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Living in

THE OFFICIAL RELOCATION GUIDE

2020-2021 EDITION

HISTORY   n   HOMES   n   HEALTH   n   ARTS   n   PARKS   n   DIRECTORIES


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35 TIME

FROM CENTRAL FLORIDA TO COASTAL VOLUSIA, THE CHARLES CLAYTON CUSTOM HOME COLLECTION REFLECTS YOUR PERSONAL STYLE.

CharlesClayton.com CGC#061392

407.628.3334

Photography ©Cucciaioni Photography, ©CJ Walker 2020


NOW LEASING


PALM HILLS Coming soon to Winter Park’s booming shopping and dining district along U.S. Highway 17-92 is an extraordinary and upscale new destination, brought to you by the developers of Park Hill Townhomes on North Park Avenue. It’s a commercial project that will feature all the design sensibilities you’ll find in Hill Gray Seven LLC’s magnificent custom homes. It will be the gem of what was once called Winter Park’s Million Dollar Mile. Palm Hills will offer 25,000 square feet of luxury dining and retail space. The opportunity exists now to lease space in these stunning new buildings, which are destined to become landmarks. Palm Hills is yet another legacy project from Hill Gray Seven LLC

Leasing Broker: James Mitchell, CBRE

407.404.5024

Hill Gray Seven LLC is a family owned company that develops high-end residential, retail, office, medical an industrial projects in more than 17 states. The company is a preferred developer to many firms such as DaVita Dialysis, a Fortune 500 company. Visit hillgrayseven.com for more company details.


A bird’s-eye view of Winter Park in the 1930s.

Living in

2020-2021 EDITION

Randy Noles EDITOR AND PUBLISHER Theresa Swanson GROUP PUBLISHER/DIRECTOR OF SALES Phyllis M. Miller DIRECTOR OF ADMINISTRATION Kathy Byrd ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER/SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Dena Buoniconti ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER/SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

CONTENTS FEATURES 16 | OUR TOWN

It’s no accident that Winter Park is such a beautiful and gracious city. Its founders planned it that way. By the Editors, photography courtesy of the Rollins College Department of Archives and Special Collections and the Winter Park History Museum 42 | ENLIGHTENING, ENCHANTING, UPLIFTING

“The City of Culture and Heritage” is more than a slogan in Winter Park. By Michael McLeod, photography by Winter Park Pictures/ winterparkpictures.com

COURTESY OF THE WINTER PARK HISTORY MUSEUM

58 | THERE’S ALWAYS BACH

74 | A GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHT

“Winter Park’s Natural Place” is more than pretty and peaceful. It’s also an important ecosystem. By Leslie K. Poole, photography by Rafael Tongol, Laurence Taylor and Bobby Fokidis 82 | ISN’T IT ROMANTIC?

Winter Park is where love is always in bloom alongside the azaleas. By Patricia Letakis 96 | ALL IS WELL

A one-of-a-kind center offers a holistic approach to health and happiness. By Jackie Carlin

DEPARTMENTS 6 | MAYOR’S WELCOME 8 | WINTER PARK CHAMBER WELCOME

64 | THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT

12 | DIRECTORY

10 | FAST FACTS 14 | PARKS AND GARDENS

Theater-loving Winter Park residents don’t have to go far to see a professional musical comedy or a top-notch college production. By Randy Noles, photography by Rafael Tongol and Winter Park Pictures/winterparkpictures.com

66 | ROLLINS COLLEGE GETS ANOTHER 4.0

68 | OUR NEIGHBORHOOD

106 | EVENTS

Fred Rogers, the beloved icon of children’s TV, attended Rollins College, where he was inspired to a life of service. By Jonathan Merritt, illustration by Don Sondag

108 | EDUCATION GUIDE

It’s a short drive to Winter Park’s legendary 9-hole golf course, which is inexorably linked to local history. By Dana S. Eagles, photography by Winter Park Pictures/winterparkpictures.com

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Jackie Carlin, Dana S. Eagles, Michael McLeod, Leslie K. Poole CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Bobby Fokidis, Laurence Taylor, Rafael Tongol Winter Park Pictures/winterparkpictures.com CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Will Setzer/Circle 7 Design Studio Don Sondag, Chip Weston CONTRIBUTING ILLUSTRATORS Marianne Popkins, Ned Popkins, Harry Wessel CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Special thanks to the Winter Park History Museum and the Department of Archives and Special Collections at Rollins College for additional images.

WINTER PARK PUBLISHING COMPANY LLC Randy Noles CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Allan E. Keen CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF MANAGERS Jane Hames VICE CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF MANAGERS Theresa Swanson VICE CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF MANAGERS

The famous Bach Festival of Winter Park perseveres with live and online offerings. By Michael McLeod, photography by Rafael Tongol

70 | TIME FOR 9

Carolyn Edmunds ART DIRECTOR

40 | WHY PEACOCKS? 54 | LIBRARY AND EVENTS CENTER

ON THE COVER: Covers of Winter Park Magazine’s past issues create a tapestry celebrating the city. The artists are (from top right): Stephen Bach, Chip Weston, Henry Peter, Cynthia Edmonds, Tom Sadler, Elizabeth St. Hilaire, Bill Farnsworth, Don Sondag, Ed Feldman, Nancy Vasquez and Jessica DeArcos (Winter Park Pictures), Edie Showalter Fagan, Chip Weston, Stephen Bach, John Costin, Stephen Bach, Edie Showalter Fagan, Clyde Butcher, Elizabeth “Cissy” Barr, Stephen Bach, Elizabeth St. Hilaire, Stacy Barter, Kathleen Denis, Linda Apriletti, Henry Peter, Cynthia Edmonds, Henry Peter, Cynthia Edmonds, Linda Apriletti, Don Sondag, Don Sondag and Bill Farnsworth.

Rick Walsh MEMBER, BOARD OF MANAGERS Michael Okaty, Esq. GENERAL COUNSEL, FOLEY & LARDNER LLP

COMMUNITY PARTNERS Larry and Joanne Adams; The Albertson Company, Ltd.; Richard O. Baldwin Jr.; Jim and Diana Barnes; Brad Blum; Ken and Ruth Bradley; John and Dede Caron; Bruce Douglas; Steve Goldman; Hal George; Michael Gonick; Micky Grindstaff; Sharon and Marc Hagle; Larry and Jane Hames; Eric and Diane Holm; Garry and Isis Jones; Allan E. and Linda S. Keen; Knob Hill Group (Rick and Trish Walsh, Jim and Beth DeSimone, Chris Schmidt); FAN Fund; Kevin and Jacqueline Maddron; Drew and Paula Madsen; Kenneth J. Meister; Ann Hicks Murrah; Jack Myers; Michael P. O’Donnell; Nicole and Mike Okaty; Bill and Jody Orosz; Martin and Ellen Prague; Serge and Kerri Rivera; Jon C. and Theresa Swanson; Sam and Heather Stark; Randall B. Robertson; George Sprinkel; Philip Tiedtke; Roger K. Thompson; Ed Timberlake; Harold and Libby Ward; Warren “Chip” Weston; Tom and Penny Yochum; and Victor and Jackie A. Zollo.

Copyright 2020 by Winter Park Publishing Company LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Winter Park Publishing Company LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without written permission of the copyright holder. Winter Park Magazine is published four times yearly by Winter Park Publishing Company LLC, 201 Canton Avenue, Suite 125B, Winter Park, FL 32789.

FOR GENERAL INFORMATION, CALL: 407-647-0225 For advertising information, call: Kathy Byrd, 407-399-7111; Theresa Swanson, 407-448-8414; or, Dena Buoniconti 407-832-9542


NOW OPEN

EXCEPTIONAL CARE

DESIGNED FOR WOMEN. Introducing the Orlando Health Women’s Pavilion — a new healthcare experience just for women, from Central Florida’s leader in women’s health. At our beautiful new facility conveniently located in the heart of Winter Park, you’ll receive exceptional care — exclusively for women and personalized for your needs — from a team of healthcare specialists who focus on your wellness in the safest environment possible.

Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery | Behavioral Health | Bone Health and Osteoporosis Care Breast Care | Cardiology | Endocrinology | General Surgery | Imaging Services | Internal Medicine Laboratory Services | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Urogynecology

COMING SOON

Adolescent Gynecology | Genetics | Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine Sports Medicine | Weight Loss and Bariatric Surgery

For more information, visit OrlandoHealth.com/WinterPark or call (321) 842-5052. 1111 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, FL 32789


WELCOME TO WINTER PARK W

elcome! Whether you’re new to the area or just relocating within the city, welcome to your new home in Winter Park! The City of Winter Park is well known for many things, including its firstclass shopping and dining experiences along Park Avenue, Hannibal Square, Orange Avenue and other districts. We’re also known for our beautiful chain of lakes, vast parks system, a 9-hole golf course (also known as WP9), extensive tree canopy, popular spring and fall art festivals, Dinner on the Avenue and other exciting annual events. We’re proud to be the home of Rollins College, the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum and the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens. In addition to these and many other venues, in 2021 we’ll cut the ribbon on our new library and events center complex, which is being designed by Sir David Adjaye, the architect behind the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. As a resident, you’ll be pleased to know that we haven’t raised your millage rate since fiscal year 2009, and the city enjoys the third-lowest operating millage rate of any major municipality in Orange County. At the beginning of 2020, we held close to 30 percent of our annual operating expenditures in reserve, so we have cash on hand in case of need. We’re very proud of our city and the high-quality services that we offer to residents, businesses and guests. I hope that we exceed your expectations as you live, work and play in the best city in Florida — Winter Park. For more information about Winter Park, please visit cityofwinterpark.org or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Nextdoor, Vimeo and YouTube. If I can be of service to you in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at sleary@ cityofwinterpark.org. Winter Park Mayor Steve Leary.

Best,

STEVE LEARY Mayor, City of Winter Park

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One One One community. community. community. One One One heart. heart. heart. Thank Thank you, Thank you, customers, you, customers, customers, for your for your kindness. for your kindness. kindness.


PHOTO BY RAFAEL TONGOL (BETSY GARDNER ECKBERT)

CONVENING PEOPLE, IDEAS T he mission of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce is to convene people and ideas for the benefit of our businesses and community. Our goal is to provide leadership by bringing stakeholders together to inform and empower the business community. That has never been more important as we have had to rise to unexpected challenges in recent months. Year after year, our chamber hosts more than 110 events and programs that connect our member businesses to the community. Our team works with each business to match opportunities with the message, budget and timing that are an ideal fit for their organization. We have adapted when necessary to take our events virtual, a move our members and the community have enthusiastically embraced. Our Leadership Winter Park program equips and mobilizes advanced-level leaders and community trustees for Winter Park and our region. It’s a must-do program for those eager to become involved in the decision-making process within the community, as well as for those who have a desire to enhance our quality of life and are already active in local civic or professional organizations. We also host a summertime Youth Leaders program — Central Florida’s premier leadership program for students entering their sophomore, junior or senior years in high school — designed to help participants develop new leadership skills and expose them to opportunities within our community. Our Relaunch: Career Reentry for Professional Women program is designed for women who have taken a pause in their careers and are now ready to go back to work. We help you build your resumé, confidence and network with classes that focus in part on boosting your LinkedIn profile, developing your personal brand and preparing for your job interview. Our political advocacy platform continues to grow. For the second year, as an example, we gathered leaders in the arts and business communities to participate in a statewide meeting of arts-funding advocates in Tallahassee. We met with numerous Central Florida legislators to make them aware of the need for restored arts funding. As we made clear: “Art Is Good Business.” We continue to monitor issues at the city, county and state level for our members. Helping shape the conversation on issues that affect our residents is paramount. We invite residents and guests to support our local businesses and shop local. Our boutiques and bistros are working hard to find ways to adapt responsibly to changing times. Our staff is equipped with many years of collective experience living and working in Winter Park. We’re always excited to leverage those connections to create value and opportunities for our new and established chamber members. Winter Park is unique because it benefits from its adjacency to fast-growing Orlando while retaining its small-town charm and appeal. We know you’ll love Winter Park. And you can count on the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce to connect you to our community. For more information about the organization, including its upcoming events and opportunities, please visit winterpark.org.

BETSY GARDNER ECKBERT President/CEO, Winter Park Chamber of Commerce

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Winter Park Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Betsy Gardner Eckbert.

The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce offers a variety of programs. Among them are Leadership Winter Park (top), in which participants learn about every aspect of civic life and city operations; and Relaunch: Career Reentry for Professional Women (above), which helps women who’ve taken pauses in their careers and are now ready to reenter the workforce.


WINTER PARK FAST FACTS MISCELLANEOUS

Education..............................................$32,951,623 Vehicle Maintenance & Repair.....$24,004,472 Personal Care Products and Services..........................................$18,017,955

Year Founded..................................................... 1881 Year Incorporated............................................ 1885 Logo.............................................................. Peacock Slogan...........The City of Culture and Heritage Size.............. 8.68 Square Miles, or 5,555 Acres Property Tax Millage Rate...................... 4.0923*

PEOPLE Population...................................................... 30,893 Population by Age 0–4..........................................................................4.1% 5–9.........................................................................4.5% 10–14....................................................................... 5.1% 15–24.................................................................... 14.1% 25–34....................................................................11.7% 35–44.................................................................. 10.3% 45–54...................................................................12.5% 55–64...................................................................... 15% 65–74.................................................................... 11.6% 75–84....................................................................6.5% 85–Plus................................................................ 4.4% 18–Plus............................................................... 83.2% Population by Sex Males................................................................. 14,708 Females..............................................................16,184 Population (15-Plus) by Marital Status Never Married................................................. 33.3% Married...............................................................47.6% Widowed............................................................. 7.2% Divorced............................................................. 11.9%

PHOTO BY WINTER PARK PICTURES/WINTERPARKPICTURES.COM

Population by Race/Ethnicity White Alone..................................................... 81.8% Black Alone...................................................... 10.6% American Indian Alone..................................0.2% Asian Alone........................................................... 3% Pacific Islander Alone........................................ 0% Some Other Race Alone.................................1.9% Two or More Races.......................................... 2.5% Hispanic Origin.................................................... 1.1% Population (25-Plus) by Educational Attainment Less than 9th Grade......................................... 1.7% 9th–12th Grade, No Diploma........................2.9% High School Graduate...................................12.2% GED/Alternative Credential........................... 1.5% Some College, No Degree...........................13.7% Associate Degree............................................. 7.5% Bachelor’s Degree..........................................32.2% Graduate/Professional Degree................ 28.4%

HOMES Civilian Population (16-Plus) in Labor Force Civilian Employed..........................................97.4% Civilian Unemployed (Unemployment Rate)...................................2.6% Employed Population (16-Plus) by Industry Number of People in Workforce............13,900 Agriculture/Mining..........................................0.2% Construction......................................................6.6% Manufacturing...................................................4.2% Wholesale Trade............................................... 2.7% Retail Trade........................................................6.8% Transportation/Utilities..................................3.3% Information......................................................... 2.2% Finance/Insurance/Real Estate................. 11.6% Services.............................................................60.0% Public Administration.....................................2.4% Employed Population (16-Plus) by Occupation White Collar....................................................80.6% Management/Business/Financial.............25.1% Professional..................................................... 32.5% Sales.................................................................... 12.6% Administrative Support............................... 10.5% Services............................................................... 11.8% Blue Collar........................................................... 7.5% Farming/Forestry/Fishing.............................0.1% Construction/Extraction...............................2.4% Installation/Maintenance/Repair................. 1.3% Production......................................................... 0.9% Transportation/Material Moving.................2.9% Other Characteristics Have Health Coverage................................. 92.8% Average Commute to Work.......... 21.3 Minutes Average Car Ownership Per Household.........2

CONSUMER SPENDING Shelter................................................. $380,317,453 Healthcare.............................................$117,731,566 Food at Home.................................. $102,186,440 Food Away from Home..................$73,242,768 Entertainment and Recreation.....$65,044,701 Support Payments/Cash Contributions/Gifts in Kind............ $52,011,468 Travel..................................................... $46,293,843 Household Furnishings and Equipment................................. $42,665,682 Apparel and Services.......................$42,633,552

Household Summary Average Household Size................................. 2.16 Number of Families.........................................7,218 Average Family Size.........................................2.88 Housing Unit Summary Total Housing Units..................................... 14,869 Owner-Occupied Housing Units.............. 51.9% Renter-Occupied Housing Units............. 39.3% Vacant Housing Units.....................................8.9% Owner-Occupied Housing Units by Value Less than $50,000..........................................0.7% $50,000–$99,999............................................. 1.2% $100,000–$149,999..........................................1.8% $150,000–$199,999.........................................6.2% $200,000–$249,999....................................... 7.8% $250,000–$299,999.......................................11.3% $300,000–$399,999..................................... 18.3% $400,000–$499,999.....................................13.7% $500,000–$749,999..................................... 15.4% $750,000–$999,999.......................................9.5% $1,000,000–$1,499,999.................................6.6% $1,500,000–$1,999,999.................................2.4% $2,000,000–Plus............................................... 5.1% Median Home Value..................................$419,811 Average Home Value..............................$607,219 Households by Type (2010) One Person...................................................... 36.6% Two or More People..................................... 63.4% Husband-Wife Families............................... 42.5% Related Children............................................. 16.3% Other Family (No Spouse Present).......... 11.9% Multigenerational..............................................1.9% Unmarried Partner...........................................5.8% Households by Size (2010) One Person...................................................... 36.6% Two People...................................................... 35.4% Three People.................................................... 12.8% Four People........................................................9.5% Five People..........................................................4.1% Six People............................................................ 1.2% Seven-Plus People.......................................... 0.4% Households by Tenure and Mortgage Status (2010) Owner-Occupied........................................... 64.5% Owned with a Mortgage/Loan................ 42.5% Owned Free and Clear.................................... 22% Renter-Occupied........................................... 35.5%

*At press time, the city had voted to possibly raise the millage rate by a half point, but the final rate had not yet been set. Check cityofwinterpark.org for the outcome. Information elsewhere on this page is primarily from ESRI, a mapping and data analytics company based in Redlands, California, and the United States Census Bureau. Data refers to 2019 except where indicated otherwise.

