The Stranahan House is the oldest surviving structure in Fort Lauderdale. It was built in 1902 as a trading post by Frank Stranahan, the founder of the city, and used by Stranahan’s wife, Ivy, as a school house. Over the decades it has also served as a post office, community center, and town hall. Today it’s a historic attraction that’s open daily for guided tours.
The Stranahan House is a wood-frame, two-story green-and-white house, now modest and unassuming at its location on Fort Lauderdale’s bustling Las Olas Avenue. The house has been restored to show visitors what it looked like in 1915, when it first fitted with electricity and indoor plumbing. On your guided tour, you can learn about the Stranahans’ life and see Ivy’s original china and quilt, which is draped across her bed upstairs.
Things to Know Before You Go
- This is a must for history buffs, as it tells the story of the evolution of present-day Fort Lauderdale and Florida.
- There is an on-site gift shop stocked with unique souvenirs.
- The Stranahan House is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
This house is located between the Riverside Hotel and the Icon just off Las Olas Boulevard on the New River, over the Henry E. Kinney Tunnel. From I-95, take the Broward Boulevard exit, and then turn right on 6th Street. Public parking is located on Las Olas Boulevard and in nearby lots.
When to Get There
Guided tours of the house take place at 1, 2, and 3pm each day, and tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. One of the best times to visit is during the holidays, when the Historic Stranahan House Museum is decorated in a Victorian Christmas theme. Holiday River Tours, which float down the New River, include costumed docents and festive live music.
Ivy and Frank
Ivy Stranahan, a former teacher in Miami, worked with the Seminole tribe and offered informal lessons to Seminole children. Though her husband is credited as the ounder of modern day Fort Lauderdale, he became severely depressed after the collapse of Florida’s land boom and two devastating hurricanes. After he drowned himself in the river in front of his home, in May 1929, Ivy continued to live there, renting out the rooms and leasing out the lower floor to restaurants, until her death in 1971.