Lido Isle (mistakenly Lido Island) is a man-made island located in the harbor of Newport Beach, California. Surrounded by the city, Lido Isle was incorporated as part of Newport Beach in 1906. At that time it was part sandbar and part mudflat. There are no commercial facilities on the island other than a small snack bar open in the summer, and its only link to the city is a small bridge. The man-made island is solely residential with approximately 1,800 people living on the island.
In 1904 Henry Huntington became a partner with William Collins in the Newport Beach Company. In exchange for extending the Pacific Electric Railway to Newport Beach, Huntington received 250 acres (1.0 km2) and a 100-foot (30 m) wide right-of-way for the railway. A mudflat was included in addition to the other land given Huntington. This mudflat became known as Electric Island, Pacific Electric Island, and finally Huntington Island.
In 1923, Huntington Island was purchased from Pacific Electric by W. K. Parkinson for $45,000. Parkinson, a former conductor on the Pacific Electric, made his fortune from land investments when oil was discovered near Bakersfield. Parkinson spent more than a quarter-million dollars dredging the harbor and using the fill to raise the isle more than ten feet above the high tide line. The Griffith Company was hired to build seawalls, a bridge, piers and roads.
The new development was one of the first master planned communities in California and was conceived to resemble a European resort. Parkinson envisioned the space as a resort similar to those in the Mediterranean. After dredging the island was renamed Lido Isle in homage to Lido di Venezia near Venice. As a master-planned development, the community was one of the first in Southern California to be built with underground utilities.
As part of the Mediterranean-theme the development was built with streets named after many Mediterranean cities, including Barcelona, Genoa, Nice and Ithaca. The names of the two main streets, Via Lido Nord and Via Lido Soud, also reflect this theme. Most homes are built in a Mediterranean Revival Style architecture, but there are some Cape Cod and modern style homes as well.
Lido Isle Club House
The geographic and social center of this “semi-private” community is the Lido Isle Club House, which hosts many community clubs and organizations, including the Lido Isle Yacht Club, and includes a snack bar and bay beach. All property owners must pay an annual assessment, and all residents are Community Association members. The island plays a big part in the annual Newport Christmas Boat Parade.
Lido Isle Yacht Club
The Lido Isle Yacht Club was founded in 1928, though it did not fully organize until 1947. The club’s burgee is a combination of the white burgee with red St. George’s Cross of the Royal Yacht Squadron and blue fouled anchor of the South Coast Corinthian Yacht Club. Its mission has been to educate young sailors and provide activities to the people of Lido Isle. The Southern California Yachting Association granted membership to the club in 1948, and it was admitted to the Yacht Racing Union of Southern California in 1965.
August 14, 2015