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Winter Park's Real Estate Experts FO FO R R OV OV ER ER 39 39 Y YE EA A RS RS

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for for over over 39 39 years. years. Fannie Fannie Hillman Hillman + + Associates Associates is is a a trusted trusted neighbor neighbor whose whose staff staff of of licensed licensed brokers brokers and and sales sales associates associates are are actively actively involved involved in in the the local local community. community.

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DIRECTORY n AdventHealth Winter Park: 200 North Lakemont Avenue; administration, 407-646-7000; emergency department, 407-646-7320.

TIFFANY at the MORSE The Morse Museum houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, including his chapel interior from the 1893 Chicago world’s fair and art objects from his Long Island estate, Laurelton Hall.

n City Clerk: Rene Cranis, 407-599-3277.

n Center for Health & Wellbeing: 2005 Mizell Avenue, 407-644-2492.

follow us on

n Fire-Rescue Department: Chief Dan Hagedorn; 407-599-3299; emergency, 911.

• Creative Design Team • Museum Quality Glass & Matting • Shadow Boxes • Design Consultation • Custom Mirrors • Restoration Services • Ready-Made & • Fine Art Prints Photo Frames & Originals

n Parks & Recreation Department: Director Jason Sealy, 407-643-1613; Farmers’ Market, 200 West New England Avenue, 407-599-3397; Winter Park Tennis Center (privately managed), 1075 Azalea Lane, 407-599-3445; Winter Park Golf Course, 407-599-3419; Winter Park Community Center, 721 West New England Avenue, 407-599-3275; Azalea Lane Recreation Center, 1045 Azalea Lane, 407-599-3395; Lake Island Hall, 450 Harper Street, 407-599-3341; Cemeteries Division, 407-599-3252. n Planning & Community Development Department: Director Bronce Stephenson, 407.599.3665.

In College Park since 1978

n Police Department: Chief Michael Deal; 407-599-3272; emergency, 911.

Family Owned Business

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n City Manager: Randy B. Knight, 407-5993235. n Building & Permitting Services Department: Director George Wiggins, 407-599-3426; automated inspection line, 407-599.3329; permits and licenses, 407-599-3237; Keep Winter Park Beautiful, 407-599-3364; solid waste and recycling (Waste Pro), 407-774-0800.

445 north park avenue winter park, florida 32789 (407) 645-5311 morsemuseum.org

407-422-7692

n City Commission: City Hall, 401 South Park Avenue; 407-599-3399; Mayor Steve Leary, 407-599-3234; Commissioner Sheila DeCiccio, 407-5993234; Commissioner Marty Sullivan, 407599-3234; Commissioner Carolyn Cooper, 407-599-3234; Commissioner Todd Weaver, 407-599-3234.

n Public Works & Electric Utility Departments: Director Troy Attaway, 407599-3242; power outages, 877-811-8700; utilities customer service, 407-599-3220 or 407-599-3280 (Monday–Friday 8 a.m.– 5 p.m.); Lakes Division, 407-599-3546. n U.S. Post Office: 300 North New York Avenue, 407-647-6807. n Water & Wastewater Utilities: Director David Zusi, 407-599-3335. n Winter Park Chamber of Commerce: President and CEO Betsy Gardner Eckbert, 151 North Lyman Avenue, 407-644-8281. n Winter Park Public Library: 460 East New England Avenue, 407-623-3300. n Winter Park YMCA: 1201 North Lakemont Avenue, 407-644-1509.


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PARKS AND GARDENS Winter Park boasts 11 major parks and 14 mini-parks, ranging from large, amenity-packed sites to cozy places tucked away in neighborhoods; from manicured showplaces to a vast botanical garden encompassing wetlands and other untamed natural areas. Here they are: CENTRAL PARK 251 South Park Avenue 407-599-3334 Known as the crown jewel of the city, this 11-acre park in the heart of the vibrant downtown shopping and dining district is the site of many popular annual events, including the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, the Autumn Art Festival and Christmas in the Park. But the beauty of its fountains, rose garden and oak tree canopy make any visit a special occasion. Wheelchair accessible, Wi-Fi enabled. DINKY DOCK Ollie Avenue 407-599-3397 This 1.6-acre park on the shore of Lake Virginia features two docks, boat ramps and a fishing pier. Swimming is also allowed. With grills and picnic tables, it’s an ideal spot for a whole day on the water. Wheelchair accessible. HOWELL BRANCH PRESERVE 1205 Howell Branch Road 407-599-3334 Surrounded by wetlands, this 10.4-acre park offers a boardwalk and observation deck perfect for nature lovers, as well as a fitness trail with exercise stations and a playground. There are also picnic tables and a rental pavilion. Wheelchair accessible. KRAFT AZALEA GARDEN 1365 Alabama Drive 407-599-3334 If Central Park is the city’s crown jewel, then this is its hidden gem. Sometimes referred to as the “secret garden,” this secluded and shady 5.2-acre park on the shore of Lake Maitland features a grand Exedra and even grander cypress trees as well as, of course, azaleas galore. Wheelchair accessible.

LAKE BALDWIN PARK 2000 South Lakemont Avenue 407-599-3334 The whole family can romp and play along the sandy beach of Lake Baldwin — including Fido. This 23-acre park, known locally as “the dog park,” is the only one in the city where man’s best friend may be legally off-leash. A playground, picnic tables, dock and boat ramp complete the fun. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. PARK 1050 West Morse Boulevard 407-599-3334 With a magnificent castle-like playground, this park is certainly fit for a king (or a little prince or princess). The northeast corner is where the Canopy, the city’s new public library and events center, is being built. The park’s 23 acres also include a variety of sports facilities. Lake Mendsen, which features a fountain and a community-built bridge, also provides a tranquil walking path and spots for fishing. A smaller lake — more of a pond, really — known as Lake Rose was formed when a massive sinkhole opened in 1981 and swallowed a home and parts of several businesses along Fairbanks Avenue. Wheelchair accessible. MEAD BOTANICAL GARDEN 1300 South Denning Drive 407-599-3334 A wild, wonderful oasis, this 47.6acre park is known for abundant bird life, natural wetlands and lush foliage. The greenhouse and butterfly garden have recently been revitalized, while the Discovery Barn and community garden encourage all ages to become involved. Boardwalks have been expanded and repaired, and two amphitheaters are available for concerts and special events. Wheelchair accessible.

PHELPS PARK Phelps Avenue 407-599-3334 This 5.9-acre park offers a variety of facilities for all ages, including two large playgrounds, and basketball and tennis courts. With two rental pavilions, it’s especially suited to family get-togethers. Wheelchair accessible. SHADY PARK 721 West New England Avenue 407-599-3275 Located in historic Hannibal Square, next to the Winter Park Community Center, the park features a “spray play” water feature as well as benches and a walking path. Wheelchair accessible. WARD PARK 250 Perth Lane 407-599-3334 Bisected by the popular Cady Way Trail, this park is an athlete’s dream park. Most of the 66.44-acres are dedicated to sports facilities (baseball, soccer and football as well as multipurpose fields). A state-of-the-art, disabled-accessible playground is also on the property. CADY WAY PARK 2525 Cady Way 407-599-3397 (park) 407-740-7956 (pool) Showalter Field, where the Winter Park High School Wildcats play football, is located within this park, which also includes picnic tables, tennis courts, baseball/ softball fields, soccer fields, a playground, a pavilion, a fitness trail, a bike trail, a walking path, a Little League complex and an Olympic-sized pool.

MINI-PARKS Alberta Drive Mini Park, Alberta Drive; Alberta/Cortland Mini Park, Alberta Drive and Cortland Avenue; Alfred J. Hanna Mini Park, Holt and French avenues; Bonnie Burn Mini Park, Bonnie Burn Circle; Fawcett Road Lakefront Mini Park, Fawcett Road; Hooper Mini Park, Orange and Orlando avenues; Jay Blanchard Mini Park, Aloma Avenue and Sylvan Drive; Lake Knowles Mini Park, Lake Knowles Circle; Lake Wilbar Mini Park, Wilbar Circle; Lasbury/Maiden Mini Park, Lasbury Avenue and Maiden Lane; Orwin Manor Mini Park, Orange Avenue; Smiley Mini Park, Phelps Avenue; Sunset/Chestnut Mini Park, Sunset Drive and Chestnut Avenue; Tyree Lane Mini Park, Tyree Lane; Via Bella Mini Park, Via Bella.

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PHOTOS BY WINTER PARK PICTURES/WINTERPARKPICTURES.COM

PHOTOS BY WINTER PARK PICTURES (WINTERPARKPICTURES.COM)

Winter Park boasts an abundance of beautiful places for relaxation and recreation. Shown is the fountain at the McKean arboretum in Central Park on Park Avenue and (below) the iconic Exedra at Kraft Azalea Garden.


OUR

TOWN It’s no accident that Winter Park is such a beautiful and gracious city. Its founders planned it that way.

WINTER PARK PICTURES (WINTERPARKPICTURES.COM)

BY THE EDITORS

The Rose Garden in downtown Winter Park’s Central Park features the Peacock Fountain, a project spearheaded in 2014 by a local Eagle Scout to honor a deceased friend. Also shown are (facing page inset, top to bottom): Park Avenue and Hannibal Square business districts; the Venetian Canal as it approaches the Palmer Avenue Bridge; and Hamilton’s Kitchen at the Alfond Inn.

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LI VI N G IN WIN T ER PA RK 

17


DIGITAL ART BY WILL SETZER/CIRCLE 7 DESIGN STUDIO (RAILROAD STATION) DIGITAL ART BY CHIP WESTON (GROVER)

Florida frontier towns like Winter Park owe their very existence to railroads, which in the 1880s offered vacationers and relocators relatively easy access to the state’s alluring but untamed interior. Trains also allowed local commerce to flourish, providing a means for growers to ship their citrus crops north. A train station of one kind or another has abutted Central Park, in the very heart of the city, since 1882.

The very earth is lyric With red hibiscus bloom; The flame-vine and azalea Are threads on beauty’s loom. The orange trees shed incense Along the common road, Then bow them down in worship Beneath their golden load.

E

dwin Osgood Grover, who rhapsodized so eloquently about Winter Park in the 1930s, was an acclaimed poet and professor of books at Rollins College. Like many Winter Parkers, his roots were in New England. Yet he fell in love with this sophisticated, subtropical paradise, where beauty, education and the arts were celebrated. Grover’s poem, “Lyric Florida,” vividly describes the area as it would have looked during his tenure at Rollins. But it also would have been accurate a half century earlier or a half century later. Winter Park remains lush with foliage and, at certain times and in certain places, the warm air still carries the scent of citrus. It is still a place where a professor and a poet can sip coffee at a sidewalk café alongside a developer, a stockbroker, an activist, an actor or an athlete.

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Founded as a getaway for Northeastern tycoons, today’s Winter Park is considerably more egalitarian than its developers probably expected or intended. Although a Winter Park address carries considerable panache, most residents are not millionaires. The median household income, as of 2019, was $72,540 versus $58,588 in Orange County and $55,462 for the State of Florida. It’s an impressive number, to be sure, but a neighboring community, Windermere in Southeast Orange County, is far ahead at $114,583. Money, however, is not the only measure of a community’s worth. Although Winter Park was advertised as a refuge for “men of means,” early promoters also envisioned a place that was enlightened, welcoming and, to use a more modern term, livable. In that regard, today’s Winter Park remains remarkably true to their vision.

PIONEER DAYS Prior to the 1850s, the area that would become Winter Park had few permanent settlers. A rough-and-tumble character named David Mizell Jr., large family in tow, arrived in 1858 from Alachua County, near Gainesville, and bought an 8-acre tract between present-day Lakes Virginia, Mizell and Berry, where he built a cabin and began farming and raising cattle. Mizell named his homestead, appropriately, Lake View, which was also adopted as the name of the fledgling settlement that formed around it. In 1870,


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The Seminole Hotel (above) opened in 1886 and was, at the time, the state’s largest hotel. Winter Park didn’t yet have a golf course, but the Seminole offered a driving range, as well as tennis courts and a bowling alley. There were two yachts, one of which launched on Lake Virginia and one on Lake Osceola. Two presidents — Grover Cleveland (1889) and Benjamin Harrison (1890) — were among the guests. The original hotel burned to the ground in 1902, and was replaced by a smaller (but no less posh) version in 1912. Loring A. Chase and Oliver Chapman (left) were the entrepreneurs who decided to develop the area into a resort community for “Northern men of means.” A newspaper article called Chapman “cool, quiet, level-headed and judicial in his makeup, but once his mind is made up, he never relaxes his grip until his end is accomplished.” Chase, however, was described as “a rustler, quick to grasp, vigorous to act and relentless in his efforts.”

DIGITAL ART BY CHIP WESTON

Lake View got a post office and a new name, Osceola, in honor of the Seminole warrior who had died in American captivity more than 30 years earlier. In the late 1860s, Mizell was elected to the Orange County Commission and the state Legislature. His eldest son, also named David, was appointed Orange County sheriff, while another son, John, was an Orange County Court judge. The legendary sheriff, who was killed in 1870 while trying to settle a dispute over the sale of two cows, is buried in a small family plot just beyond the entrance to what is now the Harry P. Leu Botanical Gardens in Orlando. Father and son are often confused in local histories, but it is the elder Mizell who was arguably Winter Park’s earliest nonnative pioneer. A few years later, Wilson Phelps of Chicago visited the area and was entranced by its thick woods and shimmering lakes. In 1874 he bought a sizable tract, including a large part of the Mizell homestead, and began selling lots to fellow Chicagoans.

