Las Olas Boulevard
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Las Olas Boulevard is a popular thoroughfare in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States that runs from Andrews Avenue in the Central Business District to A1A and Fort Lauderdale Beach. The easternmost section of the boulevard is interlaced with canals and waterfront homes. The commercial stretch, approximately 1-mile (1.6 km) in length, features cool sub-tropical breezeways and courtyards alive with bars, nightclubs, bridal stores, shops, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and hotels—this is referred to as the "Riverfront" area of downtown Fort Lauderdale. The name "Las Olas" means "The Waves" in Spanish. All but the westernmost fourteen blocks are also signed as State Road 842.
Las Olas has its own historic house, a museum of art, a nearby IMAX cinema and an art house movie theater within a short walk. Las Olas Boulevard can be accessed by the Fort Lauderdale water taxi. The boulevard is a popular attraction for locals and visitors, being ideally situated close to Fort Lauderdale beach, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Port Everglades. It is known as a dining and shopping destination.
The boulevard was constructed in 1917, when Las Olas was just a dirt road that crossed the swampy wetlands to the barrier island at Fort Lauderdale Beach. The Las Olas Isles were dredged in the 1920s to create land for the areas most picturesque waterfront residential district. The modern commercial segment of Las Olas Boulevard was constructed during the Post World War II era. The westernmost downtown segment was entirely reconstructed since the 1970s. The boulevard begins at the famous Elbo Room bar where the beach meets the boulevard and ends in the west at the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale.
In the early 1980s Las Olas went through a major renovation program to enhance property values. The land was worth much more than that of the standing homes. It was decided that anyone who wished to buy property on one of the isles would have to tear down the existing home and build a home of equal or greater value than the land. There were a few celebrities who already lived on Las Olas, but new homes and waterfronts made it more appealing to move to the area. Professional tour companies provide tours that take people down the waterways to show off the celebrities homes and yachts.
A few of the most notable (past and present) are:
Sonny and Cher, noted singers and actors.
Gloria Vanderbilt, noted designer and socialite.
Frank and Ivy Stranahan. Regarded as founding pioneers of Fort Lauderdale and the first residents of Las Olas Boulevard. Their trading post Stranahan House is located between the boulevard and New River.
- "Fort Lauderdale Sightseeing Cruises, Tours, and Private Charter Cruises on the Carrie B of Ft Lauderdale, Florida". Retrieved 2010-11-04.Las Olas Tours of Celebrity Homes
- "Genealogical Society of Broward County (GSBC) - Biographies". Retrieved 2010-11-04.Johnny Weissmuller
- "Wayne Huizenga selling Fort Lauderdale 2BD for $1.55M | BlockShopper South Florida". Retrieved 2010-11-04.Wayne Huizenga sells Las Olas home
- "ci.ftlaud.fl.us". Retrieved 2010-11-04.Connie Francis Celebrates the 50th anniversary of Where the Boys Are on Fort Lauderdale Beach
- Hilton, Spud (2010-03-27). "Travel | More elegant Fort Lauderdale sheds rowdy spring-break past | Seattle Times Newspaper". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
- Historic Stranahan House Museum. Retrieved 21 June 2013.