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Wilton Manors, Florida
Incorporated City of Wilton Manors
Wilton Manors City Hall in 2010.
Wilton Manors City Hall in 2010.
Nickname(s): 
The Island City
Location of Wilton Manors in Broward County, Florida
Location of Wilton Manors in Broward County, Florida
U.S. Census Map
U.S. Census Map
Country  United States
State  Florida
County Logo of Broward County, Florida.svg Broward
Settled (Colohatchee Settlement) Late 1800s – Early 1900s
Incorporated (Village of Wilton Manors) May 13, 1947
Incorporated (City of Wilton Manors) May 13, 1953
Government
 • Type Commission-Manager
Area
 • Total 1.97 sq mi (5.10 km2)
 • Land 1.97 sq mi (5.10 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)  0%
Elevation
9 ft (2 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 11,426
 • Density 5,800.00/sq mi (2,239.70/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
33305, 33306, 33311, 33334
Area code(s) 954, 754
FIPS code 12-78000
GNIS feature ID 0293390

Wilton Manors is a city in Broward County, Florida, United States. As of the 2020 census, the city had a population of 11,426. Wilton Manors is part of the Miami metropolitan area, which was home to 6,166,488 people at the 2020 census.

History

City Hall on Wilton Drive
Wilton Manors City Hall

In the early twentieth century the area now known as Wilton Manors was known as Colohatchee. A train stop along the Florida East Coast Railroad near the current NE 24th Street shared that name. The name Wilton Manors was coined in 1925 by Ned Willingham, a Georgia transplant and land developer. Wilton Manors was incorporated in 1947.

The city is home to a sizable LGBT population as well as winter vacationers, who frequent its many nightclubs and gay-owned businesses along the main street, Wilton Drive; the 2010 U.S. Census reported that it is second only to Provincetown, Massachusetts in the proportion (15%) of gay couples relative to the total population (couples as reported to the U.S. Census). It contains a large Pride center, the World AIDS Museum and Educational Center, and a branch of the Stonewall National Museum & Archives, whose main facility is in neighboring Fort Lauderdale. The mayor, Gary Resnick, refers on his official biography to his male partner. While most of the gay guesthouses are to be found in neighboring Fort Lauderdale, a growing number are being established in Wilton Manors. A city web page highlights LGBT life in Wilton Manors, stating that "the City of Wilton Manors Police Department conducts police training that is geared toward working with the City’s LGBT population and has gay and lesbian officers amongst its ranks." All members of the city commission are LGBT, with the exception of Vice Mayor Scott Newton.

Wilton Drive is the equivalent of "Main Street" in Wilton Manors. Over the past twenty years, the Wilton Drive corridor has undergone an economic transformation. Formerly a sleepy street lined with small retail shops, Wilton Drive is now the city's arts and entertainment district, home to numerous restaurants, bars, shops, condos and rental developments that have blossomed over the last decade. Many of the businesses in the arts and entertainment district are LGBT-owned and/or operated, and "The Drive" has become a local, regional, and national destination for LGBT tourism.

Another example of the economic revitalization in Wilton Manors is the Highland Estates neighborhood, which is bordered by NE 26th Street on the south, Dixie Highway on the east, the North Fork of the Middle River on the north, and NE 6th Avenue on the west, was significantly transformed in the decade from 1995 - 2005 from a blighted area to an upscale neighborhood with multiple new modern townhouse developments. Citywide real estate prices increased with, and even ahead of, the national trend in the years of the expansion of the housing bubble (2000-2007). In 2007, the city's taxable property values topped $1.26 billion, according to the Broward County Property Appraiser's office. Again following the national trend as the housing bubble burst, Wilton Manors real property taxable values fell 36% from 2007 through 2011. An upward trend in valuesv resumed in 2012 and has continued through the present. In 2014 the increase in Wilton Manors real estate values of 10.1% led Broward County. This was followed by another increase of 8.6% in 2015, with taxable values now at $1.30 billion and total assessed market values at $1.64 billion.

Wilton Manors is home to several recreational facilities, the largest of which are Hagen Park, Richardson Historic Park and Nature Preserve, and Island City Park Preserve. Other Wilton Manors parks include Donn Eisele Park, Snook Creek Park and Boat Ramp, and Colohatchee Park, a 9.3 acres (38,000 m2) recreational facility complete with a boardwalk for nature observation, a dog park, and a boat ramp for watercraft entry. In addition, there are several pocket parks throughout the city. Another major city park is Mickel Field, which was traditionally a busy hub for local baseball and softball leagues. At the request of the surrounding neighborhood residents, Mickel Field underwent a significant renovation and re-opened in the summer of 2015 with new walking trails, fitness station, picnic and performance pavilion, and other new facilities more in tune with the needs of current residents.