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NORTHERN EXPOSURE The 1880s were pivotal years and saw the reshaping of a haphazard frontier settlement into what today would be called a master-planned community. A major catalyst was completion in 1880 of the South Florida Railroad, which connected Orlando with Sanford and continued through to Tampa. The effort to snare the state’s first post-Civil War rail line was led by developer Edward Henck, one of Longwood’s first settlers and a tireless advocate of the town’s growth. The project was bankrolled by R.M. Pulsifer of Pulsifer & Company, owner of the Boston Herald, whom Henck had personally solicited for support. But it was not Longwood that fired the imagination of Loring Chase, a New Hampshire native who was raised in Massachusetts and lived in Chicago. Harsh winters did not agree with the hard-working real estate broker, whose doctors had advised him to seek a warmer climate to alleviate his chronic respiratory problems. Chase, who first visited the area in February 1881, was particularly smitten by the land surrounding lakes Osceola and Virginia. “Never will the delightful impression of that first visit be obliterated from my mind,” he recalled in a speech 10 years later. “Before me lay these beautiful rolling plains, covered everywhere by majestic pines, forming, not an impenetrable forest but a vast grove through which we could drive our team at will.” The land, although beautiful, was basically wilderness. “Save two faint streaks of iron, over which a box car went slowly once a day between Sanford and Orlando, and a rude platform and two or three windowless cabins of the original homesteaders, no sign of civilization greeted the eye,” Chase recalled. Still, once a real estate man, always a real estate man. Where some saw wilderness, Chase saw a winter resort for wealthy Northerners. “The idea of a town … on this delightful spot took full possession of me,” he said. Chase believed his boyhood friend, Oliver Chapman, would be an ideal partner in such a venture. Chapman, a Massachusetts-born importer of luxury goods, had moved to Florida in 1880 and lived in Sorrento, a small settlement in what is now Lake County. The pair met in Sanford and set out to visit the property, which was then owned by B.R. Swoope, superintendent of the South Florida Railroad. Chapman, like Chase, recognized an opportunity when he saw it. By July 1881 they had formed a company — called, appropriately, Chapman & Chase — which bought 600 acres between present-day lakes Maitland, Virginia, Killarney and Osceola. The cost: $13,000, the equivalent of about $290,000 today. Then, while in the vicinity, they sought validation from none other than Phelps, who had already enjoyed success marketing the area to out-of-staters. Phelps, who undoubtedly saw in Chapman and Chase an opportunity to increase the value of his own investments, could hardly have been more enthusiastic and encouraging. He claimed that, prior to relocating to Central Florida, he was “nearly dead with bronchitis of 30 years standing” as a consequence of living in New York, Ohio and Illinois. In a four-page, handwritten letter dated August 12, 1881, Phelps raved about “the beneficial effects of this climate” and even offered to provide the names of other residents, including Comstock, his neighbor, who would confirm his statements about the area’s health benefits. A one-man chamber of commerce, Phelps, then an energetic 59 years old, also provided Chapman and Chase with an almanac of information, including average year-round temperatures. He described the soil as well-suited for growing citrus, noting that Central Florida was “below the frost line.”

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The land was beautiful and, in his opinion, would continue to rise in value. Their confidence bolstered, the entrepreneurial New Englanders officially named their holdings Winter Park — a logical decision, since they felt that the words “winter” and “park” would be appealing to potential relocators — and quickly had the land surveyed, platted and mapped. Chapman and Chase clearly made an effective team. A newspaper article from 1886 called Chapman “cool, quiet, level-headed and judicial in his makeup, but once his mind is made up, he never relaxes his grip until his end is accomplished.” Chase, on the other hand, was described as “a rustler, quick to grasp, vigorous to act and relentless in his efforts.”

MASTERFUL PLANNING The two promoters, unlike some others touting Florida real estate deals, were genuinely passionate about creating a special place. The town plan, designed by civil engineer Samuel Robinson, included a central park fronted by lots for commercial buildings as well as tracts for schools, hotels and churches. Curved streets radiated out from the town center. Remarkably, the heart of Winter Park today looks very much like the original town plan envisioned that it would. Indeed, Robinson’s work could serve as a template for present-day planners responsible for so-called New Urbanist communities such as Baldwin Park and Celebration. There is, however, one key difference. Establishing a precedent for segregation that would endure for generations, the plan designated a west side tract, dubbed Hannibal Square, for African-Americans. After all, “men of means” would need a labor force to work in their groves, homes and hotels. So, 38 small residential lots were made available to “Negro families of good character.” In fact, Winter Park was a relatively enlightened place, particularly for the Deep South. Many of its early boosters, well-educated Northeastern Republicans, would have held views on race relations that were liberal for the time. In the aftermath of Reconstruction, given the limited options open to them, many displaced former slaves considered it an attractive place to live and work. Chase, especially, strongly advocated education for all races and was outspoken in his belief that African-Americans should be active participants in local government. In 1890, during dedication ceremonies for a school in Hannibal Square, he delivered a speech that would have sounded just as timely during the civil rights movement of the next century. “Knowledge is power,” Chase thundered. “Get knowledge and you shall command the respect of those who would count you out. Then you may stand erect, though your skin may be black, and say, ‘I, too, am a free, intelligent citizen with a thought of my own in my head and a ballot in my hand and I demand recognition and a voice in the management of affairs.” In the meantime, the marketing campaign orchestrated by Chase and Chapman was working. Winter Park’s population grew from about a dozen scattered families in 1881 to more than 600 people by 1884. The first commercial building, a railroad passenger depot, was completed early in 1882, followed by the town’s first hotel, the Rogers House, located on Interlachen Avenue. Park Avenue’s first commercial building came next. The two-story structure, which is still standing at the corner of Park Avenue and Morse Boulevard, housed the Pioneer Store, with John Ergood and Robert White as proprietors. The second floor of the general-merchandise emporium was used for social

In a region that was supposed to be below the frost line, two ruinous freezes — in December of 1894 and February of 1895 — brought temperatures that set historic lows, wiping out citrus groves and devastating the economy. The Winter Park Company felt the sting. It defaulted on loan payments to the estate of Francis Bangs Knowles, who had been the company’s largest shareholder, and surrendered roughly 1,200 lots to satisfy the debt. But by 1914, the citrus industry had come back and Winter Park had its own citrus packing house (facing page).

COURTESY OF THE WINTER PARK HISTORY MUSEUM, COLLECTION OF RICK FRAZEE DIGITAL ART BY WILL SETZER/CIRCLE 7 DESIGN STUDIO (WINTER PARK CITRUS GROWERS)

The following year, Phelps built his own home, a rambling cracker farmhouse that sat in the middle of a 60-acre orange grove hugging the shores of Lake Osceola. Interestingly, part of the Phelps home survives as a wing of the Queen Annestyle Comstock-Harris House, otherwise known as Eastbank, which was built in 1883 by William Comstock, a wealthy grain merchant who also hailed from the Windy City. Eastbank, on Bonita Drive, is today the city’s oldest home, and one of only three listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


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COURTESY OF THE ROLLINS COLLEGE DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS DIGITAL ART BY WILL SETZER/CIRCLE 7 DESIGN STUDIO

When the General Congregational Association of Florida announced plans to found a college somewhere in Florida, competition among cities was intense. An article in the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, at the time the state’s largest city, suggested that it was a bad idea “to locate colleges in out-of-the-way places, and in sparsely settled com­munities.” Nonetheless, Winter Park won — and the inaugural class in 1885 met in the First Congregational Church until campus buildings were constructed the following year.

functions, church meetings and civic gatherings. Consequently, locals soon began referring to the first-floor general mercantile store as Ergood & White and to the building in its entirety as Ergood’s Hall. Shortly thereafter, downtown Winter Park encompassed a bakery, a watchmaker, a saw mill, a wagon factory, an ice house and a combination livery stable and blacksmith shop. Judge Lewis H. Lawrence, a wealthy boot and shoe manufacturer from Utica, New York, sent the first telegraph message from Winter Park on January 1, 1883, to his friend, President Chester A. Arthur. It read, “Happy New Year. First message from office opened here today. No North. No South.” Prominent people began making the trek southward to visit their wealthy friends. One was President Arthur, who visited Lawrence and declared Winter Park to be “the prettiest spot I have seen in Florida.” He had said essentially the same thing about Sanford the day before, but the sentiments likely were sincere. Some stayed and made more enduring civic contributions. Minneapolis businessman Frederick Lyman, who retired to Winter Park in 1882, led the effort to found what is now the First Congregational Church of Winter Park. Congregationalism is a progressive denomination whose New England roots appealed to Winter Park’s substantial Northern contingent. The church’s first pastor, Dr. Edward Hooker, arrived from Massachusetts in 1883 and quickly mobilized an influential flock. Led by Lyman and Hooker, funds were raised to build a sanctuary, the town’s first, on New England Avenue in 1885. Congregationalists, who consider education to be as much a part of their mission as spreading the gospel, founded some of the first colleges in the

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U.S., including Harvard, Yale and Dartmouth. Adhering to that tradition, the Winter Park church and its members, many of whom were driven by both financial and altruistic motives, acted quickly to bring an institution of higher learning, the first in Florida, to their small but ambitious town.

AN EDUCATED GAMBLE The opportunity came in 1884, when the General Congregational Association of Florida met, prophetically, in Winter Park. Among those pushing for a church-related college in Central Florida was a remarkable woman named Lucy Cross, an Oberlin College graduate who lived in Daytona and founded the Daytona Institute for Young Women in 1880. Cross discussed her notion with the Rev. C.M. Bingham, a Congregationalist minister in Daytona. At the assembly, Bingham presented a paper written by Cross on the formation of a college “for the education of the South, in the South.” In it, Cross posed a challenge disguised as a question: “I ask you gentleman to discuss thoroughly the question, ‘Shall an effort be made to found a college in Florida?’” In response, delegates asked Hooker to prepare a report on education in Florida, to be presented at the 1885 annual meeting in Mount Dora. Hooker, who had been appalled at the crudeness and ignorance he had encountered in Central Florida and worried about the role the church should play in “building a wholesome order” in the area, took his assignment seriously. The paper, read by Hooker at the subsequent association meeting in January 1885, was entitled “The Mission of Congregationalism in Florida.” He began


by summarizing what he called “Congregationalism’s Cross Center for Women and Their Allies keeps mission of Christian education.” Then he directly and her name at the forefront in a way that surely forcefully addressed the issue Cross had raised. would have pleased her. No area of the nation, Hooker insisted, was Rollins himself, who ironically never earned a more in need of a college. Europeans had arrived in college degree, attended two annual meetings of Florida 50 years before the Plymouth settlement, he the Board of Trustees before he died in 1887. noted. Why, then, should Florida be so far behind New England? Lyman, not content to rest on his laurels, quickly Hooker also argued that the growth and prosperity set his sights on another opportunity. He approached of Florida depended just as much on education as agChase and offered to buy his holdings through a riculture. Businesspeople from other parts of the councombination of cash and stock in a new entity, the try would not invest in Florida if there were no eduWinter Park Company. Chase, who had bought out cational opportunities for their children, he warned. the ailing Chapman in 1885 for $40,000, agreed. Spurred to action by Hooker’s presentation, the Shareholders in the new Winter Park Company association adopted a resolution agreeing with its included prominent citizens whose names will still premise and appointing a committee of five membe familiar to anyone who drives regularly along the bers, including Hooker and Lyman, to receive “incity’s streets: In addition to Lyman, Chase and Rolducements” for the location of a college. Those inlins, partners included F.G. Webster, William Comducements, it was determined, would be unveiled stock, J.F. Welbourne and Franklin Fairbanks. and evaluated at a special meeting in April. Among the company’s powers were laying out Church leaders then solicited offers from civic roads, buying and building hotels, and “the sole leaders who wanted the institution in their towns. and exclusive right to build, equip, maintain and Among the respondents: Mount Dora, Daytona operate a street railway or railways.” Beach, Jacksonville, Orange City and Winter Park, One of its first acts was to borrow $150,000 where the indefatigable Lyman was already hard at from Francis Knowles, a retired Massachusetts inwork raising funds. dustrialist, to build the 400-room Seminole Hotel, The competition was fierce. An article in the Floria luxurious resort between lakes Osceola and Virda Times-Union in Jacksonville, at the time the state’s ginia boasting steam heat and private bathrooms. largest city, suggested that it was a bad idea “to loThe hotel, which was the largest in the state when cate colleges in out-of-the-way places, and in sparsely it opened in 1886, was served by two yachts — the settled communities.” Perhaps, but Winter Parkers Alice, which launched on Lake Osceola, and the knew that their town would not be an “out-of-thePresident Chester A. Arthur (top), visiting his friend Judge Lewis H. Fanny Knowles, which launched on Lake Virginia. way place” for long, and that a college would boost Lawrence, declared Winter Park to Guests could listen to an orchestra, use the bowling its profile and its prestige immeasurably. be “the prettiest spot I have seen alley or play tennis and croquet. Fishing on the surWhen the association reconvened, it reviewed the in Florida.” Gus Henderson (above), rounding lakes was also a popular pastime. five proposals. Lyman’s and Hooker’s membership on a prominent African-American The Winter Park Company also built a mulethe committee worked to Winter Park’s advantage; they entrepreneur, moved to Winter Park from Lake City in 1886 and founded drawn streetcar line, known as the Seminole Hotel arranged to have their proposal presented last, so they the South Florida Colored Printing & Horse Car, along New England Avenue west to the could gauge the strength of the other inducements. Publishing Company. railroad depot. That first winter season, there were Mount Dora offered cash, lumber and land in a more than 2,300 registered guests. President Grover package valued at $35,564. Jacksonville and Daytona Cleveland visited in 1889, followed in 1890 by President Benjamin Harrison. offered $13,000 and $11,500, respectively, along with tracts of land for a Northern newspapers were taking notice. In an 1896 dispatch headlined campus. Orange City committed about $25,000. “A Bright New England Town in Central Florida,” an unnamed New York Lyman would later write: “As one proposal after another was read, it became Times reporter described Winter Park as “one of the neatest, cleanest and evident to me … that [the] other towns were hopelessly outdistanced, and I prettiest towns in Florida, with street after street lined with handsome, was correspondingly elated but managed to maintain a calm exterior, perhaps modern cottages and larger homes.” even to assume an aspect of gloom, which was misleading,” The scribe, who stayed at the Seminole Hotel and was accorded red-carWinter Park’s offer, which encompassed stock, land and cash in a packpet treatment during his visit, took special pains to mention that Winter age valued at $114,180, shocked its competitors. Some $50,000 of that Park’s homes were painted, unlike those in other Florida cities “where the amount was pledged by Alonzo Rollins, a Maine native who made his foruse of paint is apparently totally unknown.” tune in Chicago selling dyes to woolen mills before retiring to Winter Park As a growing cadre of moneyed Northerners built homes and opened busifor health reasons. nesses, Hannibal Square was becoming a vibrant community in its own right. Competitors howled that Winter Park’s Lake Virginia site was basically a Assisted by the white Congregationalists, a black Congregational church was swamp, prompting delegates to visit and see for themselves before making built in 1884. Methodist and Baptist Missionary churches followed. There a final decision. Three days later, after judging the land to be high and dry, was also an elementary school and a bustling commercial district. the association voted to accept Winter Park’s offer and to appoint 21 charter trustees. Shortly thereafter, the trustees adopted a constitution and bylaws and named the institution for its primary benefactor. One prominent African-American entrepreneur, Gus Henderson, moved Hooker, as he had likely hoped, was appointed the first president of Rollto Winter Park from Lake City in 1886 and founded the South Florida ins College. Cross, who had presented Daytona’s case before the association, Colored Printing & Publishing Company. He became involved in Winter became known as “The Mother of Rollins,” and today the college’s Lucy

THE FORGOTTEN FOUNDER

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DIGITAL ART BY CHIP WESTON (GUS HENDERSON)

MAKING IT OFFICIAL


COURTESY OF THE WINTER PARK HISTORY MUSEUM DIGITAL ART BY WILL SETZER/CIRCLE 7 DESIGN STUDIO

Northern newspapers were enchanted with Winter Park, describing it in an 1886 story headlined as “A Bright New England Town in Central Florida.” An unnamed New York Times reporter called Winter Park “one of the neatest, cleanest and prettiest towns in Florida, with street after street lined with handsome, modern cottages and larger homes.” It’s lost to history what was happening to draw such a crowd in this circa-1880s photo of Park Avenue.

Park civic affairs, founded a weekly newspaper called The Winter Park Advocate, and encouraged his friends and neighbors to support the Winter Park Company’s newly announced plans to incorporate. Gustavus Christopher “Gus” Henderson, born near Lake City, was raised solely by his mother, who died when he was 10 years old. As a young man, Henderson worked for a white tinsmith and, hungry for knowledge and with a passion for self-improvement, taught himself to read from the Bible and the works of Shakespeare. He joined a New York-based company as a traveling salesman, becoming perhaps the first black “commercial tourist” in the state. But his employer was pressured by its other salespeople to let him go when his performance routinely outstripped that of his white colleagues. Henderson relocated to Winter Park in 1886, where he started a printing business in Hannibal Square and later became editor of the Winter Park Advocate, a newspaper that attracted both black and white readers. In addition to covering community news, Henderson and the Advocate (at considerable personal risk to Henderson) took stands on local political issues — including incorporation. Nearly everyone thought that incorporation was a wise step. The issue became mired in controversy primarily because some white residents opposed having Hannibal Square included in the town limits. An article in Lochmede, another Winter Park newspaper, noted that there was consider-

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able consternation over the idea of “residents who did not own land — and who were primarily black — levying taxes upon landowning residents from which they themselves would be exempt.” Some Hannibal Square residents did indeed rent land from the Winter Park Company, which also employed them as laborers. Others, however, were homeowners and taxpayers. Henderson argued that it made no difference. Every registered voter had a right to be heard on this important issue. Further complicating matters, local Democrats feared that the inclusion of Hannibal Square and its solidly Republican voting bloc would skew the balance of political power. In fact, at the time there were more black voters (64) than white voters (47) in Winter Park. Surely the idea of AfricanAmericans holding a voting majority was unsettling to some, even in a community where racial harmony generally prevailed. On the afternoon of September 10, 1887, only 57 registered voters — mostly white — showed up at Ergood’s Hall for a meeting to decide on incorporation. A quorum, however, required a minimum of 73 attendees. Only five more registered voters could be rounded up for a second meeting later that evening. Because no action could be taken, another meeting was called for October 12. Why had black voters stayed away? Winter Park businessman J.C. Stovin, a native of England who favored incorporation but opposed including Hannibal Square, had convinced many west side residents that incorporation was a ruse to make them pay high taxes and lay bricks on city streets.


