Welcome to the Brooklynites In Florida Blog Site
New Blog Series
Brooklyn Footprints in Florida
In contrast to the Brooklynites In Florida Blog, which primarily features present day Brooklynites, the Brooklyn Footprints In Florida project features all sorts of fascinating connections between the Sunshine State and Brooklyn that go as far back as the 1800s. Although for a Brooklyn native to have simply retired and spent the remainder of their life in Florida could qualify, to a degree, as a Footprint, the overall intention is to present what I call the indelible footprints of the Brooklyn natives who have made lasting contributions to the communities they lived in after moving in Florida.
Samples from our Brooklyn Footprints in Florida Series:
Did you know…
Brooklyn native Sherman Pratt, grandson of Brooklyn’s famous industrialist Charles Pratt, who founded Brooklyn’s renowned Pratt Institute, left an indelible Footprint in Florida by co-founding Marineland in the 1930s near St. Augustine, Florida.
Marineland was the precursor to all the sea mammal attraction parks in the world, including Walt Disney’s Sea World.
The Marineland site is on the U.S. National Registry of Historic Places.
The founders wanted a place where they could study marine life in a natural setting, as well as providing wild life enthusiast and nature photographer Sherman Pratt a place to film large sea mammals. The huge salt water aquarium was built along the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean and for several decades was one of Florida’s main tourist attractions.
Scenes from famous horror movies like “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” were filmed at Marineland . Also, scenes for the famous TV series “Sea Hunt” were regularly shot at Marineland.
Click here to read the original Brooklyn Footprints in Florida
from the print version of the Brooklyn Eagle.
Did you know…
that Charles Ebbets (Ebbets Field), then a part owner of the Dodgers, in the 1920s required as a condition for the team to train in Clearwater, Florida. The condition was that the City of Clearwater build grandstands so the fans could come and see the players train and play exhibition games. The grandstands were built by the City of Clearwater and a parade was staged by the city to commemorate the first game at the new ball park between the Dodgers and the Boston Braves. The Dodgers won.
Did you know…
that Brooklyn native Madeleine (Talmadge Force) Astor had a winter home in Palm Beach, Florida, which is where she died in 1940 at age 46. Her great grandfather was the Mayor of Brooklyn. When John Jacob Astor IV became interested in her the high society gossip in Manhattan was that Astor had become “interested in a Brooklyn girl.”
They were on the fatal Titanic voyage. She was pregnant and wanted the child to be born in America. She, and their future son survived on the last rescue Lifeboat (#4) for the First Class passengers. Reports are that Astor helped his wife and her maid into the Lifeboat and asked the Officer if he could join them because of his wife’s delicate condition. His request was declined because only women and children were to leave first. As Lifeboat #4 was lowered into the water one survivor reported that they saw Astor standing on the deck smoking a cigarette. Thirty minutes later the Titanic disappeared into the North Atlantic ocean.
The Roebling Footprints in Florida:
The Genius & Generosity of Donald Roebling
(with a little eccentricity) By Palmer Hasty
Donald Roebling’s great grandfather, John A. Roebling, is well known around the world, especially in Brooklyn, because of course, he designed the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. Although the history of the Roebling family is familiar territory in Brooklyn, for those who are not as familiar with the Roeblings, we will quickly recount some highlights leading up to John A. Roebling II and his son Donald Roebling’s important footprints in Florida.
(Click here to read the Sample Blog Series that will appear separately in a Flip Page Book Format )
Brooklyn architect Edward Sibbert designed over 50 buildings for the iconic five and dime S. H. Kress & Company. Many of Sibbert’s buildings are National Historic Landmarks. All three of the Kress buildings designed by Sibbert in Florida are on the National Register of Historic Places.
You can also read about the Edward Sibbert Footprint in Florida at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle online site.
Some Recent Feature Interviews:
Conductor/Cellist Eric Jacobsen
Jacobsen will be the new Music Director for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra starting in October
“Cooklyn” Owner/Executive Chef Anthony Theocaropolous
Theocaropolous will open a new “Cooklyn” restaurant in Palm Beach, Florida
Brooklyn Native Jack Koolik
Koolik left Abraham Lincoln HS to join the Air Force…in addition to his war medals, after 71 years at age 90 he was awarded his HS Diploma in Jacksonville, Florida
Entrepreneur Carlos Diaz:
A Park Slope, Brooklyn native, Diaz started a successful tech company in Miami, Florida.
Pianist-Composer Roger Rossi:
From Being Thrown Out of Kindergarten to Composing “Ave Maria”
Brooklyn Native Fred Serrano:
Serrano Delivered the Brooklyn Eagle in the 1940s and Climbed Mount Fuji While Stationed in Japan during WWII.
Note: All of these Interviews were originally published in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
New Gallery: Brooklyn Brownstones in Orlando
Also check out other Feature Interviews:
Peter Della Rocca: Italian Chef in Naples, Florida, who carries on a family tradition of Italian cooking from Brooklyn since the 1890s.
All Roads Lead to Brooklyn
Alan B. Miller: From delivering telegrams on a bicycle at 20 cents apiece in Crown Heights to building a Fortune 500 Health Care Company.
Earlier Feature Interviews