Historic Markers Across Florida

Vilano Beach Casino

Marker ID: FLHM F-555
Location: at the beach on Vilano Rd.
County: St. Johns
Coordinates: N 29° 54.991    W 081° 17.442
  29.91651666    -81.2907
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMVND


Vilano Beach Casino

Formerly at this site stood the Vilano Beach Casino, constructed in 1926-27. Casinos of the early 1900s were a source of social entertainment. Gambling was not provided. Big name bands from New York, vaudeville acts, theme parties and dances were hosted here. This unique oceanfront casino had monumental architecture on property 300 feet wide and 250 feet deep, a salt water swimming pool 150 feet long by 50 feet wide, and fine dining. A palm log bridge over the North River provided access to the island by car. The casino was the cornerstone of a major development platted as Vilano Beach by the St. Augustine & Atlantic Corporation headed by New York Philanthropist August Heckscher. Automobile and rail travel brought potential buyers during the 1920s Florida Land Boom, however, the plan failed during the Great Depression, and storms of 1938-1939 washed the casino into the sea. Today Mr. Heckscher’s dream is being revitalized. A public recreation area was built in 2004 on the casino site, and the 1920s era layout is the basis for a sustainable town center master plan by the Vilano Beach Main Street Waterfronts Group, a partnership between North Shores Improvement Association (est. 1939) and St. Johns County.

F-555 A Florida Heritage Landmark
Sponsored by the St. Johns County
Board of County Commissioners
and the Florida Department of State


City: St. Augustine, FL