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Henderson and others went to work, going occupations of those residents included “lawyers, door to door and pleading with their friends and judges, army and navy officers, civil engineers, colneighbors to exercise their rights as free citizens and lege professors, journalists, physicians, ministers, attend the next incorporation meeting. It was cermanufacturers, bishops, merchants, bankers, miltainly pointed out that the principals of the Winlionaires, etc.” ter Park Company, particularly Chase, had treated There would, however, soon be a winnowing of blacks fairly, and should expect their support in millionaires. return. A curfew forbade blacks from crossing the railroad In a region that was supposed to be below the frost tracks that divided east from west after nightfall. But line, two freezes hit in consecutive years, 1894 and on the evening of October 12, Henderson led a group 1895. The first was damaging but the second was ruof black registered voters from Hannibal Square diinous, wiping out citrus groves and devastating the rectly to Ergood’s Hall. Some accounts — likely execonomy. During the second freeze, temperatures aggerated — claim that a band and children waving dipped to the coldest ever recorded up to that time. banners accompanied the west side delegation. Sap froze inside tree trunks, splitting many of them In any case, a quorum was achieved and incorpoopen with pops sounding like gunshots. ration — with Hannibal Square included — was apCharles Hosmer Morse, a Chicago industrialist and widower, enjoyed Even the financial wizards who comprised the Winproved by a vote of 71 to 2. In addition, two black passing icy winters ensconced at the ter Park Company were not immune. After defaulting men, Walter B. Simpson and Frank R. Israel, were Seminole Hotel in Winter Park. on loan payments to the estate of Knowles, who had elected aldermen. They were the first, and the last, died in 1890, they were forced to transfer ownership of black elected officials in Winter Park. White, of Erroughly 1,200 lots to satisfy the debt. Adding insult to good & White, was elected as the first mayor. injury, the Seminole Hotel, which had been financed by a loan from Knowles, The union of Hannibal Square and the Town of Winter Park was to be burned to the ground in 1902. temporary, however. In 1893, Comstock led an effort by Democrats to reEnter Charles Hosmer Morse, a Chicago industrialist and recent widmove the west side neighborhood from the town limits. Although Winter ower who enjoyed passing icy winters ensconced at the Seminole Hotel. In Park officials refused to change the boundaries, the Florida Legislature did 1904 Morse bought the Knowles estate’s vast holdings — plus 200 acres so over their opposition. that encompassed half of the Mizell homestead — for roughly $10,000, the “It is, in my opinion, a scheme originated by those who desire to run the equivalent of about $290,000 today. town government and feel that their only chance is to take out the mass of That fateful transaction was colorfully recalled by H.A. “Harley” Ward at the colored voters,” said a letter writer to the Advocate.    a 1954 dinner commemorating his retirement from the Winter Park Land Hannibal Square was not a part of incorporated Winter Park again until Company, which Morse formed to purchase the Knowles properties. 1925, when local leaders sought to change its status from town (fewer than Ward was working at the Pioneer Store, which sold real estate as well as 300 registered voters) to city (300 or more registered voters). provisions. Here’s how he told the story of perhaps the most important business deal in Winter Park’s history: Immediately upon the heels of incorporation, the Town Improvement “Well, as I had said, Mr. Morse came into the store and asked if I had the Association, later renamed the Winter Park Village Improvement Associasale of the Knowles estate property. I said, ‘That’s correct. Would you like to tion and ultimately the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, was organized buy a lot?’ And we talked a little, and he said, ‘What will they take for the with the goals of planting trees, repairing sidewalks, maintaining parks and whole shebang?’ That’s the way he expressed it. It like to have knocked me encouraging residents to be sociable. down.” Also in the active 1880s, a reading circle of nine women led by Hooker’s Ward blurted out “the low price they’d given me” and Morse said he’d wife, Elizabeth, began an effort to establish the Winter Park Circulating take it under one condition: “Provided you can get released from your presLibrary Association. The small collection of books was placed in the home ent work here and take charge of the property for me.” of a reading circle member until the library got its own facility, on an InterAfter all, Morse noted, his primary home was still in Chicago, and he’d need lachen Avenue site donated by the Knowles estate, in 1902. year-round local management. So Morse — along with his son, Charles H. In 1889, J. Harry Abbott debuted the Orlando-Winter Park Railroad, Morse Jr. (who lived full time in Chicago) and Ward — became the original more commonly referred to as the Dinky Line, a nickname sometimes given directors of what would become the Winter Park Land Company. Suddenly, to short-haul rail operations. The bumpy, smoky 6-mile trip between Orone very rich Chicagoan owned half the town. (The Winter Park Land Comlando and Winter Park took about a half-hour and cost 15 cents. The two pany was Winter Park’s oldest continuing business until it was bought in 2019 engines were known as the “Tea Pot” and the “Coffee Pot,” and the train by Fannie Hillman + Associates, a well-established local real estate brokerage.) itself was the “Little Wiggle.”  Clearly, had Morse been a less enlightened person, Winter Park would Cute and quirky though it was, the Dinky Line’s popularity waned as likely be a very different place today. Fortunately for future generations, roads were improved and automobiles proliferated, although it managed to however, the Vermont native was a visionary who insisted that enhancing hang on until the last tracks were removed in 1969. Today, the site of the Dinky Line’s depot is a public park and swimming and fishing pier on Lake Virginia known as Dinky Dock. Park Avenue was, and remains, the vibrant heart of Winter Park. In fact, As the 1880s drew to a close, Winter Park had attracted 250 families and as these images demonstrate, the city’s signature street looks much 600 residents, many of them seasonal, from 29 states and five foreign counthe same today as it did in the 1920s and 1950s. A few buildings even tries. The Massachusetts and Illinois contingents were the largest, but New date from the turn of the last century or earlier. Consequently, the entire York and Georgia were also well represented. Downtown Winter Park Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2011. According to an 1889 promotional brochure for the Seminole Hotel,

COLD AND COLDER

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COURTESY OF THE WINTER PARK HISTORY MUSEUM DIGITAL ART BY WILL SETZER/CIRCLE 7 DESIGN STUDIO (PARK AVENUE, TOP)

DIGITAL ART BY CHIP WESTON

A TIME OF BECOMING


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COURTESY OF THE WINTER PARK HISTORY MUSEUM

Mead Botanical Garden opened on January 15, 1940, in a formal ceremony that included local dignitaries and elected officials. Edwin Osgood Grover, the professor of books at Rollins College, masterminded the project with student Jack Connery. The pair laid out a grand vision for the project of unspoiled natural areas, ornamental plots, greenhouses for exotic plants and even aquariums. The tranquil urban oasis is today billed as “Winter Park’s Natural Place.”

Winter Park was far more important than profiting from it. He quickly strengthened his personal connection to the town by remodeling and expanding a home at the corner of Interlachen and Lincoln avenues and using it as his personal winter residence. Under Morse’s supervision, the aptly named Osceola Lodge was transformed into a textbook example of Craftsman-style architecture and filled with custom Mission Oak furniture, walls of books and an array of rustic Indian artifacts. From this cozy and comforting setting Morse supervised development of his properties and quietly supported community causes. Osceola Lodge still stands on New England Avenue and is owned by the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation, which was later formed by Morse’s granddaughter, Jeannette Genius McKean. Until recently, it had been used as office space for programs affiliated with Rollins College. In 1906 Morse deeded the land that is now Central Park to the town, but only so long as it was open to the public and not developed. He helped form the Winter Park Country Club and, for $1 a year, leased the organization land on which to build a clubhouse and golf course. The recently renovated course, now owned and operated by the city, is still in use today. Morse also donated an Interlachen Avenue site on which the Woman’s Club of Winter Park built its headquarters. He paved roads, funded a citrus packing house, gave property to churches and even provided start-up capital for a second Seminole Hotel. He funded numerous civic improvements out of his own pocket, anonymously paying for construction of a town hall in 1916 and for years routinely covering operating deficits as a member of the Rollins Board of Trustees.

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Morse, who retired and moved to Winter Park permanently in 1915, also personally selected who could buy lots. He refused to sell to speculators, for example, explaining in no uncertain terms that he would do the speculating in Winter Park. Only people who planned to build homes could buy lots. And, of course, the homes had to be of acceptable quality. The city’s benevolent autocrat also recruited potential residents whom he admired, among them novelist Irving Bacheller (Eben Holden: A Tale of the North Country and D’ri and I had been among his bestsellers.) “Now, Mr. Ward, I’ve got to get Irving Bacheller to come down here,” he told his manager in 1918. “He’ll be a real asset to Winter Park, and I want you to land him no matter what you have to do.” Bacheller, though, drove a hard bargain. Morse ended up taking the author’s Connecticut farm in trade and loaning him the money to buy a large lakefront tract on the Isle of Sicily, where he built a handsome Asian-style home he dubbed Gate O’ the Isles. “I think Bacheller missed his calling,” Morse grumbled to Ward. “He should have been a horse trader.” But Bacheller did, indeed, prove to be a great asset — in ways that Morse couldn’t have predicted. In 1925, as chairman of the search committee for a new Rollins president, he pursued a progressive New York magazine editor who had published his poetry. At the author’s behest, Hamilton Holt took the job — and turned Rollins into a nationally acclaimed institution. Morse died in 1921, at Osceola Lodge, secure in the knowledge that his investment had been a wise one in every way possible. In 1937, Morse’s sonin-law, Richard Genius, built a vacation home on the Genius property. It was first dubbed Casa Genius, but later renamed Wind Song. (Genius’ wife and


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COURTESY OF THE WINTER PARK HISTORY MUSEUM DIGITAL ART BY WILL SETZER/CIRCLE 7 DESIGN STUDIO

In 1882, John Ergood and Robert White opened Winter Park’s first general merchandise store, which was variously known as Ergood & White and the Pioneer Store. The building, located at Park Avenue and Morse Boulevard, still stands, although the business changed hands several times and in 1900 moved to Park and Wellbourne avenues. In 1921, the Pioneer Store was bought by Girard Denning, a former mayor, postmaster and fire chief. Eight years later, Denning held a grand reopening sale at another new location, 230 South Park Avenue. The Pioneer Store moniker was dropped in 1935 by Roy Hough, who bought the business and changed the name to Hough’s Food Store, which quietly closed its doors in the 1940s. Denning would go on to serve a second stint as postmaster, from 1934 until his retirement in 1954. This photograph was probably taken in the early 1920s. The subjects are unidentified.

Morse’s daughter, Elizabeth Morse Genius, had died in 1928.) Jeannette Genius McKean, daughter of Richard and Elizabeth, moved there with her husband, Hugh McKean, in 1951. The McKeans brought with them the now-iconic peacocks, the descendants of which still preen noisily around the estate and the adjoining neighborhood. Today the Morse name is on Morse Boulevard and the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, which was founded by Jeannette and Hugh. It wasn’t until 1986 that a memorial was erected in Central Park commemorating Morse’s contributions to the city he was instrumental in shaping. The two-sided brick structure, designed by legendary architect James Gamble Rogers II, is impressive. But Morse, “the most modest man I ever knew,” according to Ward, would undoubtedly have considered the thriving, culturally rich city that Winter Park has become to be the only monument to his memory that really mattered.

A NEW CENTURY By the early 1900s, Winter Park’s founders were either dead or in their final years. Many of them ended up in the Palm Cemetery, resting beneath ground on West Webster Avenue donated by none other than Chase, the man without whom there might not have been a Winter Park. The cemetery, which was for whites only when it opened in 1906, is notable for the fact that golfers on the adjacent municipal course must sometimes hit errant shots from around tombstones. Pineywood Cemetery had been established

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in 1890 for black residents. Both are now operated by the city of Winter Park. In 1908, Jerry and Mary Trovillion and their 16-year-old son, Ray, arrived in Winter Park from Harrisburg, Illinois, where Jerry, a medical doctor, had operated a sanitorium. The couple bought Maxon’s Drug Store, located in Ergood’s Hall, and renamed the business Trovillion’s Pharmacy. The mercantile store founded by Ergood and White, now owned by William Schultz Jr., had moved in 1900 to Park Avenue and Morse Boulevard. The Trovillions prospered. Jerry installed a modern soda fountain in the pharmacy and began assembling an impressive portfolio of investment property. High-spirited Ray, meanwhile, tried to acclimate himself to living in what he found to be a rather stuffy community with an absurdly rigid code of behavior. In a 1978 interview with the Winter Park Sun-Herald, the 86-year-old raconteur recalled running afoul of the law by playing horseshoes with friends near the railroad depot. “Up rides our little town marshal on his big bay horse to inform us that we were under arrest … for pitching horseshoes on Sunday,” he said. “It was rough in those days. No golf or fishing on Sundays. Another law was you couldn’t buy gasoline or kerosene after dark.” In 1912, a second Seminole Hotel was built at the foot of Webster Avenue. With 82 rooms, it was smaller than the original, but still attracted a discerning clientele. Among them: President Calvin Coolidge, who appears to have been characteristically silent about his Winter Park sojourn. The hotel stood until 1970, when it was demolished, and homes were built along


what is today Kiwi Circle. Also in 1912, brothers B.A. and Carl Galloway were awarded a franchise for the Winter Park Telephone Exchange. In 1913, there were a total of 35 operating telephones in Winter Park and Maitland, and phone rates were $1 per month. The First Baptist Church of Winter Park was founded in 1913, and a new railroad depot opened along the west side of the tracks facing Morse Boulevard. In 1915, the fire department bought a fire wagon pulled by a single horse. The horse lost its job the following year, replaced by a motorized vehicle. The Woman’s Club was organized in 1915, and the building that the club still uses was completed in 1920. The red-brick Winter Park Grade School, later known as Park Avenue Elementary School, opened in 1916 at the southeast corner of Park Avenue South and Lyman Avenue. Initially there were 150 students in 11 grades. Twelfth-graders attended classes at the Rollins Academy until the school, which was for whites only, was expanded several years later. The building was bought by Rollins in 1961 and used for the college’s continuing education programs until 1988, when it was razed despite emotional appeals from former students and local history buffs. Today the 400 block of Park Avenue encompasses a Mediterranean-style office and retail complex. A plaque installed by Rollins is the only indication that a school ever stood on the site.   By the early 1900s, the citrus industry was finally recovering from the catastrophic freezes of the 1890s. Just as growers were regaining their footing, one Winter Park rookie found himself in possession of a history-making tree that produced a different sort of fruit and attracted worldwide notice. In 1910, while New Yorkers John and Mary Hakes were vacationing in Winter Park, John became fascinated with the area’s citrus groves and resolved, to his wife’s chagrin, to invest in a 17-acre tract of orange and grapefruit trees. Their son, Louis, and his wife, Ethel, later relocated from New York to Winter Park to manage the business. Although neither had any experience growing citrus — Louis had worked in a real estate office and Ethel had been a schoolteacher — the couple made the grove a success. In 1915, Louis noticed that one particular tree produced a different sort of fruit, its color more deep, its pulp more tender and its flavor more exotic. He took one of the curious, sunset-colored orbs to William Chase Temple, a onetime Pittsburgh steel magnate who was now a Winter Park citrus grower and president of the Florida Citrus Exchange. Temple, recognizing that the fruit was unique and potentially valuable, advised Louis to send a box to D.C. Gillett, owner of the Buckeye Nursery in Tampa and, in Temple’s opinion, the best citrus man in the business. Gillett examined the fruit and concluded that it was likely a hybrid of an orange and a tangerine. He also recognized its commercial potential and rushed to Winter Park, where he made a deal with the Hakes family to secure exclusive rights to all the budwood from the parent tree. His nursery would then grow and sell new trees, for which the Hakes family would receive a $2 per tree royalty for three years. The savvy Gillett also applied for and received a patent for the fruit, which he proposed naming the Hakes orange. Louis and Ethel demurred, and Temple suggested that it be called “the Winter Park Hybrid.” Ultimately, The Florida Grower magazine recommended that it be named for Temple, who first recognized its potential. As the Temple orange became popular nationwide, the tree from which it sprang became something of a tourist attraction, prompting the Hakeses to erect a wire fence around it. But who came up with the idea of crossing an orange and a tangerine? Surely the Winter Park tree, from which millions of others have descended, could not have been the first and only one like it. Tangors, a comparable hybrid, were being grown in the West Indies at the time, and some historians believe that a Florida fruit buyer sent a tangor seedling to Oviedo friends in 1896. About 1900, Allan Mosely, a caretaker in Winter Park, may have ob-

