historic arches in Ormond Beach

The Story Behind the Calle Grande Historic Arches

Driving around Volusia County, we found these beautiful, romanesque ruins. At first, I was in complete awe with the mere thought that this beautiful structure was just standing there. I didn’t know what they were. Or why they were abandoned. I later learned that the ruins were once in discussion to be demolished. Which I thought was super sad because they are so pretty! But after a car crash damaged one of the columns, county officials said they were looking into possible restoration of the historic arches in Volusia County.

historic arches on calle grande Rio Vista on the Helifax
If you take a look at the left side of this picture, you will see the steps next to the canal. These would’ve lead you to the gondolas.

These historic arches on Calle Grande in Ormond Beach, were built back in 1924. They were meant to be the entrance way to Rio Vista Resort, a mediterranean-style development also known as Rio-Vista-on-the-Halifax and The Riviera Hotel. Today, the former hotel is now an assisted living facility. The Riviera Country Club is also right alongside the arches.

Development Plans for Rio Vista on the Halifax and the Riviera Hotel. Photo: Holly Hill, Florida

The columns were built as a replica of roman ruins, and painted to look like marble. They even had toga-clad statesmen built above the arches. Ironically, they are now real ruins of its own. These historic arches are probably the most notable structure of what’s left from the development. What was once the dream of Ohio developer William Collins Hardesty, was never built due to the Great Depression. I have no doubt it would’ve been a beautiful place!

The toga-clad statesmen build above the arches.

Details of the Ruins

Although abandoned, the ruins still remain very picturesque. The columns still have a beautiful marble like color and most of them remain pretty much intact. Once you enter Calle Grande, you pass through the arches, which are visible on both sides of the road. Since the arches were also meant to be the launching point for gondola rides, you will notice how the structure leads you the canal.

historic arches with mediterranean-style
The beauty of the 1924 historic arches of Calle Grande in Ormond Beach, FL.

Another detail that caught my attention is that not all of the columns are completed with an arch. I wonder if that’s the way it was meant to be. Or if it’s just where they had to leave it when the plans were put in halt. What do you think?

There are many historic ruins near Daytona Beach. But I have to say that the story behind these arches makes them quite amazing.

historic arches of calle grande

How to Get There

Address: 365-399 Calle Grande St, Ormond Beach, FL 32174

📍Get directions

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1924 Historic Arches in Ormond Beach

NOTICE: In the midst of what’s going on around the world, we encourage you to practice social distancing and to adhere to all safety protocols. We do not expect you to visit these places right now, and we are not, in any way, encouraging you to do so. We do, however, choose to continue sharing the beautiful places that we have been able to visit thus far, as proud supporters of local travel. Take notes and have these destinations on hand for your future travels!

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About Author

Outdoor travel blogger, photographer, and Vampire Diaries obsessed. I'm passionate about hiking, and exploring the outdoors is an essential part of my life. I also love the ocean and warm sunny days.

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