In the early 20th century, Joseph Wesley Young envisioned a city made beautiful through lush parks, landscaped boulevards, harmonious architecture, focal points and vistas. He first arrived in South Florida in 1920 to survey several parcels of land on which to build his "Dream City." He named it after his favorite city in California, hoping it would attract people from all walks of life. His vision rapidly transformed the coastline. He built Hollywood Boulevard to extend from the ocean westward to the edge of the Everglades, with man-made lakes paralleling each side of the roadway. One end of each lake would empty into the Intracoastal Waterway and the other would serve as a twin turning basin for private yachts.
The City of Hollywood was incorporated in 1925 only to be destroyed by a vicious hurricane one year later. Undeterred, Young continued construction and Hollywood expanded its residential neighborhoods into Central Hollywood, North Beach and the Hollywood Hills. In 1928, Port Everglades grew from a shallow lake into one of the busiest seaports in Florida. Today, many luxury cruise liners depart from Port Everglades to exciting worldwide destinations.
Unique to Hollywood were three circles of land along Hollywood Boulevard. The three circles would later become Presidential Circle, Watson Circle, where the city hall complex is located, and Young Circle, a bustling ten-acre park surrounded by restaurants, boutique shops, galleries and night clubs. The historic downtown arts district near the Hollywood Art & Culture Center is a hub of cultural arts and entertainment with the Hollywood Playhouse, the Hollywood Art Museum and the Hollywood Central Performing Arts Center located in the area.
The community's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean provides abundant recreational opportunities. Hollywood Beach, the most international of South Florida beaches, is the social center of the city's six miles of sun-drenched sand. Hollywood is also a Mecca for the eco-tourist. The city's North Beach highlights nature nestled among sand dunes and tall strands of sea grass that serve as a sea turtle hatchery. The Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood's West Lake area is the site of a protected bird rookery, a fish nursery and 1,500 acres of mangrove preserves.
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