tained budwood from one of those friends, J.H. King. Mosely, then, may have grafted the budwood onto a tree in the grove owned by John Wyeth, who would later sell the property to Hakes. But this is impossible to document with certainty. At the time the Temple orange was patented, Dr. David Fairchild, head of the Bureau of Plant Introductions in Washington, D.C., had definite ideas: “This tree is undoubtedly an accidental hybrid,” he declared. In 1920, Winter Park’s population topped 1,000 for the first time — it would top 4,000 just five years later — and city officials adopted the slogan “City of Homes” as its municipal motto. But the big news two years later was about a hotel, when Ohioans Joseph and Anna Kronenberger completed the 80-room Alabama Hotel on the south side of Lake Maitland. The Alabama changed hands several times and was finally closed in 1979. But in its heyday, it hosted such luminaries as authors Margaret Mitchell and Thornton Wilder, and conductor Leopold Stokowski. Today, the impressive old building is a luxury condominium complex. Mediterranean Revival-style Winter Park High School, “the most complete and architecturally perfect school buildings to be found anywhere in the state, according to an article in Winter Park Post, was built in 1923 on Huntington Avenue. The school remained in that location until 1969, when the present campus, on Summerfield Road, was completed. The original campus remains in use as the Winter Park High School Ninth Grade Center. Also in 1923, Austrian-born hotelier Max Kramer opened the 50-room Hamilton Hotel on Park Avenue South. The building, with balconies overlooking Park Avenue and Central Park, replaced a circa-1880s frame office built by the Winter Park Company. Today, it’s the Park Plaza Hotel, a boutique property that charms visitors with its elegant, wood-paneled lobby and posh, antique-furnished rooms. Rollins began getting national attention during the 24-year presidency of Hamilton Holt, which got underway in 1925. Holt’s innovative teaching method, dubbed the Conference Plan, discouraged the rigid classroom lecture format and encouraged student-teacher interaction. Holt, a Brooklyn native who published a liberal magazine called The Independent in New York from 1897 to 1921, made many changes during his long tenure and forever altered the look of the New England-flavored campus by adding 23 buildings in the now-familiar Spanish Mediterranean architectural style. In 1926, Holt and Grover — the previously mentioned professor of books — created the Animated Magazine, a live program in a magazine format that brought speakers on a variety of topics to the college every February. Drawing on his contacts, Holt was able to attract such diverse figures as actress Mary Pickford, novelist Faith Baldwin and RCA Chairman David Sarnoff.  Holt served as editor in chief for the Animated Magazine, often sitting on stage with a giant pencil and eraser to “edit” verbose presenters. During the 1930s, the University Club was organized as well as the Hannibal Square Library. Mead Botanical Garden, named for renowned horticulturalist and Oviedo resident Theodore Mead, was also opened. Its amphitheater, completed in 1959, remains a favorite venue for weddings, concerts and other special events. In 1932, the Annie Russell Theatre was built on the Rollins campus in honor of popular stage actress Annie Russell, who had retired to Winter Park in 1918 and had become a professor of theater arts at the college. Construction was made possible by a $135,000 donation from Russell’s friend Mary Louise Bok, a patron of the arts and wife of Ladies Home Journal editor Edward Bok. The first performance at the new theater, directed by Russell, was Romeo and Juliet. The Bach Festival Society of Winter Park was founded in 1935 by Isabelle Sprague-Smith, a former New York artist and school principal, who was the president and driving force behind the organization until her death in 1950. The future of the festival was in doubt until John Tiedtke, a Rollins vice president and the first dean of the college’s graduate programs, stepped in to serve as chairman of the board of trustees, a position he held until his death in 2004. LI VI N G IN WIN T ER PA RK 

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COURTESY OF THE WINTER PARK HISTORY MUSEUM

The city’s signature event, the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, debuted in 1960. The idea appears to have originated with Darwin Nichols, an art­ist and owner of Park Avenue’s Barbizon restaurant, and his friends and fel­low artists Don Sill and Bob Anderson. Community activist Jean Oliphant headed a planning group, and funds were raised from Park Avenue merchants. This image appeared on the cover of the 1960 Winter Park telephone directory.

During the Great Depression, Winter Park benefited from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s various recovery programs. For example, workers from the Federal Emergency Relief Administration widened and deepened the canals connecting Winter Park’s lakes. Still, hundreds of properties went into foreclosure during the depths of the downturn. The Bank of Winter Park and the Winter Park Building and Loan Association closed, while the Union State Bank transferred its assets to the newly organized Florida Bank at Winter Park. In 1932, the city defaulted on $134,000 in bonds and interest, slashing its budget to remain solvent. As the economy began to improve, activity in Winter Park picked up. Between 1940 and 1950, the population increased nearly 75 percent, to more than 8,000 people. Many of them saw the latest movies at the 850-seat Colony Theater, which opened on Park Avenue in 1940. During World War II, matinees at the Colony cost 39 cents and evening shows cost 44 cents. Although the theater closed in 1975 and was converted to retail use, the iconic Art Deco sign has been preserved as a delightfully gaudy reminder of a simpler time. Like communities across the country, Winter Park supported the war effort in numerous ways. A variety of relief groups were organized, and Rol-

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lins offered courses in War Problems, Literature, and Psychology of Propaganda and Radio Communications. In 1945, architect James Gamble Rogers II was hired by developer Raymond Greene, who would be elected mayor in 1953, to design a fashionable retail complex on Park Avenue South. The result, Greeneda Court, set the stage for the European ambience that would come to define Park Avenue in the decades to come.

MODERN TIMES As World War II drew to a close, the Showalter brothers, Howard and Sandy, along with their cousin, Ford “Buck” Rogers, opened the Showalter Airpark on 100 acres south of Oviedo Road (now Aloma Avenue) and west of present-day S.R. 436. The land had been part of the golf course at the long-defunct Aloma Country Club. For the trio, building an upscale airpark where flying lessons and charter flights could be offered was the fulfillment of a longstanding dream. The Showalter family later opened similar airparks in Sanford and Orlando, where Showalter Flying Service is still in operation at what is now the Orlando Executive Airport.


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COURTESY OF THE WINTER PARK HISTORY MUSEUM

When the Winter Park Mall opened in 1964, it was the largest climate-controlled mall in the Southeast. Although the 400,000-square-foot complex was damaged by fire in 1969, it was repaired and continued to thrive until the 1980s. Most of the structure was razed in the late 1990s to make room for Winter Park Village, a sprawling retail and restaurant development with residential lofts. This photograph was taken in the mid-1960s.

The final Winter Park landing took place in 1963. Real estate developers bought the airpark property, which today encompasses the Winter Park Village Apartments and much of the Winter Park Pines subdivision. Also on the site is Showalter Field, where Winter Park High School plays its home football games, and Ward and Cady Way parks, which feature softball fields, tennis courts, a playground and a swimming pool operated by the YMCA. Winter Park’s stature as an upscale retail mecca was bolstered in 1948 with the arrival of Eve Proctor Morrill, a former fashion buyer for major department stores in Philadelphia. Morrill enlivened Park Avenue with The Proctor Shops, one offering sporting goods and the other offering stylish women’s attire. She also championed beautification projects for Winter Park’s quaint but still sleepy downtown, where shop hours were sometimes erratic and more than a few merchants closed for the summer. The Proctor Shops were sold in 1972 and later became Jacobson’s, a popular department store. But Proctor stayed active for decades to come, buying and selling property and raising funds for her favorite causes, including the Florida Symphony Orchestra and PESO (Participation Enriches Science, Music and Art Organizations), an advocacy group that she helped form. The city honored Morrill with an “Eve Proctor Morrill Day’’ in 1985, during which a garden and plaque in Central Park were unveiled. The plaque is inscribed with lines from a poem by Logan Morrill, her late husband: “Love quietly and greatly. Seek immortality in those around you where we live eternally. In each day’s striving justify the lives we might have lived.’’

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One of the most significant milestones in the city’s history occurred in 1955 with the opening of Winter Park Memorial Hospital, built on a portion of the long-defunct Aloma Country Club golf course. Today the stateof-the-art facility is part of the Florida Hospital system, a group of private hospitals owned and operated by AdventHealth. In 1956, Robert Langford opened the thoroughly modern Langford Hotel on East New England Avenue, giving Winter Park its first resort-style getaway. The 82-room Langford, which remained a favorite for locals and visitors until its closing in 2000, hosted an eclectic assortment of VIPs, including Lillian Gish, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mamie Eisenhower, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, George McGovern, Charlton Heston, Louis Rukeyser and Ronald and Nancy Reagan, who spent their 25th wedding anniversary there. Langford, who died the year the hotel ceased operation, was one of the first eight inductees into the Florida Tourism Hall of Fame, along with such luminaries as Walt Disney; Dick Pope, founder of Cypress Gardens; and Henry Flagler, whose Florida East Coast Railway opened South Florida for tourism and development. In the late 1950s, Winter Parkers came together to fight a proposed Interstate 4 route that would have paralleled Orange Avenue and then crossed U.S. Highway 17-92 before it turned north toward Maitland. This route would have destroyed the motels lining the east side of 17-92 from Fairbanks Avenue to Lee Road — colloquially known as the Million Dollar Mile — and would have sliced through property where locals hoped a shop-


ping mall would be built. In addition, many residents feared that an interstate highway so nearby would impact the city’s tranquility. Winter Park voters strongly rejected the proposed route in a 1958 referendum, much to the consternation of some Orlando movers and shakers, such as William H. “Billy” Dial, executive vice president of First National Bank and a major proponent of the route. In a letter to Winter Park Mayor J. Lynn Pflug, Dial wrote that interstate highways should be built “not on the basis of popular vote or referenda, but on traffic and engineering standards by qualified persons with consideration for the needs of the traveling public, the effect the location might have on existing businesses and residents and by the accessibility of the facility to those who, in their daily lives, require its use.” Greene, the former mayor and developer of Greeneda Court, is credited with effectively scuttling the proposal by persuading the Florida Cabinet to approve construction of the Dan T. McCarty State Office Building — now site of the CNL Heritage Park office complex at the corner of Morse Boulevard and Denning Drive — directly in the interstate’s proposed path. A second route was also scuttled before a third, well to the west, was chosen and approved in 1963. The city’s signature event, the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, debuted in 1960. The idea appears to have originated with Darwin Nichols, an artist and owner of Park Avenue’s Barbizon restaurant, and his friends and fellow artists Don Sill and Bob Anderson. Community activist Jean Oliphant headed a planning group, and funds were raised from Park Avenue merchants. In early February 1960, the Orlando Evening Star announced the venture with the headline: “Date Set for ‘Arty’ Park Ave. Three Days of Bohemia.” Less than a month after the idea was casually proposed among three friends at the Barbizon, the inaugural show was held in Central Park and attracted 90 exhibitors. Today, around 225 artists participate, and some 300,000 people view the displays, listen to live jazz and nosh festival food. (The festival has been cancelled only once, in 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.) With its population now topping 17,000, Winter Park attracted more retail development beyond Park Avenue. The Winter Park Mall, with 400,000 square feet under roof, opened in 1964 and was at the time the largest climate-controlled mall in the Southeast. The complex was damaged by a major fire in 1969 but was repaired and continued to thrive until the 1980s. The final stores in the mall closed in the late 1990s, and most of the low-slung white structure was razed to make room for Winter Park Village, a sprawling retail and restaurant development with residential lofts. But a generation of Winter Parkers recall buying their school clothes at J. C. Penney and Ivey’s, the two major anchors, and the latest batch of Marvel Comics at Mall News. Winter Park was not entirely untouched by the turbulent 1960s, although it was hardly a hotbed of discontent. Hordes of young people with no apparent political purpose began gathering in Central Park, much to the dismay of Park Avenue merchants, who said they were scaring the customers. And in 1970 about 200 Rollins students protested the war in Vietnam by marching from the campus to the McCarty State Office Building, where the Selective Service offices were located. In 1981, a new attraction opened — literally — when a huge sinkhole began to form in the front yard of Mae Rose Owens, who looked outside the window of her house on West Comstock Street and saw a sycamore tree disappear as if it were being pulled underground by its roots. Owens, who soon realized that a crater was forming in her front yard, packed some belongings and quickly left with her family. Within a few hours, the structure had vanished. To the north, the city swimming pool cracked, and its deep end crumbled and disappeared. The hole expanded eastward, swallowing part of Denning Drive, and southward, creeping uncomfortably close to the back walls of several buildings along Fairbanks Avenue. There were no injuries, although five Porsches and a travel trailer behind

German Car Service were devoured. City Planner Jeff Briggs, recalling the scene years later to a reporter from the Orlando Sentinel, said, “Where else do you get to see Porsches in a sinkhole except Winter Park?” No one knew how big the hole would get, and no one knew how to stop it from getting bigger. Within a few days, however, the ground appeared to stabilize, and onlookers could only marvel at how, in such a densely developed urban area, the abyss had formed only on land that was largely vacant. In the coming days, a circus atmosphere developed as vendors sold food, T-shirts and other souvenirs. One Fairbanks Avenue business charged admission to view the gaping maw, which measured 335 feet wide and 110 feet deep, from a rear balcony. Adding to the absurdity, a pawnbroker sued Winter Park for unfair competition after the city began selling sinkhole photos from a tent, which was set up as a shelter for security police, while refusing to issue him a permit to operate a similar enterprise nearby. Local geotechnical engineer Jim Jammal described the phenomenon, which garnered national news coverage, as “the largest sinkhole event witnessed by man as a result of natural geological reasons or conditions.”  Today, it’s simply Lake Rose. In the 1980s, Winter Park became synonymous with the so-called quality revolution when Philip Crosby, an author and a retired ITT executive, opened the Quality College in offices on New England Avenue and later Morse Boulevard. For more than a decade, the college hosted as many as 6,000 corporate executives from around the U.S. for weeklong seminars on quality management. Quality College attendees filled rooms at the Mount Vernon Inn on U.S. Highway 17-92 — the only hotel in the city large enough to accommodate them all — and dined in a different Park Avenue restaurant every day. The economic impact on local businesses was tremendous. But more important, the Quality College regularly showcased Winter Park to captive audiences of influential movers and shakers.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED In recent years, as it approached its 125th anniversary, Winter Park has seemed even more cognizant of its heritage.  Because the city is largely built out, its population inched up only slightly, from 24,000 to 30,893, between 2000 and 2019. Unlike most Central Florida cities, it is less concerned with growth than with preservation and enhancement. In 2007, the Hannibal Square Heritage Center opened to honor the history and culture of the neighborhood, where the business district has been redeveloped to encompass trendy restaurants and upscale boutiques. The center was founded by the Crealdé School of Art in partnership with the City of Winter Park. And in 2011 the entire Downtown Winter Park Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2016, through a yearlong visioning process that involved hundreds of local residents, a Visioning Steering Committee produced a document meant to identify priorities and to establish an overarching direction that elected officials should consider when establishing policy. Four major themes emerged: n Cherish and sustain Winter Park’s extraordinary quality of life. n Plan our growth through a collaborative process that protects our city’s timeless scale and character. n Enhance the Winter Park brand through a flourishing community of arts and culture. n Build and embrace our local institutions for lifelong learning and future generations. Would Chapman, Chase and other Winter Park founders be pleased with how their city has developed? Almost certainly, they would be impressed at how today’s Winter Park has adhered to their original vision of a beautiful, peaceful, culturally sophisticated community. Late in life, Chapman wrote: “Starting Winter Park was probably the most important event in my life.” Important to a lot of us, Mr. Chapman.  LI VI N G IN WIN T ER PA RK 

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WHY PEACOCKS?

Jeannette Genius McKean and her feathered friends.

