THE DON CE SAR 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.