Land originally a Native American Calusa settlement hundreds of years ago, became home to the original fort of Fort Myers housing soldiers in the mid-1800s. In 2003, after a long history the past was blended with the future by restoring the building to its original magnificence, while creating a modern arts facility. Today, the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in downtown Fort Myers continuously strives to provide world-class arts programming and events to the community and is host to a broad range of events that include film, fashion, music and art.
What began as part of a 19th century plan to help protect the southeastern coast of the United States, became Ft Zachary Taylor or just "Fort Zach" for short. During the Civil War, the Union actually seized control of the fort, to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Confederate Army. Originally the fort was completly surrounded by water, with just a small walkway connecting it to the rest of Key West. The fort was completed in the late 1860's, though the upper level was destroyed in 1889 to make way for newer weaponry. The old cannons were then buried within the new outside wall, so that they could save on building materials.