History Happened Here

A campaign commemorating Florida's diverse cities.
Brought to you by the Florida League of Cities.


Broward County

Year Founded: 1947Founded by: Melvin I. Anglin


A seaside community located entirely between the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway just north of Fort Lauderdale, the Town of Lauderale-By-The-Sea is a unique community in South Florida. While other coastal cities allowed the development of huge condominiums on the beach, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea adopted an ordinance in the 1970s limiting building heights to 3-stories. As a result, the Town’s beachfront commercial area has retained its friendly, small-town charm.

For many years the Town was 1-mile long and half-a-mile wide. That changed in October 2001, when the Town successfully annexed the Intracoastal Beach Area, a coastal neighborhood just north of it. The Town now has 6000 residents, 2.4 miles of sandy coastline and a colorful coral reef within 100 yards of the beach. A popular beach diving spot for divers, the Town is the “Shore Diving Capital of South Florida.” The Town is currently in the process of making extensive streetscape and landscaping improvements to Commercial Boulevard, its main commercial roadway, between the Intracoastal Bridge and the Atlantic Ocean. With excellent hotels right on the beach, the Town is a popular vacation spot for tourists all over the world.

Story of City's Founding

The Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea traces its roots to the 1920s. In February 1924, Boston developer William F. Morang purchased the property that would later became Lauderdale-By-The-Sea from Henry S. Moody and John C. Gregory. A few years later, Melvin I. Anglin, a building contractor and real estate investor from Gary, Ind., bought the land and started the Town. He later became our first Mayor. Lauderdale-By-The-Sea was first incorporated on Nov. 30, 1927, but the 1929 stockmarket crash and Depression brought hard economic times, and the state revoked the Town’s charter in 1933. Fourteen years later, the Town incorporated for the second time on Nov. 30, 1947. Lauderdale-By-The-Sea celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1997.

Little Known Facts

Historical Sites

Name: Anglin's Pier
Location: 1 Commercial Blvd., Lauderdale-By-The-Sea
Historical Significance: The popular pier is one of Broward County's most photographed landmarks. The original pier, later rebuilt in 1963, was constructed in 1941.

Name: SS Copenhagen
Location: Atlantic Ocean off the Sea Watch Restaurant
Historical Significance: A steamship wrecked off present-day Lauderdale-By-The-Sea in 1900 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Back to Map Back to Top