Located in the harbor of Newport Beach, the man-made island of Lido Isle is home to approximately 1,800 people. With no commercial facilities other than a small snack bar this is open in the summer, Lido Isle provides its residents with peaceful surroundings coupled with amazing views.
Lido Isle History
Once part sandbar and part mudflat, Lido Isle was developed for solely residential purposes. The process began in 1904 when Henry Huntington became a partner with William Collins in the Newport Beach Company. As part of the deal, Huntington received 250 acres and a 100-foot wide railway right-of-way in exchange for extending the Pacific Electric Railway to Newport Beach.
A mudflat, which would ultimately become known as Huntington Island, was included in the deal. The island was later purchased by W.K. Parkinson for $45,000 in 1923. He spent more than a million dollars dredging the harbor and using the fill to raise the isle to ore than ten feet above the high tide line. He then hired the Griffith Company to build a bridge, roads, piers and seawalls. The result was one of the first master-planned communities in California, which Parkinson envisioned as something resembling a European or Mediterranean resort.
In keeping with the Mediterranean theme, many of the streets within the community were named after Mediterranean cities such as Nice, Barcelona, Genoa and Ithaca. The two main streets, Via Lido Soud and Via Lido Nord, also reflect this theme, as does the architecture of most of the homes. While there are some Cape Cod and modern style homes, most are in a Mediterranean Revival Style architecture.
Once the new island was developed, it was renamed Lido Isle as a nod to Lido di Venezia near Venice. Not only did the community offer lovely views, but it was also one of the first communities in Southern California to be built with underground utilities.
Lido Isle Amenities
With only one small bridge linking Lido Isle to Newport Beach, there is only one way in and out of the community. Nonetheless, residents do not have to travel far to enjoy the numerous retail establishments, restaurants, beaches and other amenities found in the city.
While the island itself does not have commercial facilities, it is home to the Lido Isle Club House and the Lido Isla Yacht Club. The Lido Isle Club House serves as the social center for the semi-private Lido Isle community. In addition to hosting many community clubs and organizations, the club house also features a snack bar and bay beach. Residents of Lido Isle must pay an annual assessment and all residents are Community Association members.
Founded in 1928, the Lido Isle Yacht Club did not fully organize until 1947. One year later, the Southern California Yachting Association granted membership to the club. In 1965, it was also admitted to the Yacht Racing Union of Southern California. The mission of the yacht club is to educate young sailors while also providing activities for residents of Lido Isle to enjoy.