COURTESY OF THE ROLLINS COLLEGE ARCHIVES (JEANNETTE MCKEAN) WINTER PARK PICTURES/WINTERPARKPICTURES.COM (PEACOCK)

How come a peacock adorns the City of Winter Park’s logo? And why do the noisy creatures roam around some of the city‘s priciest neighborhoods? It all goes back to Hugh F. McKean (1908-1995) and Jeannette Genius McKean (1909-1989). Hugh — artist, educator, collector and writer — was the 10th president of Rollins College, serving from 1951 through 1969. He then became the college’s chancellor and chairman of its board of trustees. In 1945, while still an art professor at the college, he married Jeannette, granddaughter of Charles Hosmer Morse, the Chicago industrialist and philanthropist who helped to shape modern Winter Park. Both McKeans were lovers of nature and cultivated a preserve filled with peacocks around Wind Song, the lakefront estate that Jeannette inherited from her father, Richard Genius. Genius Drive, the dirt road leading through the preserve and to the estate, was open to the public until the 1990s. The property, now owned by the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation and dubbed the Genius Preserve, encompasses the city’s largest remaining orange grove and several structures, including the unoccupied but carefully maintained family home. And it’s still bustling with preening peafowl descended from those the McKeans unleashed in 1950. In 2004, Winter Park officially adopted the peacock as its symbol, along with the tagline “The City of Culture and Heritage.”

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ENLIGHTENING

ENCHANTING

UPLIFTING ‘The City of Culture and Heritage’ is more than a slogan in Winter Park. BY MICHAEL MCLEOD

The restored (and breathtaking) Tiffany Chapel, at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art (facing page), was exhibited at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 before being installed at Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Long Island estate, Laurelton Hall. It now encompasses its own wing at the one-of-a-kind Winter Park institution. LI VI N G IN WIN T ER PA RK 

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inter Park is called “The City of Culture and Heritage” for good reason. The community is home base for a remarkable array of seven easily accessible museums, six within walking distance of Park Avenue. They encompass decorative, traditional and cutting-edge contemporary art as well as architecture, history and sculpture. All the institutions have adapted to the presence of COVID-19 with policies to protect staff members and visitors, including heightened disinfecting procedures; temporarily discontinuing some programs or exhibits; limiting the number of visitors who can be admitted at any one time; and requiring both visitors and staffers to wear protective masks. Be sure, before a visit, to check the websites listed in the story below so you’re aware of each institution’s procedures and schedules — which may change under the current, unpredictable circumstances. (For example, at press time tours of some facilities had been temporarily suspended or were offered by reservation only.) Then take a break from the madness and enjoy the respite these places of beauty and grace can still provide.

THE ALBIN POLASEK MUSEUM & SCULPTURE GARDENS 633 Osceola Avenue

The lushly landscaped grounds of the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens border Lake Osceola. So the view alone is worth the trip, as are the magnificent flowers and rare trees that serve as a backdrop for the breathtaking sculptures on permanent display. Born in Moravia (now the Czech Republic), Albin Polasek worked as a woodcarver in Vienna before immigrating at the age of 22 to the U.S., where he studied sculpture at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and for 30 years served as head of the sculpture department at the Art Institute of Chicago. Meanwhile, he was crafting monumental works, from warriors and mythological figures to a 28-foot statue of Woodrow Wilson. He moved to Winter Park as he reached retirement age but continued to create sculptures, many of which still decorate the grounds of his lakeside home. Shortly after relocating, Polasek suffered a stroke. It paralyzed one side of his body — but it didn’t defeat him. He devised a method that enabled him to continue sculpting despite the physical challenges he faced, enrolling an assistant to hold the chisel as he chipped away at his creations. Polasek’s Mediterranean-style studio/home — and a collection of 200 works, many of them displayed on the expansive grounds — is now owned and operated by the Albin Polasek Foundation. So is the Capen-Showalter House, a historic home originally situated on the opposite side of Lake Osceola that was saved from demolition when it was floated across the lake in halves and reassembled on the grounds of the museum. The major annual event for the Polasek is the Winter Park Paint Out, held in April. Artists are invited to paint in the open air, creating oils and watercolors of local settings that are then offered for sale with proceeds supporting the foundation. The Polasek is open Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m., and Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for children age 12 through college. Younger children are admitted free. Call 407-647-6294 or visit polasek.org for more information. THE CASA FELIZ HISTORIC HOME MUSEUM 656 North Park Avenue

The Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum, like the Capen-Showalter House, was transplanted to its current Park Avenue address from its original site on the shores of Lake Osceola.

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Architect James Gamble Rogers II designed the Andalusian-style masonry farmhouse in 1932 for Massachusetts industrialist Robert Bruce Barbour. Most of Rogers’ work at the time was inspired by traditional styles he thought best suited Winter Park and its Old World ambiance. While all of Rogers’ buildings are community treasures, the Barbour House, as it was then known, was arguably the iconic architect’s masterpiece. In 2000, when a new owner bought the lakeside property with plans to tear it down and replace it with a modern mansion, preservationists raised more than $1 million to move the home across Interlachen Avenue to a cityowned site adjacent to the Winter Park Golf Course. The museum remains a popular special-events venue. It is operated by the Friends of Casa Feliz, which promotes such programs as the James Gamble Rogers II Colloquium on Historic Preservation, held each May.  Call 407-628-8200 or visit casafeliz.us for more information. THE CORNELL FINE ARTS MUSEUM AND THE ALFOND INN n The Cornell: 1000 Holt Avenue (Rollins College) n The Alfond: 300 East New England Avenue

The Cornell Fine Arts Museum and the Alfond Inn have formed a pioneering partnership that has drawn national attention from art lovers and art experts alike. The museum overlooks Lake Virginia from the backside of the Rollins College campus at the southern end of Park Avenue. The hotel was built five years ago on the footprint of the old Langford Hotel, and is just a short walk from campus, across Fairbanks Avenue and two blocks east of Park Avenue. Rollins owns the 112-room facility, which is named for Ted and Barbara Lawrence Alfond, both 1968 Rollins graduates. The Alfonds, through

Located on the eastern shore of Lake Osceola, the lushly landscaped grounds and breathtaking statuary of the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens (facing page, top) combine to offer one of the most beautiful sights Winter Park has to offer. Also on the grounds is the Capen-Showalter House (facing page, bottom), a once-endangered historic home that was floated across the lake via barge and restored for use as offices and an events space.


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PHOTO BY WINTER PARK PICTURES/WINTERPARKPICTURES.COM (THE ALBIN POLASEK MUSEUM & SCULPTURE GARDENS)


PHOTO BY WINTER PARK PICTURES/WINTERPARKPICTURES.COM

The Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum, now a popular special-events venue, is governed by the Friends of Casa Feliz, which also promotes such programs as the James Gamble Rogers II Colloquium on Historic Preservation, held each May. Rogers was the home’s original architect.

a charitable foundation established by Ted’s late father, Harold, provided a $12.5 million gift to jump-start construction. And there was more to come. The couple also donated the 260-piece Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art to the museum, which was established in 1978. Roughly 140 of those pieces, on a rotating basis, now adorn the hotel’s walls, thereby expanding the museum’s footprint into downtown Winter Park. The works deal with such topics as war, censorship, critical thinking and relationships between different cultures and religious traditions. There are prints, paintings and photographs — as well as many pieces where words rather than images convey the message. The on-campus museum has an extraordinary array of visiting exhibitions as well as a massive collection of its own. For information about both the museum’s and the hotel’s exhibitions, call 407-646-2526 or visit either thealfondinn. com or rollins.edu for more information. THE CHARLES HOSMER MORSE MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART 445 North Park Avenue

The Morse’s fabulous trove of the stained-glass windows, lamps and lavish architectural confections of Louis Comfort Tiffany got a little more fabu-

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lous recently, thanks to its addition of an elaborately crafted fireplace hood that Tiffany created for his own home. This American art museum, already known worldwide for its collection of the stained-glass windows, lamps, jewelry, pottery, paintings and architectural elements of the irrepressible art deco designer, was established by Hugh McKean, former president of Rollins College, and his wife Jeannette Genius McKean. As a young man, McKean had studied with Tiffany at the artist’s lavishly appointed, 65-room Long Island country estate, Laurelton Hall. Following Tiffany’s death in 1933, the estate fell into disrepair and was further damaged by fire in 1957. The McKeans, determined to salvage what they could, gathered truckloads of art and architectural elements and shipped it all to Winter Park. Tiffany’s work had fallen so far from favor that the now-priceless creations were thought to be of little value at the time. But the McKeans’ decision to bring the gilded art nouveau treasures to Winter Park for safekeeping would help define the city as an arts mecca. Highlights include a restored Byzantine-Romanesque chapel interior, a terrace from Tiffany’s estate decorated with multicolored glass daffodils, and galleries that evoke the beauty of Laurelton Hall and the guiding philosophy behind it. The newly acquired, ornately decorated fireplace hood, which once graced Laurelton Hall’s library, is being installed in a hallway leading to galleries devoted to the mansion’s other architectural wonders. The fireplace hood had disappeared when Laurelton Hall burned in the 1950s but resurfaced earlier this year when a private collector consigned it to Lillian Nassau, a New York City antique dealer.


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COURTESY OF THE MORSE MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

The Cornell Fine Arts Museum, located on the campus of Rollins College, boasts the region’s only “encyclopedic” collection. For example, it’s the only museum in Central Florida to own works by Europe’s Old Masters. The Alfond Inn (below) houses a vast collection of contemporary art. An exhibit from 2017 showcased the work of Tomas Saraceno, an Argentine artists based in Berlin, whose Cloud Cities — Nebulous Thresholds hung under the glass dome of the conservatory at the boutique hotel.

The museum is named for a Chicago industrialist and philanthropist who made Winter Park his vacation home in the late 1800s and later retired here. In 1904, Charles Hosmer Morse bought nearly half of Winter Park’s acreage and began developing his holdings. Visitors to the museum, which has expanded its online offerings, must — as of press time — make reservations in advance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Call 407-645-5311 or visit morsemuseum.org for more information. THE WINTER PARK HISTORY MUSEUM AND THE HANNIBAL SQUARE HERITAGE CENTER n History Museum: 200 West New England Avenue n Heritage Center: 642 West New England Avenue

Winter Park’s two history museums have distinct but complementary purposes. One encompasses the city as a whole, beginning with its found-

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ing as a cold-weather getaway for wealthy Northerners. The other focuses specifically on the traditionally African-American west side, which has its own tales to tell. The cozy (900-square-foot) Winter Park History Museum occupies a corner of the old Atlantic Coast Line freight office — the site where the Farmers’ Market is usually held — on New England Avenue one block west of Park Avenue. Admission to the museum — which usually has a featured exhibition related to local history — is free, although donations are gladly accepted. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Each Monday at 10 a.m., the museum stages a children’s show, Penelope, Princess of the Peacocks. Call 407-644-2330 or visit winterparkhistory.org for more information. The Hannibal Square Heritage Center is set in the heart of Winter Park’s bustling west side, which was platted in the 1880s with lots designated specifically for African-Americans. By the 1990s, the west side’s business district had been redeveloped as an upscale shopping and dining destination, and the neighborhoods surrounding it had begun to gentrify. Created in 2007 as an outreach effort of the Crealdé School of Art, the center is, in fact, two museums in one, pairing revolving art exhibits with vintage photographs and oral histories from west side residents, some of

The Hannibal Square Heritage Center (right), located in the heart of the city’s gentrified west side, was created in 2007 as an outreach effort of the Crealdé School of Art. Many of the center’s programs and exhibits pay homage to the historically African-American neighborhood surrounding it. LI VI N G IN WIN T ER PA RK 

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PHOTOS BY WINTER PARK PICTURES/WINTERPARKPICTURES.COM


The Winter Park History Museum (facing page, top) occupies a corner of the old railroad station, along New England Avenue, in a space that was once the freight ticketing office of the Atlantic Coast Line. At the Crealdé School of Art (facing page, bottom), more than 100 visual-arts classes are taught by a faculty of 40 working artists. There’s also a summer “Artcamp” for children and teens, and a Visiting Artists Workshop series. The school stages art exhibits in galleries at its home campus and the Hannibal Square Heritage Center.

whom can remember working for wealthy Winter Park families by day, knowing they had to be “back across the tracks” by nightfall. The Heritage Center hosts a permanent exhibit: Heritage Collection: Photographs and Oral Histories of West Winter Park. It features more than 100 framed, archival pieces that capture the lives of 20th century residents of the community. Thirty-minute docent tours are available, with group size limited to six people. Pre-registration is required at least a day in advance. Among the many stories you’ll encounter via videotapes and displays is that of a local hero named Richard Hall, who’s now 96 and lives just a few blocks away. A full-sized “lifecast” of Hall, in a red sports jacket and red cap, stands next to the front door of the center. During World War II, Hall served in the Army Air Force as a Tuskegee Airman, from the so-called “Red Tail” squadron, a legendary group of AfricanAmerican military pilots who formed the segregated 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Army Air Force. Admission to the center is free. Call 407-539-2680 or visit hannibalsquareheritagecenter.org for more information. CREALDÉ SCHOOL OF ART 600 St. Andrews Boulevard

At the eastern reaches of Winter Park is the Crealdé School of Art, founded in 1975 by local homebuilder William Sterling Jenkins. It’s a sprawling lakeside haven tucked behind a strip mall where you can take classes in just about every art form imaginable. Behind Crealdé’s yellow stucco walls, instruction is offered in photography, painting, ceramics, sculpture, papermaking, jewelry design, fabric arts and even bookmaking (meaning the literal making of books, not gambling). The school also holds periodic art exhibitions and celebrates an annual “Night of Fire,” which features demonstrations by artists, a bronze pour at the school’s foundry and storytelling around a fire pit on the grounds of the Spanish-style campus. It’s said that Jenkins devised the name “Crealdé” by combining the Spanish word crear (“to create”) and the Old English word alde (“village”). And that’s what he meant the school to be: a creative village. Jenkins wasn’t an artist of exceptional complexity. He was, however, certainly devoted to art — and committed to sharing and teaching it. In 1981, he reorganized Crealdé Arts Inc. as a nonprofit with a volunteer board. Ten years later he donated the entire facility to the organization, allowing it to establish complete autonomy and secure new funding sources. At Crealdé today, more than 100 visual-arts classes are taught by a faculty of 40 working artists. There’s also a summer “Artcamp” for children and teens, and a Visiting Artists Workshop series. The school stages art exhibits in three galleries: at its home campus, at the Hannibal Square Heritage Center and at an extension campus in Winter Garden. Crealdé is open Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission to the galleries is free, although there are fees for art classes. Call 407-671-1886 or visit crealde.org for more information. 

AN ALLIANCE FOR ARTS AWARENESS The city’s vision statement says it all: “Winter Park is the city of arts and culture, cherishing its traditional scale and charm while building a healthy and sustainable future for all generations.” Spreading the word about the “arts and culture” part of the vision statement is the job of the Arts & Culture Alliance, which was formed last year as a subcommittee of the city’s Public Art Advisory Board. The mission of the organization — which is comprised of 18 local nonprofits — is to enhance and improve awareness and visibility of arts and culture organizations within the city. Toward that goal, a Weekend of the Arts is held each February, during which participating groups showcase their events and offerings. The city also publishes a comprehensive arts and culture calendar of events at cityofwinterpark.org/visitors/ arts-culture. LI VI N G IN WIN T ER PA RK 

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MAITLAND IS ALSO A MUST ART & HISTORY MUSEUMS — MAITLAND n Maitland Art Center, Maitland Historical Museum, Maitland Telephone Museum: 231 West Packwood Avenue, Maitland, 32751 n William H. Waterhouse Museum and Carpentry Shop Museum: 820 Lake, Lily Drive, Maitland, 32751

The Maitland Art Center (above), a National Historic Landmark, is one of the few surviving examples of Mayan Revival architecture in the Southeast. Its imagery is drawn from European, Chinese, Christian, African, Persian and, of course, Mayan signs and symbols, which mix and mingle in an otherworldly way. Enzian’s 220-seat theater (below), with comfortable chairs and table service, is a welcoming place to watch offbeat films. Plans are afoot to add two more screens to the Maitland complex.

