Join your fellow Everglades Members for a spirited drive to Ava Marie. Have some lunch there and continue the drive. Email Robert Vigorito for route and details.
Ave Maria, Florida is an unincorporated community that was founded in 2005 by Ave Maria Development Company, a partnership consisting of the Barron Collier Companies and the Ave Maria Foundation led by Roman Catholic philanthropist Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza and the leader of Ave Maria University at the time.
Monaghan served as chancellor of Ave Maria University until February 2011. It earned the “Community of the Year” for six consecutive years (2015-2020). In 2020 it broke its previous record for new home sales – selling 507 new homes during the year and ranking 38th on the list of Top Master Planned Communities in the USA. In January 2021 77 new homes were sold in Ave Maria – an all-time monthly sales record for the town.
The town was planned with the large Ave Maria church in the center, the facade of which displays sculptor Márton Váró‘s 30-foot-tall (9 m) sculpture of the Annunciation, depicting the Archangel Gabriel greeting the Virgin Mary with the words “Ave Maria” (Hail Mary).
Váró’s “Good Shepherd” sculpture is also featured inside the Oratory, also carved in marble from Cave Michelangelo in Carrara, Italy.
The building serves as the home of the Ave Maria Catholic Church. One of the oratory’s most distinctive characteristics is its steel structure, much of which is exposed internally and externally. The landmark church received an architectural award from the American Institute of Steel Construction in 2008.
Monaghan has had a significant interest in architecture for more than 50 years and has been one of the world’s largest collectors of the works and memorabilia of Frank Lloyd Wright.
Ave Maria’s location in southern Florida shares the same subtropical wetland ecosystem as the Florida Everglades. It is home to a biodiversity of birds such as Wood Storks, Anhingas, Herons and Hawks.