BREVARD COUNTY HISTORY: ‘Indialantic-By-the-Sea’ Started in 1915 By Ernest Kouwen-Hoven
By Space Coast Daily // June 29, 2023
Indialantic Casino was built in 1923
EDITOR’S NOTE: Brevard County has a rich and diverse history, spanning nearly five centuries of recorded activities that include the earliest European explorations of America and the moment that humans first left this planet to explore worlds beyond our own.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Indialantic started in 1915 when Ernest Kouwen-Hoven moved to Melbourne and purchased a strip of beachside land lying between the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean.
He envisioned this property as becoming an exclusive beachside resort. This one-square-mile became known as “Indialantic-by-the-Sea” and the first map of this area was recorded in 1916.
The Indialantic Casino was built in 1923 in what is now the southwest corner of James H. Nance Park, located at 201 North Miramar Avenue (State Route A1A).
The two-story Mediterranean Revival style building was designed by architect William Christen and developed by Herbert Earle. It opened on December 22, 1923, and boasted shops, an Olympic-size saltwater pool, a tall diving tower and wading pools.
The casino became a center for social activity in the Melbourne area, offering rooms for winter guests and space for club meetings, socials, and galas, such as wedding receptions, banquets and cotillions.
Special events included a Midnight New Year’s Eve dinner, a Fourth of July celebration, and the Miss Melbourne and Miss Florida Beauty Pageants of 1925.
Weekly rates in 1924 for ocean-view rooms, including board, were $20 for singles and $35 for doubles.
The casino’s pool was used for training World War II military personnel from the Banana River Naval Station.
Following a major renovation in 1942, Karl Abbott purchased the casino in 1944 and changed its name to the Bahama Beach Club.
From 1949 until it was acquired by the Town of Indialantic in 1967, the building was an exclusive private club. Following a period of decline, the building was razed in 1970.
– Source: Brevard County Historical Society
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