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Don CeSar Hotel


In the late 1920's and the 1930's , the Don Ce Sar hotel

was a renowned luxury resort which counted many

notables among its guests. Thomas J. Rowe, a land 

developer, conceived of the establishment in the mid-20's

at the height of the land sales boom then attracting

flocks of tourists and investors to Florida. The "boom"

ended before the Don Ce Sar was completed in 1928, but it

remained open throughout the depression of the 1930's. 

During World War II, many Florida hotels suffering from

the decline of tourism were converted to wartime uses. 

In 1942, the Don was purchased by the US government for 

use as a rest and rehabilitation center from  1945 to 1967. 

The Don served as a federal office building. It was then

vacated. Soon a committee of local citizens began to work

for its preservation. In 1972 with their encouragement and 

community support hotel developer William Bowman, Jr. 

purchased the property. He rehabilitated the Don restoring

it to its original function and elegance and reopened it in 

1973. Restoration was completed in 1975. In that year, the

Don Ce Sar Hotel was placed on the National Register of 

Historic Places. The massive edifice of stuccoed Belgian

concrete remains a symbol of the colorful, exciting "boom" 

period of Florida History.

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