Seeming to foat above Biscayne Bay’s shallow seagrass beds, Stiltsville has a colorful history that dates back to the 1930s, when “Crawfish Eddie Walker” built the first shack on stilts above the water. Over the years more buildings were constructed, and the area took on an aura of mystery. Accessible only by water, the area was the place to see and be seen when visiting the winter resorts on nearby Miami Beach. Stories of illegal alcohol and gambling led to several police raids on the Bikini Club and Quarterdeck Club. At its peak in 1960, there were 27 structures on the flats, but hurricanes, fires and the ravages of being in such an exposed place made every building relatively short-lived.
In 1985, the bottom land on which the stilt structures sit was deeded by the State of Florida to the Federal Government as part of Biscayne National Park. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew left only seven buildings standing, none of which existed during the area’s heyday.
In 2003, an agreement was reached to establish a non-profit organization called the Stiltsville Trust. The agreement is intended to preserve the structures so they can help showcase the richness of the the park’s marine resources. The park has a cooperative agreement with the Trust to rehabilitate the buildings and support educational and interpretive services.
Public access to the structures themselves is by permit only. Please contact the Stiltsville Trust for permit details.
Information from: https://www.nps.gov/bisc/learn/historyculture/stiltsville.htm
CUA / acknowledgment of risk
National Park Service (NPS) policy allows concessioners and CUA holders providing required/authorized services to warn or advise visitors of the risks associated with a certain activity or event, but does not allow operators to have visitors sign a waiver of liability statement, insurance disclaimer and/or indemnification agreement. These forms are most often found in outfitter and guide type activities, or equipment rental operations, but are not limited to activity-based concession contracts.
The acknowledgement of risk, which is permitted, in effect allows visitors to assume responsibility for their own negligence which may result in bodily injury, death, or loss of personal property. In addition, it describes the inherent risks of the activity, and warns visitors of those risks. The waiver of liability, insurance disclaimer and/or indemnification agreement, which is not permitted, states that the visitor releases the operator from all responsibility in the event of visitor bodily injury, death, or loss of personal property, often regardless of whether the operator was negligent. NPS policy states that operators cannot require visitors to waive their right to hold concessioners, CUA holders or the government responsible for actions.