Stiltsville Documentary Premieres on Public Television

Two of the seven Stiltsville buildings against a brilliant blue sky.
Stilts in the Sun

Brian Call

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News Release Date: August 18, 2010

Contact: Gary Bremen, 305-230-1144, x007

Stiltsville: Generations on the Flats, a half-hour documentary about the iconic community of stilt buildings in Biscayne National Park, will premiere on WLRN Channel 17 at 7:00 pm on August 22, 2010, with several rebroadcasts that week. The piece is the work of Emmy-nominated producer Debra Hall-Greene, and has been hailed by renowned historian Paul George as "the most comprehensive documentation of Stiltsville on video to date."

It was the early 1930s. Miami was still a young city, and a community was starting to spring up in the most unlikely of places: the middle of Biscayne Bay. Bait shops. Speakeasies. Gambling halls. Back then it was known as "The Shacks." Today, we know the buildings as Stiltsville.

The story of Stiltsville is a story of survival. Over the course of nearly a century, the structures battled storms and Washington politicians to stay afloat. First built on barges in the late 1920s, it was an icon of the Miami of yesteryear, dominated by white, southern fishermen. Elite, and out of reach, these fishermen set up shop off the coast of Miami's shores. Over the years, generation after generation has made Stiltsville its own, shaping and reshaping the structures as the rest of Miami developed back on shore.

Meet the Stiltsville historians, caretakers, and families on this journey of intrigue, triumphs, and modern day struggles. Hear stories of the last seven homes, still standing against all odds. Watch as a Miami community of the past is revealed in the stories of those trying desperately to preserve Stiltsville for future generations on the flats.

For more information on the documentary Stiltsville: Generations on the Flats, write WLRN's Special Projects Manager Adrienne Kennedy at, or call her at 305-995-2256. For more details about Stiltsville or Biscayne National Park, visit the park's website or call 305-230-7275. For regular updates from the park, follow us on Twitter at

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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