North Lauderdale was not always at the center of things. At its creation in 1963, it was a new frontier – literally and figuratively. At that time, it was largely farmland on the western edge of development in Broward County. North Lauderdale was originally grazing pasture for cows and horses of the Anderson Dairy Farm and also an agricultural area for the Lena Lyons Stringbean Farm.
Recognizing a rare opportunity to work with a blank slate, famed architect Morris Lapidus turned his attention to planning a city that would become North Lauderdale. Lapidus gained international notoriety for launching the 1950’s “Miami Beach” style resort hotel. His design of the Fontainebleau Resort, the Eden Roc and Americana helped create the style of Miami Beach.
The flamboyant, curvy, idiosyncratic and immediately recognizable style became lodged in the American conscience when the Fontainebleau appeared in the 1964 James Bond classic Goldfinger. After hotels, Lapidus turned to designing cities. North Lauderdale, “The City of Tomorrow”, was the first city he laid out. Fifty years later, residents still benefit from his influence and vision, which can be seen in the whimsical “beacons” lending the city prominence and in the distinct, amoebic shape of Boulevard of Champions.
In the late 60’s, recognizing the growing demand for single-family homes, the Osias Organization, headed by Colonel Nathan Rood, who was also the first appointed Mayor, purchased most of the land and began the development of North Lauderdale proper. In April 1969, by straw vote, Michael Saraniero became the City’s first elected Mayor.