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Text, photos and audio for Casa Rio now on Otocast


Casa Rio is the latest historic structure to be added to the Fort Myers Guide on Otocast, the free mobile phone app that the City of Fort Myers has installed to acquaint the public with its artistic and historic points of interest. Located at 2424 McGregor Boulevard, Casa Rio is a two-story masonry Mission Spanish Colonial Revival-style home that’s a tribute to an earlier era.

Casa Rio or River House was built beginning in 1925 by wealthy Wisconsin paper manufacturer C.W. Stribley. Although he only had a sixth grade education, he was recognized as both an innovator and mechanical genius. Working his way up the ranks of the Thilmany Pulp & Paper Company, Stribley initiated groundbreaking safety and energy use measures. But his greatest contribution to Thilmany product development was the production of wax paper for general use and an effective watermarking technique for checks.

In the course of his business dealings, Stribley met Thomas Edison, who invited C.W. to visit Seminole Lodge, which Stribley did in 1923. He was so impressed with Fort Myers’ subtropical clime and physical beauty that he purchased four acres on the river adjoining Henry Ford’s estate. He then hired the most prominent architects in Wisconsin to design the Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival home that Dallas businessman John Carbona completely restored after he purchased the property in 2000. The Otocast audio provides further details and historical information about Casa Rio and its various occupants over the years.

If you are new to Otocast, the app is free and available for download in your phone’s app store and on Google Play. Otocast works through geo-location mapping. Users don’t need to know anything about an artwork or historic building they happen upon. There’s no need to look for a plaque or QR Code.  Simply tap on the app and the guide automatically comes up, providing access to an array of information about the historic building you’re looking at.

The app will also identify other public artworks and historic points of interest that are located nearby.

In addition to the 17 historic points of interest now on Otocast, the Fort Myers Guide also contains narrative, photos and audios for 49 murals and 30 other artworks scattered about town.

By virtue of its audio component, Otocast is like having your very own tour guide who knows all the facts, figures and inside stories about the artworks and historic buildings you see. In fact, in the other towns and cities where Otocast is already in use the app serves as a platform for self-guided audio tours that encourage exploration and discovery, helping people gain a better appreciation of their cultural legacy. This feature is particularly useful in a town like Fort Myers, where many of the century-old buildings and pieces in the city’s public art collection encapsulate tales about the pioneers who built a rough-and-tumble cow town out of the remnants of an old wooden frontier outpost in the years following the end of the Civil War.

Otocast currently hosts guides containing in excess of 4,500 points of interest in more than 200 cities in 90+ countries.

Watch this space for more articles on the historic points of interest that are already live and that will be added to Otocast in the coming weeks. For more information, please contact the City of Fort Myers’ Office of Communications and Public Affairs.

Visit the Fort Myers Guide on Otocast here.

February 11, 2024.




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