Earnest Oakley Hunt was the force behind the Placid Tower in Placid Lake, Florida. He moved from Colorado to Orlando in 1938. He then moved to Sebring, Florida in 1947. It was about this time that he found a location for his observation tower in Lake Placid, Florida.
12 years later, Hunt and his partner and his partner Robert Gray formed Air View Corporation with the sole goal of building an observation tower. The tower was designed by Lakeland architect A. Wynn Howell. It was built by Ridge Builders (a Hunt and and Gray Company) in 1960.
The Tower was constructed with nearly 100,000 concrete blocks. It was 240 feet tall. Placid Tower opened on January 1, 1961. There was a gift shop and a snack bar at the base of the tower. The Chamber of Commerce was adjacent to the gift shop.
In the late 1960’s, the tower was renamed The Happiness Tower and Tower of Peace. The tower closed in 1982 due to financial issues. It reopened 1986, but it still had poor ticket sales. To generate more sales, a petting zoo was added and a pay phone was installed at the top of the tower. The last owner to operate the tower ran it from 1992 to 2003.
The tower was sold to CHL Tower Group on 11/6/2003. It has been operated as a cell tower ever since.