This charming complex of five museums includes the Maitland Art Center, the Maitland Historical Museum, the Maitland Telephone Museum, the William H. Waterhouse Museum and the adjacent Carpentry Shop Museum. All are worth visiting, but the Maitland Art Center is a must. In 1937, artist and architect Jules André Smith built the center, then known as the Research Studio, to foster artistic experimentation and to provide artists with an inspirational environment in which to work. Over the next two decades, until his death in 1959, Smith lived and worked at the center, as did many other artists. He hand-carved most of the center’s signature sculptural reliefs using a special pivot table that could turn upward. A replica of the table, which Smith invented, is on display in one of the studios. While the center is billed as one of the few surviving examples of Mayan Revival architecture in the Southeast, its imagery is drawn from many sources. European, Chinese, Christian, African, Persian and, of course, Mayan signs and symbols mix and mingle in an otherworldly way. The center has been named a National Historic Landmark, joining such iconic places as the Empire State Building, the Gateway Arch, the White House, Hoover Dam and Walden Pond. The Maitland Art Center is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The other museums are open Thursdays through Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for seniors and children ages 4 to 18. Children age 3 and under are admitted free. Call 407-539-2181 or visit artandhistory.org for more information.

ENZIAN 1300 South Orlando Avenue (U.S. Highway 17-92), Maitland, 32751 PHOTO BY WINTER PARK PICTURES/WINTERPARKPICTURES.COM (MAITLAND ART CENTER) COURTESY OF ENZIAN (ENZIAN THEATER)

Central Florida’s only art-movie house is included in this story because it’s a museum, of sorts — one that just happens to curate films rather than paintings or sculptures. Indeed, Enzian is no strip-mall multiplex. It’s one of Central Florida’s most cherished cultural landmarks — one that resembles an understated country club more than a movie theater, with an outdoor restaurant situated beneath towering live oaks and an intimate, cabaret-style movie theater just inside. Enzian is a nonprofit organization with a Winter Park connection. It was founded by the family of John Tiedtke, a philanthropist who for decades ran (and mostly funded) the storied Bach Festival Society of Winter Park. The big event of the year at Enzian is the Florida Film Festival, which brings dozens of the world’s best independently produced new features, documentaries, animated films and shorts to Central Florida. Although it’s usually held in April, the 2020 festival was held in August and included a substantial streaming component as well as socially distanced in-person viewing at the theater. On a more modest level, Enzian partners with the City of Winter Park to present its “Popcorn Flicks in the Park” series on the second Thursday of each month in downtown Central Park. The family-friendly classic flicks typically start at 7 or 8 p.m., depending upon when the sun sets. Admission is free. Showtimes and ticket costs for other events vary. Call 407629-0054 or visit enzian.org for more information.

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ART ALONG THE AVENUE If people know nothing much about Winter Park — do such people exist? — they at least know about its art festivals. One is approaching its 62nd year and attracts artists from all over the U.S. The other, entering its 46th year, spotlights only Florida artists. However, in 2020 neither festival was held as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, scheduled in March, was cancelled just as the pandemic gained speed and a lockdown loomed. And the Winter Park Autumn Art Festival, scheduled for October, was cancelled as public health concerns stubbornly hung on. Although this was unprecedented, both festivals plan to return in 2021, assuming the pandemic has receded and a degree of normalcy has returned.

Downtown Winter Park is the scene of numerous events and festivals. Among the most notable is the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, which attracts several hundred artists and several hundred thousand spectators. Shown here, throngs are just beginning to arrive as artists open their booths.

WINTER PARK SIDEWALK ART FESTIVAL

PHOTO BY WINTER PARK PICTURES/WINTERPARKPICTURES.COM

When the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival made its debut in the spring of 1960, the volunteers who created it wondered if they could attract the attention of enough artists and art lovers to make the event work. So far, so good. The 2021 spring festival is slated for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 19, 20 and 21, 2021. Some 225 artists — selected from among more than 1,000 applicants — will showcase their work for an estimated 350,000 people. Artists compete for 63 awards totaling $72,500. The Best of Show winner is purchased for $10,000 by the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival Board and donated to the City of Winter Park. Previous Best of Show winners are on permanent display at the Winter Park Public Library. Youngsters can create their own artwork at the Children’s Workshop Village. Easel painting is a popular activity, and budding artists can take their creations home with them. The Leon Theodore Schools Exhibit showcases art by students in Orange County schools. There are sculptures, drawings, paintings, photography, mixed media and a variety of other genres on display at the festival, which is consistently rated among the most prestigious in the U.S. Festival traditions include the selection of original art for the official festival poster, which is sold at the event. Posters from prior years are considered collectible by festival fans. Also during the festival, admission to the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is free. The mission of the festival — which is still run entirely by volunteers — hasn’t changed since its beginning decades ago, says past president Alice Moulton. “The event offers an enjoyable, fulfilling and profitable experience for artists,” she says. “Plus, it enhances art appreciation, art education and community spirit.” Visit wpsaf.org for more information.

WINTER PARK AUTUMN ART FESTIVAL Central Park is a gorgeous seasonal setting for an event devoted exclusively to Florida artists — and a community that appreciates them. The Winter Park Autumn Art Festival is, in fact, the only juried fine-art festival featuring only Florida artists. The free, 46-year-old annual event, hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, is usually held the second weekend in October, although the dates for 2021 had not been announced at press time. You’ll be able to view the work of 180 artists, whose genres encompass ceramics, drawings and graphics, fine crafts, jewelry, mixed media, paintings, photographs and sculptures. In addition, the Crealdé School of Art presents workshops for children ages 5 and up during the festival, which also features musical entertainment. Visit winterpark.org for information. LI VI N G IN WIN T ER PA RK 

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COURTESY OF ADJAYE ASSOCIATES © 2019 (LIBRARY RENDERINGS)

CITY FINALLY BOOKS A NEW LIBRARY AND EVENTS CENTER

The Canopy project (top) — designed by world-renowned civic architect Sir David Adjaye (above) in partnership with local architecture firm HuntonBrady — is slated to open in 2021. Adjaye, in collaboration with Orlando-based HuntonBrady Architects, has designed the most significant public building in Winter Park’s recent history. Among Adjaye’s most notable recent projects was the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

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If all goes well, Winter Park will have a new, state-of-the-art library and events center by October of 2021. In other words, construction of the facility will consume somewhat less time than did the civic debate surrounding it. But that’s Winter Park, where residents are nothing if not passionately opinionated. The Winter Park Library and Events Center (briefly dubbed The Canopy) is designed by world-renowned civic architect Sir David Adjaye, who’s best known in this country for the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The local project was a hot-button issue from the moment voters narrowly approved a $30 million bond referendum in 2016 for its design and construction. The remainder of the $41.7 million cost will be covered by $6 million in Orange County Tourist Development Tax money and an expected $8.1 million in philanthropy. Some naysayers insisted that the current library facility, built in 1979, was adequate. Others objected to the size of the project, its location in a city greenspace (the northwest corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Park), and the probability that its emphasis on events would generate too much traffic. Opponents in 2017 filed a lawsuit — ultimately tossed out — that failed to stop the project, but succeeded in causing delays and piling on legal costs. And in May 2020, two newly elected city commissioners proposed — to no avail — that the process be paused and studied further. Now, the seemingly endless debate is (apparently) over, and construction by contractor Brasfield & Gorrie has begun on the facility, which will be located where the Rachel D. Murrah Civic Center once stood. Designed in partnership with local architecture firm HuntonBrady, the 35,690-square-foot library and 13,456-square-foot events center — which will occupy 23 acres — can be best described not as a single entity but as a campus featuring a series of three pavilions with vaulted roof lines and sweeping windows.


The new library will feature: n A library commons with a living-room feel for reading and socializing. n An education and performance space that will seat 122 on the first floor, with an additional children’s learning and story time space that can seat 100 on the second floor. n Three tech-equipped working rooms for formal or collaborative meetings. n A “huddle room” for spontaneous or planned meetings. n Social spaces near age- and interest-appropriate book sections. n A computer lab where hands-on instruction will be offered. n Eight two-person study rooms for collaboration and conversation. n An open business center with tables near a computer lab. n An automated collection system that will improve efficiency. n An upgraded Genius Lab with 3D printers, a studio with video and audio production equipment, and a trained staff to assist users. n More borrowing items including technology, fishing poles, binoculars, musical instruments and more. n An expanded history and archives areas for preservation and research. n A larger “story room” adjacent to a flex-sized multipurpose room that will double capacity for early literacy story classes and creative arts events. n Self-checkouts and automated returns.

Shown are three views of the campus’ library component, including the lobby, the early literacy area and the second-floor stacks. Also shown is a scene from a wedding reception — the sort of gathering that’s ideal for the events center — and by an outdoor amphitheater.

The events center is projected to generate an estimated $11.3 million in annual event-related economic impact, with weddings being the primary draw. The city has contracts with an assortment of six catering vendors, and wedding reservations are already be taken. It’s all a far cry from Winter Park’s first library, established in 1885 on the front porch of Evaline Lamson’s cottage on Interlachen Avenue. But the books didn’t remain at Miss Lamson’s residence too long. Owners of a fledgling company that operated a new, mule-drawn streetcar line offered a vacant room in their Park Avenue offices for the “Winter Park Circulation Library Association.” Members only. Dues: $1 a year. It’s not much of a journey — geographically speaking, at least — from where Miss Lamson’s homey library once stood to the future home of the community resource she helped pioneer. — Michael McLeod LI VI N G IN WIN T ER PA RK 

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PHOTO BY RAFAEL TONGOL

Artistic Director John Sinclair was determined to make sure the COVID-19 pandemic would not cause the Bach Festival to take its first hiatus in 85 years of existence. Indeed, nobody who knows Sinclair truly believed that the music would stop.

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THERE’S ALWAYS

BACH The famous festival perseveres with live and online offerings. BY MICHAEL MCLEOD

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ohn Sinclair’s Rollins College office is awash in sheet music and concert programs, lined with scholarly tomes and stocked with recordings of classical music. That’s just what you’d expect for the workplace of a multitasking maestro who teaches music at the college, chairs its music department and serves as artistic director and conductor of one of the community’s cultural treasures: the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park. The society — founded in 1935 to celebrate the German master’s 250th birthday — encompasses a volunteer, 160-member choir and full orchestra that presents an annual slate of programs often featuring world-renowned guest artists. Although performances of all sorts are held year-round, the Bach Festival itself is held in February and March. The sheer spectacle of a full-on Bach Festival extravaganza in the breathtakingly beautiful Knowles Memorial Chapel has for decades provided an unforgettable experience for Central Florida audiences. Unquestionably, however, the 2020-21 season is proving to be the most challenging yet due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But Sinclair was determined that the festival would not take its first hiatus in 85 years of existence. Indeed, nobody who knows Sinclair truly believed that the music would stop. And that includes members of the Bach Festival Choir, a few of whom have been part of the organization even longer than its conductor, who has wielded the baton since 1990. “We trust him,” says Beverly Slaughter, a soprano who has sung in the choir for 45 years. “We’ve gone over every mountain and every rock with him.” Adds Jodi Tassos, another longtime member: “He knows how to get the best out of us. Yet he’s so kind and caring. I consider him a best friend.” Athalia Cope agrees. At 78, she has sung with the choir for 60 years and is its longest-tenured member. Like everyone else, she appreciates Sinclair’s sense of humor: “Sometimes, even when he corrects us, he’ll do it in a funny way. He’ll say, ‘You sound like a bunch of lumberjacks.’” Sinclair, in fact, went shopping last season for a selection of humorous T-shirts to wear during the grueling rehearsals. One of them read, “I’m sorry for the hurtful but true things I’m about to say to you.” He gave the shirts away — freshly laundered, of course — to outstanding choir members at the end of the season. A gifted storyteller, Sinclair often casts himself as the butt of the joke. For example, there’s the one about the time he briefly fell asleep on his feet while conducting. “Afterwards, I asked some of the people in the choir how I looked,” he says. “They told me: ‘Well, you kept up the beat.’” But levity has been harder to come by during the season of COVID-19. “This year, planning the season has been like reading a book, where you have no idea what you’re going to see when you turn a page,” says Sinclair. “I keep telling everyone, people will forgive us if we try and then fail to present a season. But what they won’t forgive is if we don’t try. People need music. And there’s going to be a real need for it, going forward from this.” Sinclair has spent much of the year reshuffling the schedule, checking with medical sources, educating himself about air-filtering systems and devising ways to both perform and rehearse virtually in order to present a season while protecting both choir and audience members from the virus. To the left, then, is the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park’s schedule as it stood in August 2020. Because of the public health situation, much remains tentative — even the city’s annual Christmas in the Park, at which the choir and orchestra perform. Performance times and, in some cases, locations are not confirmed. Events that allow in-person attendance will likely accommodate only limited seating based on current guidelines from the CDC and Rollins College. Performers, including the full Bach Festival Choir, will be socially distanced. All performances will be taped and digitally streamed — a first for the festival. So best to check bachfestivalflorida.org for more information prior to making plans. 

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2020–21 SEASON OCTOBER 2020 Visiting Artist Series October 1-18 Adam Golka, piano (Beethoven Sonatas) Tiedtke Concert Hall Time TBA IN PERSON AND STREAMED ONLINE

October 24 or 25 Silver Screen Symphonic Masterpieces Outdoors Location TBA Time TBA IN PERSON AND STREAMED ONLINE

NOVEMBER 2020 November 5 Insights & Sounds Sweet on Suites and Serenades Knowles Memorial Chapel Time TBA IN PERSON AND STREAMED ONLINE

November 19 Visiting Artist Series Diaz Trio Tiedtke Concert Hall Time TBA IN PERSON AND STREAMED ONLINE

DECEMBER 2020 December (Date TBA) Christmas in the Park (Tentative) Central Park December 12 and 13 Voctave Christmas Location and Time TBA IN PERSON AND STREAMED ONLINE

February 7 Spiritual Spaces Knowles Memorial Chapel Time TBA IN PERSON AND STREAMED ONLINE

February 12 and 13 Concertos by Candlelight Scandinavian Romantics: Grieg and Sibelius Knowles Memorial Chapel Time TBA IN PERSON AND STREAMED ONLINE

February 20 and 21 Either: American Spirituals and Folksongs Knowles Memorial Chapel or Organ, Bass and Choir Knowles Memorial Chapel Time TBA IN PERSON AND STREAMED ONLINE

February 27 Voces8 Either: Tiedtke Concert Hall or Knowles Memorial Chapel Time TBA IN PERSON AND STREAMED ONLINE

February 28 J.S. Bach Cantata Masterpieces Knowles Memorial Chapel Time TBA IN PERSON AND STREAMED ONLINE

MARCH 2021 Insights & Sounds Humor in Music Tiedtke Concert Hall Time TBA IN PERSON AND STREAMED ONLINE

FEBRUARY 2021 MAY 2021 The 86th Annual Bach Festival February 5 Organ Recital Knowles Memorial Chapel Time TBA

Choral Masterworks Dvorak, Lauridsen, Barber Knowles Memorial Chapel Time TBA IN PERSON AND STREAMED ONLINE

IN PERSON AND STREAMED ONLINE

A series of instrumental chamber music performances will also be announced. Season tickets were not yet on sale at press time. Visit bachfestivalflorida.org for the most up to date information since the schedule is in flux and may change depending on the COVID-19 pandemic.


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147 NORTH VIRGINIA AVENUE, WINTER PARK, FL 32789 Be the first to live in this private brownstone, designed and built by Phil Kean. It’s located in the heart of prestigious Winter Park, just a short walk to Park Avenue, Hannibal Square and the famous Farmers’ Market. This 3-story, 4,500-square-foot home has it all and is offered at $1,999,500. ALAN HICKS ALANHICKS.IDS@GMAIL.COM 3 2 1 . 2 8 7. 3 9 1 2 DIDEM ISIK-WIDENER MYBROKERORLANDO.COM 4 0 7. 4 6 8 . 7 6 7 2 RESIDENTIAL/COMMERICAL SALES AND LEASING 114 SOUTH PARK AVENUE, SUITE E • WINTER PARK, FL 32789

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THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT

Winter Park Playhouse founders Roy Alan and Heather Alexander (facing page) have found a niche presenting fun and frothy musicals. The Winter Park Playhouse (top) and Annie Russell Theatre at Rollins College (above) ensure that Winter Parkers never lack the opportunity to see live performances. LI VI N G IN WIN T ER PA RK 

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PHOTOS BY RAFAEL TONGOL (ROY ALAN AND HEATHER ALEXANDER; THE WINTER PARK PLAYHOUSE) PHOTO BY WINTER PARK PICTURES/WINTERPARKPICTURES.COM (ANNIE RUSSELL THEATRE)

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heater-loving Winter Park residents don’t have to go far to see a professional musical comedy or a top-notch college production. The Winter Park Playhouse, Central Florida’s only professional musical theater and one of just a few in the state, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing musicals, cabarets and outreach programs that entertain, uplift and inspire. The founders are stage veterans Roy Allen and Heather Alexander. The Annie Russell Theatre at Rollins College has been staging student productions of every kind since 1932. The jewel box of a theater, named for the stage actress who was its founding director, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. David Charles is chair of the college’s Department of Theater and Dance. At both venues, seasons were abbreviated in 2020. The Winter Park Playhouse has moved its entire 2020–21 season into 2021, while at press time, the Annie Russell Theatre has not yet announced productions for its upcoming season. But here’s what’s coming up at the Winter Park Playhouse: A Grand Night for Singing (January 22 through February 20, 2021), which features the music of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein ll; Respect: A Musical Journey of Women (March 19 through April 24, 2021), an off-Broadway show that celebrates the lives of women as reflected in the popular music of the 20th century; and Five Course Love (May 14 through June 13, 2021), another off-Broadway offering in which 15 characters seek love in five restaurant settings.   Also on the boards is Crazy For Gershwin (July 30 through August 22, 2021), which pays tribute to legendary composers George and Ira Gershwin; and Book of Merman (September 24 through October 17, 2021), a hilarious look at a seemingly fated encounter between Ethel Merman and two Mormon missionaries; and Christmas My Way: A Sinatra Holiday Bash (November 12 through 21 and December 1 through 18, 2021), a Rat Pack-style rouser packed with 40 hits by Ole Blue Eyes. For an announcement of the Annie Russell Theatre schedule, check the website at rollins.edu/annie-russell-theatre. For tickets to the Winter Park Playhouse, check the website at winterparkplayhouse.org. 


