75th Anniversary Fort Harrison
75th Anniversary Fort Harrison
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> 75th Anniversary Celebration
> The Fort Harrison
> 1926: The Dream Becomes A Reality
> 1927: “The Aristocrat of Florida Hotels”
> 1930s: Gracious Living in Difficult Times
> 1940s: Wartime and Beyond
> 1950s: Years of Growth and Prosperity
> 1960s: A Decade of Change
> 1970s
> 2002: Into the Future
> You Are Always Welcome


“Along Florida’s Gulf Coast, the Fort Harrison Hotel is regarded as a symbol of good and gracious living.

“Eleven stories in height, this beautiful edifice is outlined for miles up and down the coast...the balconied roof gardens overlook the islands and waters of Clearwater Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Beautiful lobbies, palm gardens and terraces atop the hotel, mezzanine lounge and writing rooms opening on broad tiled balconies, dining rooms ...all furnished luxuriously, these will delight you at the Fort Harrison.”

— From a Fort Harrison Hotel brochure, circa 1930

The Fort Harrison

image01 T
he Fort Harrison is the Grande Dame of downtown Clearwater. For the past three quarters of a century it has ruled as the city’s most recognizable landmark and a center for its social life. The rooftop restaurant and ballroom has catered hundreds of benefits, weddings, cotillions, high school proms, dinner parties and orchestral performances over the years. Clearwater citizens of all generations still fondly remember those occasions as a special part of their lives.

The Fort Harrison has also been the focal point for a variety of activities that have helped shape Clearwater’s history and heritage. It established a new standard for hostelries in Florida when it first opened and maintained that atmosphere of luxury and fine living throughout the bleak depression years. During World War II, the hotel billeted the 588th Army Airborne Squadron, hosting benefits and shows in aid of the war effort. The Fort Harrison was for many years the springtime home of the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team, and later embraced touring entertainers from the Rolling Stones in the 1960s, to jazz legends such as Count Basie and Harry James in the 1970s.

image01 In many ways, the history of the Fort Harrison mirrors that of Clearwater. And today, the building remains a monument to what makes our city so loved - its hospitality, beautiful surroundings and a tradition of gracious living.

Since 1975, the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization has been proud caretaker of this important landmark. Over the last two decades, the hotel was restored to its original splendor and beyond, from its lobby and restaurants, to well-maintained grounds, the auditorium, cabanas and the stunning Crystal Ballroom. And future plans will make the Fort Harrison more beautiful still, with expanded facilities for community use. It is a place where visitors are always welcome to come and experience a part of Clearwater’s colorful past.

On the 75th Anniversary of the Fort Harrison, it is our pleasure to present to you this brochure, chronicling in words and pictures some of the milestones in the history of this most famous of Clearwater landmarks.

— Church of Scientology
Flag Service Organization

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