This item has been sold, but you can enter your email address to be notified if another example becomes available, or purchase a digital scan.

1926 Walter C. Hardesty Planning Map of the utopian Rio-Vista, Florida

Rio Vista on the Halifax Florida. - Main View

1926 Walter C. Hardesty Planning Map of the utopian Rio-Vista, Florida


A utopic Florida resort community.



Rio Vista on the Halifax Florida.
  1926 (undated)     15 x 31 in (38.1 x 78.74 cm)     1 : 3000


This is the original published c. 1926 promotional plan for Walter Collins Hardesty's ambitious development Rio-Vista-on-the-Halifax. Rio-Vista was a planned resort community located on the east coast of Florida between Daytona and Oromond, Party of what is today Holly Hill. Although it never materialized, this plan encapsulates the grandeur and lavish excess of Pre-1929 Florida.
The Dream of Rio-Vista
Hardesty was an Ohio developer and furniture maker eager to cash in on the 1920s Florida land boom. He acquired a 1200-acre lot on the intercoastal Halifax River where he planned a utopic summering community billed as 'old world charm with new world comfort.' Consulting with Cleveland landscape architect Albert Davis Taylor, and engineer Frederick Swineford, Hardesty laid out plan calling for a grand hotel, Venetian style canals complete with gondolas, Romanesque archways and columns, a zoo, a riding academy, polo and hunting clubs - and all of this glory was easily accessed via Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway. Construction got underway in February of 1926 under the guidance of head architect W. D. Clark, known for his golf courses in Chicago. The work progressed significantly and quickly, resulting in a completed street layout, a lavish mansion for Hardesty himself, the grand Riviera Hotel, restaurants like the Monte Carlo Grill, a jazz age piano lounge, and 38 red-tiled villas. The stock market crash of 1929 and a devastating hurricane ended Hardesty's dream. Today, all that remains of Hardesty idyllic community is a partial street grid, a grand hotel (now an assisted living community), and crumbling faux-Romanesque columns with elaborate frieze work.
Publication History and Census
This map was published by Walter C. Hardesty. The layout of Rio-Vista-on-the-Halifax was completed by Albert D. Taylor and Frederick E. Swineford. The map was drawn and designed by Herbert L. Flint. It was printed by the Arnold Printing Company of Jacksonville Florida. Examples are scarce. We are aware of only two others, one of which is located at the Touchton Map Library of the Tampa Bay History Center.


Herbert Lincoln Flint (October 30, 1870 - January 18, 1955) was a Florida based civil engineer, architect, and landscape designer active in Florida during the first half of the 20th century. Flint was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts and married to Carolyn C. Flint (1878 - 19??). Flint worked on Walter C. Hardesty's Rio-Vista development near Ormond Beach, and later for the Florida State Improvement Commission in Tallahassee. He died in Wheeling, West Virginia and is interred in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Learn More...


Very good. Two minor repairs to upper margin. Original fold lines.


Tampa Bay History Center, Touchton Map Library, L2011.070.023.