History of Bal Harbour, Florida


Bal Harbour, Florida came into being not naturally or out of necessity, as many small towns in America have done, but through the sheer will and determination of its founders. The Miami Beach Heights Corporation was in possession of a few hundred acres of land that had yet to be developed.

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The task ahead was difficult, but they were certain that it could be turned into a great town and a wonderful place to live. What existed was a bit of swampland in the middle of nowhere. What was envisioned was a so-called “subtropical paradise”, a goal which has been met and exceeded by those who have made the town great.

Robert C. Graham, one of the members of the Miami Beach Heights Corporation, took over as the city planner and called in the assistance of city planners to, at long last, have the idea of Bal Harbour finally turned into a reality. But it wasn’t until after World War Two, during which time the land was rented out to the U. S. Government in the war effort, that Graham and his associates finally saw their ideas turned into a reality.

Graham, in order to finally have the area recognized as a town, moved families into apartments in the Village. These families made up the first population in what would eventually become a population of over three-thousand. Because of its beginnings as a quiet and comfortable to live, Bal Harbour remains an incredibly affluent village, attracting top designers and businesses to its shopping centers.

In fact, the shopping in Bal Harbour has always been one of its main attractions. The area was prime for retailers as it grew up out of that initial small, incorporated area, and another of the town’s founders, Stanley Whitman, was responsible for his then-revolutionary ideas in building up that part of the town.  His ideas have led to shopping being one of the major attractions in Bal Harbour, even to this day, and the shopping center that Whitman created is now known as the most productive in the United States.

In addition to shopping, entertainment has been the key to Bal Harbour’s success since the 1950s. Major broadcasts were made from Bal Harbour in the 1950s, and Americana’s Carnival Supper Club saw a frequent visitor in Frank Sinatra and his “rat pack”. Ed Sullivan made visits to the area, too. United States Presidents have frequented the many lavish hotels in Bal Harbour, making it a destination that is not to be missed.

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Bal Harbour continues, even to this day, to be committed to excellence. From the beginning those involved in running Bal Harbour have kept that idea of a subtropical paradise in mind, and nobody can say that they haven’t succeeded in their goals. Every year more is done to make Bal Harbour greater, and every year both residents and visitors to the city alike enjoy the many delights that it has to offer. It is certain that Bal Harbour will only continue to get even better with time.


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