Historic Markers Across Florida

Oliver Building

Marker ID:  
Location: in an alley between two buildings, West Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL
County: Broward
Coordinates: N 26° 7.131    W 080° 8.643
  26.11885    -80.14405
Style: Mounted **
Waymark: None


Oliver Building
Circa 1912

The façade is constructed in the same basic design configuration and from the actual bricks that existed on the west wall of the Oliver Building demolished in 1996. The original building was built in 1912 soon after most of Ft. Lauderdale's business district was destroyed by fire (Hence, the brick instead of wood). It was constructed to house the Oliver Brothers Company, a dry goods store owned by Frank, James and David Oliver, who arrived in 1895 from North Carolina, was one of the leading citizens of early Ft. Lauderdale. He was a partner in Stranahan & Company and had purchased the company just prior to the fire. The new building sat on the site of the Stranahan & Company Building.

Frank Oliver also built: The Keystone Hotel, the first theater in the City (the Dade); he was the President of the first bank in Ft. Lauderdale; member of the Dade County Commission (prior to the creation of Broward County), and was a ft. Lauderdale City Commissioner.

The Oliver Building was larger than was needed for Oliver Brothers Company, and much of the building was rented to other businesses. The 1918 city directory (the first published)list the following companies: Tyler's Confectionery; Oliver Brothers; Beck's Pharmacy; Guy Phipps news dealer; D.C. Alexander real estate; Broward Grocery Co.; C.C. Rodes seeds; R.W. Burch, D.D.S.; George W. Hall & Co., insurance; W.I. Evans, attorney; T.F. Evans, attorney; T.F. Moore & Son, vegetable broker; and Oliver Hall. By 1924, Oliver Brothers Company had been renamed the Pioneer Department Store, and in 1926 it relocated to the southeast corner of Las Olas Boulevard and SE First Avenue (present location of the News & Sun Sentinel). Business activity on Brickell Avenue declined as Andrews Avenue became the city's main street. Still over the years, a number of businesses were located in the Oliver Building: the postal Cable Company and then Western Union (37 years); the Miami Herald Bureau; Poinsettia Printing (45 yrs.); several furniture stores; the War Manpower Commission; the State Employment Service; hardware and supply shops; the Riverview Apartments (30 years); and Thompson's Office Supplies (27 years).