The Dean Park Historic District contains 89 residential structures. The Fort Myers Historic Preservation Commission (“HPC”) has classified 62 of these homes as “contributing” –- a house that is “at least 50 years old and contributes to the overall historic significance of a designated history district and possesses historic integrity reflecting the character of a time…” The remaining homes in Dean Park Historic District are classified as “non-contributing.”
John Morgan Dean purchased the 37-acre parcel that became Dean Park in 1902. The first houses were constructed in the area starting about 1917. The official “Dean’s Subdivision” map was not recorded until May 1, 1920, although some deeds prior to that date did refer to this map and said it would be recorded in the future.
When Dean was ready to sell or develop a lot in Dean Park, he transferred title to the Dean Development Company (usually when he was going to convey a vacant lot to a third party) or the United Construction Company (usually when he intended to construct the house himself). The deeds from these two companies typically contained building restrictions as shown below, which included a requirement that any house built in Dean Park must cost a minimum amount — from $1,500 on Michigan Avenue (then called Banana Avenue) up to $4,500 on Providence Street. The restriction language also made Dean Park a segregated neighborhood in its early years. This is the restriction on the home built at 2740 Providence Street:
“That for and during the period of fifteen (15) years from date hereof, the said premises shall be occupied and used for residential purposes only, and only one single family residence, costing not less than Forty-five Hundred ($4500.00) Dollars, shall be erected upon each one lot hereinbefore described. The front line of said dwelling to be distant at least thirty-five (35) feet from the abutting street line which said dwelling shall face, and no part of any private stable, garage or other building erected on said premises shall be nearer to said abutting street line than one hundred (100) feet. No improper, immoral, disreputable or illegal business or occupation shall be carried on or allowed on said premises. Said premises shall not be sold or leased by any owner or lessee thereof to any negro or person of African descent. Each and every of the foregoing provision, conditions and restrictions shall be binding and continued for during the term or fifteen (15) years from date hereof.”
The houses built in Dean Park are grouped by street and listed in numerical order. For information on each individual house, please see the sub-pages entitled Cranford Avenue Homes, Evans Avenue Homes, First Street Homes, Palm Avenue Homes, Providence Street Homes and Rhode Island Avenue Homes.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have more information about your home or — better yet — if you have old photos of your house.