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The installation was dedicated October 22, Two plaques are mounted on the fountain. One is its dedication; the other warns that the panther is on a countdown to extinction. A small population in South Florida, estimated to number between 30 and 50 adults 30 to 80 total individuals , represents the only known remaining wild population of an animal that once ranged throughout most of the southeastern United States from Arkansas and Louisiana eastward across Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and parts of South Carolina and Tennessee.
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The panther presently occupies one of the least developed areas in the eastern United States; a contiguous system of large private ranches and public conservation lands in Lee, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties totaling more than , acres. That notwithstanding, the survival and recovery of the Florida panther is dependent upon protection of the small, remaining population, its habitats and prey resources.
When the county was established on May 2, , it was named after General Lee. Prior to that time, what is now Lee, Collier and Hendry counties were all part of Monroe County, but when politicians in the far-removed county seat of Key West refused to allocate funds to rebuild the local high school after it burned down, the tri-county area decided to break away and form its own local government.
Fort Myers Orientation Walk (Self Guided), Fort Myers
Collier and Hendry later established their own local governments in , with the former being named after Barron Collier and the later after Francis Asbury Hendry. It is doubtful that Lee ever actually set foot in what is today Fort Myers. And ironically, Hendry rode with the Cow Calvary that attacked Fort Myers and was repelled by the 2nd Regiment in the battle of February 20, To date, however, no one has been able to confirm his visit.
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The bust is not the only tribute to Lee located within the city of Fort Myers. There is also a mosaic of Robert E. It consists of 23 open-weave Kevlar and fiberglass fabric panels that have been attached to the exterior of the Lee County Justice Center Parking Garage by tubular aluminum and steel rods. The panels are blow-ups of abstract paintings that artist Marylyn Dintenfass created in her New York studio.
Each monotype was then photographed, drum-scanned and enlarged to ten times its original size using specialized digitizing software. The panels engage the viewer kinetically, but they also tell a story. Each side of the building represents a new chapter, but by the time you circle the building, the sun and clouds have changed position, and you are presented with four new chapters in this never-ending story.
Parallel Park has brought a considerable amount of national and international attention to Fort Myers since its dedication in December of 2o To truly appreciate Parallel Park , you should walk completely around the parking garage. It was carved by chainsaw artist Marlin Miller from a year-old oak tree that had become infested with termites and was scheduled to be cut down. Miller offered to carve the eagle gratis, asking the county to merely pick up the cost of his out-of-pocket expenses. It was an offer too good to pass up. Perched high above ground in the carriage of a hydraulic lift, Miller used a chain saw to shave huge chunks of bark and wood from the trunk of the termite infested tree.
He started the project on June 9, and completed it in just five days on June 14th. Miller has a history of salvaging trees ravaged by time and storm. During that span, Miller completed more than 30 perched pelicans, soaring eagles and playful dolphins, some towering three stories high.
Fifteen of these are in Biloxi and now serve both as tourist attractions and poignant reminders that our native animal and marine life are irreplaceable local treasures.
Guide to Downtown Fort Myers Walking Tours | VISIT FLORIDA
As you pass through the glass doors, you will be standing in the arcade that once served as the U. Part of the InterContinental Hotel Group, the hotel is known for plush guest rooms and swank public spaces that are transformed seasonally through changing signage, aromas, music and artwork.
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The resulting sepia-toned graded mosaic tiles then had to be affixed to the pre-cast concrete walls of the courthouse by masons using a master digital montage print-out like the blueprint to an immense jigsaw puzzle. The installation required the same techniques and preparation that swimming pool contractors use when installing ceramic tile accents to a pool or water feature.
These practices were required as a precaution against cracking in the torrid temperatures that the surface of the mural can reach during afternoons in the blazing southwest Florida sun. The result is a breathtaking mural that pictorially chronicles a relatively brief year span framed by the founding of Fort Myers in as an outpost following the Second Seminole War and its decommissioning as a federal encampment in March of , just weeks after elements of the 2nd Regiment of the U.
Colored Troops and the 11o New York Army had repelled a last-ditch attack by the Cow Calvary to destroy the fort and seize 4, head of cattle needed by Lee in order to feed the remnants of his Army as they made their way to Appomattox. Photo courtesy of Gina Birch.
Local experts regale visitors with intriguing information about the city's famous residents, old buildings Downtown Fort Myers has a quite a rich history and True Tours is a fun way to learn about it. Local experts regale visitors with intriguing information about the city's famous residents, old buildings and well-photographed streets. But during the fall the tours take a hair raising turn.