city by using app or simply by stopping a designated shuttle stop.
Young’s dream came to a pause when he found himself unable to pay creditors and Highway Construction Company of Ohio founder Samuel Horvitz. His salvation came at end of the decade with the rise of population and the military takeover of today’s Academy Circle. The circle was converted into Orangebrook Golf & Country Club and Dowdy Field, where the Baltimore Orioles trained for a short period of time. The war also brought many uprising developments which today are known as The Hollywood Beach Hotel, once the U.S. Navy training school and the Hollywood Golf and Country Club. The country club served as a place for servicemen to entertain themselves after a night of patrolling and securing the beach. By the end of the War in 1945 the Hollywood Beach Hotel had the largest swimming pool and cabana club in the United States. In 1958 the iconic Broward hospitality industry took off with the opening of The Diplomat. Falling short of graceful appearances it was demolished in 1998 and reopened in 2003 as a new 39-story tower and golf resort and spa at 501 Diplomat Pkwy. The hotel hit the market in 2019 for a whopping $1billion more than double the bargain price of $460 million that it sold for in 2014.
- Diplomat Resort & Spa Hollywood
- Hollywood Bread Building
- Stranahan House
- Erasmus James
- Joe Klink
- Jeff Marx
- Joe DiMaggio
- Steve Blake
- Jayne Atkinson