Description of Home

The historic Judge Shippey House was built ca. 1914-18.  It appears in the book of the 1918 Sanborn Fire & Insurance Company Maps showing its location at 215 SW 7th Avenue (aka Ave. of the Arts).  It is listed in the Florida Master Site File at the State Historic Preservation Office and has been identified as a ‘contributing structure’ to the Sailboat Bend Historic District.

The house is a side gabled, wood frame structure with a shed roof dormer and hipped roof front porch.  The house is made of Dade Pine (now an extinct tree) and is unique for its time in that it is a 2-story structure when most homes were single-story cottages.  It is one of a handful of 1.5-2 story single family homes of this era left in South Florida.

Since Fort Lauderdale’s original historic site survey in 1985, the front porch — which had previously been enclosed and given an exterior brick veneer, — had been re-opened.  It had been restored to its probable original appearance with wood posts and balusters.  Note:  these pictures were taken in 2005 just before the house was raised up on cribbing.


The 1937 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map shows both sides of SW 7th Avenue (or as it was known then, Colee Avenue) from Broward Boulevard south to be primarily residential in nature.  At that time in 1937 the road was two lanes leading to the 7th Ave. Bridge across the New River.  In the 1960s the old bridge, which had been built in 1927, needed to be replaced.  City engineers designed a new bridge, known today as the Marshall Bridge, connecting SW 7th Avenue to SW 4th Avenue on the south side of the river; the road was then four-laned.

Due to the new alignment of the street, the residential areas of the Sailboat Bend Historic District (SBHD) south of West Las Olas Boulevard remained relatively undisturbed by the new traffic pattern.  Soon after, however, commercial development began replacing residences, on 7th Avenue, north of West Las Olas to Broward Boulevard.  In the 1980s the area on the east side of SW 7th Avenue, south of Broward, along SW 2nd Street was redeveloped as the Arts and Entertainment District.  At that time (1980s) almost all of the residences from 7th Avenue, east to the F.E.C. railroad tracks were demolished.  More recently, the commercial boatyards on the east side of the avenue were sold and the area was redeveloped as the site of a high-rise condominium, known as Symphony.  The Judge Shippey House at 215 SW 7th Avenue is one of the few remaining single-family residences on that stretch of the Avenue between Broward and West Las Olas.