Stiltsville, FL

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 7,540
    Check out the Floridian town in the middle of Biscayne Bay, where historical houses still stand on water. Learn the history of Stiltsville and this extreme way of life.

    Chad Crawford: Miami, there is no place like it. Its like another world, a party that never ends.

    Miami has got a distinct of a feel, its got color, its got class, its got culture, all that is combined to make one of Floridas unique cities.

    A bit less than a mile away in the middle of Biscayne Bay a piece of Florida history hovers above the blue-green waters. Welcome to Stiltsville. Seven homes scattered throughout the Bay, built on stilts just above the water.

    I headed out with Charles Ray a member of the Miami Springs Power Boat Club which is one of the caretakers of the Stiltsville home.

    I mean, visually its just kind of like wow! Those houses out here.

    Charles Redding: What are they are doing?

    Chad Crawford: What are they doing out here?

    You know, I always wanted to come out here and see Stiltsville, and now that I am out here, its really just -- its absolutely captive baby! See these homes upon stilts out in the middle of the Bay here. Beautiful blue water that surrounds them. Absolutely, this is spectacular visual out here.

    Stiltsville started as one building in 1933, and at one point as many as 27 homes stood in the Bay. These homes offered an escape from the bustling city life of Downtown Miami.

    Charles Redding: Even from a little kid, it was nice, it was a novelty and it was fun, but now that I am a little older and I see what has been here for so long it makes me proud of the history of where I grew up.

    Chad Crawford: Now this is cool, this is called the A-Frame House, built at large telephone poles in an A, an A-Frame. Today its one of the stronger more durable structures out here, and they have to be strong. These fragile structures consistently suffer wear and tear from the elements; Sun, salt, fires and the worst hurricanes have left only seven standing in the Bay, a Testament to a different time and a sheer will of their makers.

    Charles Redding: They are all up on pilings for a reason so that the floor bed will grow and we wont destroy any of the grassy beds, well allow the life to come back into the Bay.

    Chad Crawford: Keep in mind, its currently a legal rest put on the houses without proper authority. All those Stiltsville homes can no longer be privately owned. People like Charles Redding continue their efforts to preserve at least the past.

    Charles Redding: We have a group called The Miami Springs Power Boat Club and there is quite a few of us that act as care takers for the house. So we maintain it and basically we try and promote the conservation of the water and the livelihood of South Florida by maintaining the old Stiltsville houses.

    Chad Crawford: The best way to experience these houses, is to book a tour or you can boat out to them, enjoy them from a distance. Wow! Its pretty amazing! When you visit Miami, be sure to look out the Bay, maybe even book a Stiltsville Chart, but dont miss one of Floridas great gateways to the past.