golden gate estates – mammoth // building nothing out of something

golden gate estates

[An abandoned portion of the “Golden Gate Estates” — a massive land scam promoted by a Florida developer in the 1960’s — whose miles of canals and roads would have been the infrastructure for the largest subdivision in the United States if the land hadn’t been utterly unsuitable to development. The problem, of course, is that the majority of the development’s 57,000 acres are part of a hydric forest, known as the Big Cypress Basin, and are frequently submerged by floods. (The development was subsequently bought by the government and became a portion of Picayune Strand State Forest.)

Despite their vast scale, the Golden Gate Estates are just one small chapter in the exceptionally strange (and quintessentially American) story of the development of the Everglades and southern Florida. A recent entry at the Boston Globe’s excellent Big Picture photoblog, “Human Landscapes in Southwest Florida”, which is the source for this image, explores the satellite evidence of decades of “boom and bust” residential “development in southwest Florida”.  That entry, filled with mazily-patterned suburban streets and crisply-ordered abandonia, coincides rather neatly with Geoff Manaugh’s excellent but brief piece at the New York Times Opinionator blog, on the similarly geometrical aerial photography of Christopher Gillen.]

One Response to “golden gate estates”

  1. faslanyc says:

    check out this article for context/human interest.