Wilton Manors' first library opened on June 24, 1957, as a project of the Jayceettes and staffed by volunteers. "The city took over the library in August 1958... and moved the library to the original city hall. In 1960, the building was enlarged to double its space." In 2003, construction was completed on a 4,000 sq ft (370 m2) library expansion. This increased the facility's size to 6,500 square feet (600 m2). The library, now called the Richard C. Sullivan Public Library of Wilton Manors, is not a part of the Broward County Library system. It is one of only five municipal libraries in Broward Ccounty. The Richard C. Sullivan Public Library is a heavily used facility. The volunteer organization, Friends of the Wilton Manors Public Library, actively supports the library's collections and programming.

Geography

Wilton Manors is located at 26°9′31″N 80°8′22″W / 26.15861°N 80.13944°W / 26.15861; -80.13944 (26.158712, -80.139516). It is bordered on the north by the North Fork of the Middle River and the city of Oakland Park; to the south, the boundaries include the South Fork of the Middle River and the city of Fort Lauderdale; the eastern terminus of the city limits extends to near Federal Highway (US 1); and the westernmost boundary reaches Interstate 95. Wilton Manors completely surrounds the separately incorporated village of Lazy Lake. Since it is surrounded by water, Wilton Manors has gained the nickname, "Island City."

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.94 square miles (5 km2)*, all land.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1950 883
1960 8,257 835.1%
1970 10,948 32.6%
1980 12,742 16.4%
1990 11,804 −7.4%
2000 12,697 7.6%
2010 11,632 −8.4%
2020 11,426 −1.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Wilton Manors racial composition
(Hispanics excluded from racial categories)
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 7,683 67.24%
Black or African American (NH) 1,130 9.89%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 40 0.35%
Asian (NH) 290 2.54%
Pacific Islander (NH) 4 0.04%
Some Other Race (NH) 68 0.6%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 382 3.34%
Hispanic or Latino 1,829 16.01%
Total 11,426

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 11,426 people, 6,577 households, and 2,042 families residing in the city.

2010 census

Wilton Manors Demographics
2010 Census Wilton Manors Broward County Florida
Total population 11,632 1,748,066 18,801,310
Population, percent change, 2000 to 2010 –8.4% +7.7% +17.6%
Population density 5,942.7/sq mi 1,444.9/sq mi 350.6/sq mi
White or Caucasian (including White Hispanic) 80.8% 63.1% 75.0%
(Non-Hispanic White or Caucasian) 71.2% 43.5% 57.9%
Black or African-American 12.4% 26.7% 16.0%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 12.9% 25.1% 22.5%
Asian 2.2% 3.2% 2.4%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.3% 0.3% 0.4%
Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian 0.0% 0.1% 0.1%
Two or more races (Multiracial) 1.9% 2.9% 2.5%
Some Other Race 2.4% 3.7% 3.6%

As of 2010 there were 7,162 households, of which 12.9% were vacant. In 2000, 18.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 28.4% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 58.0% were non-families. 40.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.06 and the average family size was 2.91.

Education

Primary and secondary schools

Broward County Public Schools operates public schools. Most portions are zoned to Wilton Manors Elementary, while some are zoned to Bennett Elementary School. All residential areas are zoned to Sunrise Middle School, and Fort Lauderdale High School.

In addition the community is in the service area of the magnet school Pompano Beach High School.

There is also an area charter school in Wilton Manors, Somerset Academy Village.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami previously operated the Saint Clement School in Wilton Manors. It opened in the 1950s and closed in 2009. According to Akilah Johnson of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, area parents indicated that St. Ambrose School in Deerfield Beach and St. Jerome's Catholic School in Fort Lauderdale would take most of the students who could not go to Saint Clement anymore.

Libraries

Wilton Manors' first library opened on June 24, 1957, as a project of the Jayceettes and staffed by volunteers. "The city took over the library in August 1958... and moved the library to the original city hall. In 1960, the building was enlarged to double its space." In 2003, construction was completed on a 4,000 sq ft (370 m2) library expansion. This increased the facility's size to 6,500 square feet (600 m2). The library, now called the Richard C. Sullivan Public Library of Wilton Manors, is not a part of the Broward County Library system. It is one of only five municipal libraries in Broward County. The Richard C. Sullivan Public Library is a heavily used facility. The volunteer organization, Friends of the Wilton Manors Public Library, actively supports the library's collections and programming.

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