Now here's a solution to overcrowding. During the early 1930s, several Miami residents built floating homes in Biscayne Bay, where renting an acre's worth of water space cost a mere dollar. Residents built their houses on atop pilings. Some people even constructed sharkproof swimming pools by enclosing small areas with underwater fences. At its peak, the Biscayne Bay neighborhood boasted 27 houses, which were used a summer getaways and fun places for dinners and fish-frys.
Sadly, the idea never really caught on, and the neighborhood went into decline once the novelty wore off. Its location 10 miles from the downtown Miami shores meant that residents had no access to electricity. They needed to transport their own light sources to stay there at night. Exposure to the elements and the susceptibility to hurricanes took their toll on the buildings, and eventually their number dwindled to seven. These days, the area is called Stiltsville, and the buildings are owned by the National Park Service.
Read the full story in "Floating Homes"