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Description

Stiltsville is a group of wood stilt houses on the edge of Biscayne Bay in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The structures stand on wood or reinforced concrete pilings, generally ten feet above the shallow water, which varies from one to three feet deep at low tide. Most sources claim the first stilt shack was built in the early 1930s, but some Dade County historians say that there were a dozen shacks in “the flats” as early as 1922. Stiltsville’s frontier era ended with Hurricane Betsy in 1965. Beginning in August 1965, the state of Florida required building owners to pay $100 annually to lease their quarter-acre circular “campsites.” No permits for new construction were issued, and structures that sustained more than 50-percent damage could not be rebuilt. Building codes were implemented and the state banned commercial operations after 1969.

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