About Hacienda / The History of the Blue Seas Courtyard
Marc, Cristie and Granddaughters, Natalie & Hailey
How It All Began
The original Blue Seas was built in 1946 and included six units with a separate house on the property. Six additional units were added in 1968 for a total of 12. Seaside properties in those early days were built especially well. Thick beamed roofs and solid plaster walls kept the buildings standing during hurricanes. Although the Blue Seas had a rock solid foundation it needed some work in the character department as you can see in this early photos from the 1950's and 60's.
Things Began to Change...
when Marc and Cristie entered the picture in 1971. Marc was from Long Island and Cristie from Michigan and, as fate would have it, they met on El Mar Drive right in front of the Blue Seas Courtyard! They fell in love and eventually moved into efficiency #3, marrying in 1974. Marc and Cristie managed the Blue Seas for Marc's parents for 12 years until they saved up a down payment to make the property their own.
Let's Get to Work!
Their first order of business was to clean up the yard and start
the paint projects. To the right is a photo of the "cleaned-up"
Blue Seas in 1972. You will notice there is no swimmming pool
anywhere to be found. That was a major problem and became
their first big priority. Marc and Cristie designed and sub-
contracted this project and soon
their beautiful new pool was a
reality. The clay brick deck was a
departure from the typical white
cement decks and became the
early inspiration for the terra
cotta, Mexico theme that developed over the years to come.
Out with the Old and In with the New
Over the decades original wood crank windows were replaced by bronze windows and the flat white tile roof by exquisite clay barrel tile from Venezuela. The once-popular shuffle board court was removed to put in a lattice privacy fence which provided a decorative background to design a courtyard garden. Carpeting was replaced with Mexican saltillo tile and the plain white hotel walls were bust into color with faux paint and hand-stencelling. The original Blue Seas Courtyard was in the decades long process of being transformed into the charming Mexico-style hacienda it is today.
A Seaside Oasis Amidst a Concrete Jungle
As the rest of the South Florida Gold Coast overdeveloped the beachfront, Lauderdale by the Sea chose to preserve the Old Florida charm and quaintness that visitors have been enjoying since the 1940's. Thanks to active local residents, no hi-rises were allowed to be built that block our precious ocean vistas. This gave the Town's original small resorts, such as the Blue Seas Courtyard, the opportunity to be preserved and thoroughly renovated - offering guests the best combination of an old-fashioned Florida style beach vacation combined with today 's modern ammenities.
Lauderdale by the Sea's Foremost Preservationists
Marc and Cristie have been in the forefront of preserving the unique character of Lauderdale by the Sea for decades. They have held elective office and served on Town Boards, spearheaded referendum drives to preserve low-rise height limits, formed citizens organizations dedicated to preserving the town's small town quality of life and worked to support preservation-minded candidates in every
local election since 1972.