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Stately Star Island Home of the Man Who Brought Carl Fisher to Miami Beach at Risk of Demolition

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The owners of 44 Star Island Drive, the home of John H. Levi, the man who brought Carl Fisher to Miami and later became the Mayor of Miami Beach, is up for demolition. In March, the Miami Beach Design Review Board will hear the application of the owner, Shay Kostiner, who wants to do exactly what happened to its historic neighbor two doors down and replace it with an entirely new mansion.

Carl Fisher, father of Miami Beach and the city's master developer, first came to Miami to pick up his yacht. The man delivering it to him was John H. Levi, a marine engineer, whom Fisher had first planned to rendezvous with in Jacksonville. Levi stopped in Miami first, liked what he saw, and telegrammed Fisher "Arrived safely. Miami pretty little town. Why not meet here instead of Jacksonville. John."

Fisher loved it, bought a house on Brickell Avenue, and soon heard about a man named John Collins who was building the world's longest wooden bridge out to the uninhabited (except for a bathing pavilion or two) spit of land out in the bay, but had run out of money halfway across. Fisher helped finish the bridge, starting dredging up bay bottom to create more real estate, thus building Miami Beach with the help of Levi, and boom, Levi built this house. Levi would also become the Mayor of Miami Beach, and the only Mayor of Miami Beach to ever appear on the cover of Time Magazine.

· Save 44 Star Island []