PHOTOS BY WINTER PARK PICTURES/WINTERPARKPICTURES.COM

ROLLINS GETS ANOTHER 4.0 F

ew colleges and college towns are as intertwined, geographically and historically, as Rollins College and Winter Park. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine one without the other. So locals were understandably proud when U.S. News & World Report ranked Rollins No. 1 in the South in its 2020 annual rankings of “Best Colleges.” It marked the 25th year the college has been ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 on the prestigious list. Rollins topped the list of 165 colleges and universities that provide a full range of undergraduate and master’s-level programs. “Rollins is proud once again to be recognized so prominently among the nation’s best colleges,” says Rollins President Grant Cornwell. “Our longstanding placement at the top of this ranking affirms that our intimate, innovative, interdisciplinary learning environment is the best preparation for the next generation of leaders as they tackle the challenges of the 21st century.” The U.S. News & World Report rankings evaluate colleges and universities on 16 measures of academic quality, including such widely accepted indicators of excellence as student retention, graduation rates and qualifications of faculty members. Rollins’ ranking can also be attributed to the college’s commitment to small classes and engaged, personalized learning between students and faculty, which has been the hallmark of a Rollins education since the college’s founding in 1885. In addition to ranking as the South’s top regional university, Rollins was also ranked No. 1 for best undergraduate teaching programs, which recognizes colleges for having a strong commitment to teaching undergraduates. U.S. News & World Report also recognized Rollins as a best value school and as one of the South’s most innovative colleges. The college’s undergraduate business program was ranked among the nation’s best, and Rollins made the list of regional universities in the South with the most ethnically diverse student body. “This kind of recognition is a testament to the college’s commitment to academic excellence and the achievement of our innovative faculty and industrious students,” adds Cornwell. “It underscores how well Rollins is delivering on its promise to educate students for global citizenship and responsible leadership, empowering them to lead meaningful lives and forge productive careers.” 

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I would like to tell you what I often told you when you were much younger: I like you just the way you are. And what’s more, I’m so grateful to you for helping the children in your life to know that you’ll do everything you can to keep them safe and to help them express their feelings in ways that will bring healing in many different neighborhoods.”

ILLUSTRATION BY DON SONDAG

— From the final episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

Winter Park-based artist Don Sondag painted this portrait of Fred Rogers, who was inspired to dedicate his life to service while attending Rollins College. The portrait hangs in the lobby of the campus’s Tiedtke Concert Hall.

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OUR NEIGHBOR THE BELOVED ICON OF CHILDREN’S TV ATTENDED ROLLINS COLLEGE, WHERE HE WAS INSPIRED TO A LIFE OF SERVICE.

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red Rogers — or, as his fans knew him, Mister Rogers — was born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. But Winter Park claims him as one of its own, in part because he graduated from Rollins College in 1951 with a degree in music composition. It was at Rollins where he met his future wife, Joanne Byrd, and participated in an array of campus activities, serving on the chapel staff and as a member of the Community Service Club, the Student Music Guild, the French Club, the Welcoming Committee, the After Chapel Club, the Race Relations Committee and the Alpha Phi Lambda fraternity. But he also formed enduring friendships in the city, and visited here regularly for the remainder of his life. When in Winter Park, he nearly always dropped by the campus, swimming in the pool nearly every day — he was an intramural swimmer in his college days — and sometimes slipping into classes that interested him. He counted John Sinclair, chairman of the Department of Music and artistic director of the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, as one of his closest friends. Rogers’ nephew, renowned composer Daniel Crozier, continues the legacy as a professor of music theory at the college. Suddenly, it seems — perhaps because of the turbulent times in which we live — Mister Rogers is more popular than ever. Certainly, his message of kindness and civility, which may have seemed corny to cynics 20 years ago, has never been more timely. In 2018, marking the 50th anniversary of Rogers’ iconic children’s program, PBS broadcast a poignant documentary called Mister Rogers: It’s You I Like. Another documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor, was released to theaters last year. A U.S. postage stamp bearing his likeness was recently unveiled. Oh, and there’s more. Tom Hanks starred in a big-budget Tristar biopic, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, inspired by a real-life friendship between Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. In the critically acclaimed 2018 film, Junod is shown as a hard-bitten reporter who reluctantly accepts an assignment to write a profile on Rogers for Esquire — and finds his worldview transformed in the process. The article, now considered a classic of magazine journalism, ran in 1998. Plus, plans are afoot to erect a statue of Rogers on the Rollins campus, the brainchild of influential alum Allan Keen, who is busily raising funds. In the meantime, though, to the right here are five things you may not have known about Fred Rogers. 

One of Mister Rogers’ cardigans and a pair of his sneakers are on display at the Rollins College Olin Library.

testimony helped save the VCR and paved the way for Netflix. ❶ His In 1976, Universal Studios filed a lawsuit against Sony Corporation to halt sale of the Betamax — the precursor to the VCR — claiming that home recording would damage television and film producers. When the case came before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1983, Rogers testified for Sony, saying he didn’t object to people taping his shows and watching them at a more convenient time — particularly if they were able to do so in a family setting. The court — which cited Rogers’ testimony — ruled in favor of Sony, and the case has served as a precedent for the popular recording and streaming technologies we enjoy today. was inspired by the “Life Is For Service” motto he saw at Rollins. ❷ He The talented music composition major — who transferred to Rollins from Dartmouth — took a photo of the inspirational engraving, which is on a wall near Strong Hall, and carried it in his wallet for years. It was finally framed and prominently placed on his desk. spoke at a child-friendly speed of 124 words per minute. ❸ He According to research, one reason why children were so captivated by Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood could be that Rogers’ speech was the perfect pace for children ages 3 to 5 to process. The average adult prefers to listen to speech at a pace of 150 to 160 words per minute. sweater and sneakers are housed in the campus library. ❹ His Rogers famously wore zip-front cardigans that were knitted by his mother. A blue cardigan and a pair of sneakers are among Rollins’ most treasured possessions and may be seen in the college’s Department of Archives and Special Collections in Olin Library. Another cardigan — a red one — is kept at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. weighed exactly 143 pounds for the last 30 years of his life. ❺ He Rogers lived a healthy life and was disciplined in his daily routine. Journalist Tom Junod explained that Rogers found beauty in his weight of 143 pounds because “the number 143 means ‘I love you.’ It takes one letter to say ‘I’ and four letters to say ‘love’ and three letters to say ‘you.’ One hundred and forty-three.” A version of this list originally appeared in Rollins 360, the campus magazine. LI VI N G IN WIN T ER PA RK 

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PHOTO BY WINTER PARK PICTURES/WINTERPARKPICTURES.COM

TIME FOR 9

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It’s a short drive to Winter Park’s legendary 9-hole golf course, which is inexorably linked to local history. BY DANA S. EAGLES

The charming and unpretentious Winter Park Golf Course clubhouse, built in 1915, has been maintained and features a working fireplace and oak floors. The adjacent pro shop, which was renovated in 2011, features exposed wood on the interior walls salvaged from a starter shack built in 1914 and from a previous remodeling project in 1967. LI VI N G IN WIN T ER PA RK 

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The city’s beloved nine-hole course, playfully dubbed “Winter Park National” by PGA Hall of Fame pro Nick Faldo, was plowed under in March and has reopened with a new, more challenging design. The reconfigured course occupies the same footprint and still abuts Palm Cemetery, where errant balls sometimes land. However, the layout makes the most of its 2,480 yards — and in 2017 was ranked among Golf Digest’s Best 9-Hole Golf Courses in the U.S.

T COURTESY OF THE WINTER PARK HISTORY MUSEUM

he Winter Park Golf Course reopened four years ago to considerable fanfare following a $1.2 million renovation. Since then patrons of the city-owned course, sometimes called the WP9, are still giving the upgrades a big thumb’s up. Built in 1914 on property then owned by Winter Park benefactor Charles Hosmer Morse, the 40-acre course — which was founded as the Winter Park Country Club — had aged like a rambling historic home whose outward charm belied an increasingly urgent need for repairs and reinvention. The irrigation system no longer worked reliably, the turf was old and tattered, and the relentlessly flat terrain was uninteresting and offered little in the way of a challenge, even to self-described hackers. Clearly, it was time.

The reconfigured course occupies the same footprint and still abuts Palm Cemetery, where errant balls sometimes land. (The protocol: Retrieve your ball, but please don’t play out of the cemetery.) However, the layout makes the most of its 2,480 yards — and in 2017 was ranked among Golf Digest’s Best 9-Hole Golf Courses in the U.S. Gary Diehl, a resident who served on a city task force that recommended improvements, recalls some skeptics asking: “Why in the world are we renovating that golf course? It’s green.” But Diehl, who spent 37 years in the golf equipment and apparel business, says the more he and his colleagues learned about the course’s condition, the more convinced they became of the need to act.

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Although it’s more expensive to play than it used to be, fees are still relatively low. Residents who play Monday through Thursday mornings from November through April — the busiest time for the course — pay $13, while nonresidents pay $18. Fees rise to $18 and $22, respectively, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Annual memberships for residents are $900 and $1,080 for nonresidents. There’s a free, 10,000-square-foot putting course on Park Avenue near the ninth-hole tee box. The exclusive-sounding “country club” label was eliminated when the course reopened. The two golf course architects who led the redesign, Keith Rhebb and Riley Johns, both say they

recognized the rare opportunity they had been presented. After all, the course, which Hall of Fame pro Nick Faldo once dubbed “Winter Park National,” is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. However, it’s only the second-oldest course in the Orlando area. The Country Club of Orlando opened a year earlier. Golf legends such as Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Gene Sarazen and Walter Hagen have played Winter Park’s course, sometimes in exhibition matches. It has been the scene of countless charitable tournaments and has become a second home to many locals, some of whom play nearly every day. A central challenge in the redesign was making


opened in 1926 and lured players away. Aloma’s 6,180-yard course and $45,000 clubhouse made the relatively modest Winter Park Country Club obsolete, forcing it to close shortly thereafter. The block bounded by Interlachen, Webster and Park Avenues was bought by the city and repurposed as Charles H. Morse Memorial Park. (The industrialist had died in 1921.) The clubhouse remained and was occupied for a time by the newly formed University Club of Winter Park. The rest of the land was, thankfully, never developed. Winter Park Golf Estates, the real-estate development surrounding the Aloma course, ultimately failed, and the course itself was abandoned in 1936, a casualty of the Great Depression. Later that year, led by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, local movers and shakers decided to reactivate the dormant Winter Park Country Club and raise funds to rehabilitate the older course. Donations amounted to $6,250, which was more than enough to do the job. When the club reopened in 1937, the annual membership fee was $44 and greens fees were $1. Jones, who had been snapped up by the illfated Aloma Country Club, was rehired as club pro — a position he would hold until his retirement in 1964. The new incarnation of the club leased the property, partially from the city but primarily from the Winter Park Land Company, which had been formed by Morse in 1915 when he acquired the vast land holdings of its defunct predecessor, the Winter Park Company. Later, the Winter Park Land Company’s portion of the property, totaling about 25 acres, was transferred to the Charles Hosmer Morse and Elizabeth Morse Genius foundations, which continued to lease it to the city in 10-year increments. While the land was owned by the foundation and leased to the club, there was no guarantee

that this prime swath of real estate would forever remain green space. In fact, as an extension of the lease was being discussed in 1996, foundation officials expressed an interest in selling the land to developers. City leaders and residents weren’t about to let that happen. In a lively referendum, voters overwhelmingly approved a proposal to raise taxes and buy the course. The $8 million purchase price was backed by a 20-year, $5.1 million bond issue. The bonds were paid off in early 2016. Golf courses, many of which have closed, have had an especially hard time attracting millennials. Bloomberg News recently reported that consumer spending on golf has remained flat over the past eight years, and Nike has decided to get out of the golf equipment business. Castoff clubs go unsold at garage sales and thrift stores. Yet, the geographical limitations of the Winter Park Golf Course could give it an edge as the sport regroups. Busy Americans who can’t spend four or five hours on 18 holes may be willing to spend two hours on nine holes — especially if they can combine golf with lunch, dinner or shopping. “Most golf courses don’t have the luxury of being attached to an asset like Park Avenue,” says Diehl. The emphasis on the compressed round of golf gave rise to hopeful slogans such as “Quick Nine,” “Nine Is the New 18,” “Time for Nine” and even “Wine and Nine.” In its first year after reopening, the course launched the Winter Park City Amateur Golf Championship. In May of that year, nearly 60 golfers, young and old, participated. The course also experienced a resurgence of “glow golf ” by investing in state-of-the-art equipment to play golf at night. Private groups, nonprofits and corporations hosted fundraisers, teambuilding events and holiday parties under the stars at the course. Night golf became so popular that the course began hosting Public Night Golf every Tuesday night from November through March. In 1999, the Winter Park Golf Course became the first golf course in Florida to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The following year, Florida Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee announced that the WP9 had been chosen as the featured course on the Florida Historic Golf Trail for the month of January. Leary is pleased with how everything worked out. “The golf industry has a huge push right now toward nine holes — before work, after work, even during lunch,” he says. And he pledges to do his part: “I love the sport. I don’t play enough, but I’ll be playing more. If you see me out there, duck.”  NOTE: At press time, due to COVID-19 restrictions, no walk-up golfers were permitted. Tee times must be scheduled in advance by going online at cityofwinterpark.org. Or, you may call 407-5993419 for more information. LI VI N G IN WIN T ER PA RK 

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PHOTO BY WINTER PARK PICTURES/WINTERPARKPICTURES.COM

the course more strategic while keeping it inviting for beginners and those who love the game but possess only modest skills. “It’s the easiest thing in the world to make a difficult golf course,” Rhebb notes. It’s also easy to spend money, Johns adds. But the two recognized that on a community course committed to low fees, “we couldn’t go in there and build water features and make it more costly.” Besides adding undulations to the fairways and moving tee boxes, they redesigned the bunkers. A well-placed bunker, they determined, would help “steer” golfers so the balls they hit would be less likely to dent a passing BMW. There was one thing the architects couldn’t change, though: the streets, sidewalks and other landmarks that define the course’s perimeter. “There’s no negotiation with concrete,” Johns says. “We had to work within those constraints.” Unchanged is the lovingly maintained but entirely unpretentious clubhouse, with its working fireplace and oak floors. The adjacent pro shop, which was renovated in 2011, features exposed wood on the interior walls salvaged from a 1914 starter shack and from a previous remodeling effort in 1967. Casa Feliz, a restored Spanish-style farmhouse that was saved from the wrecking ball following an uprising of irate citizens, was moved in 2001 to a patch of unused city property adjacent to the 9th hole and repurposed as a community building. The historic home’s stately presence only adds to the course’s irresistible charm. As far back as 1899, Winter Parkers had a place to play golf. The so-called “Rollins 9” was a ninehole course commissioned by Morse that encompassed the west side of the Rollins College campus and part of what is now downtown Winter Park. But in 1914, Morse and others decided that a proper country club was needed. The Winter Park Country Club, a nonprofit corporation, was established and a nine-hole course was designed by H.A. “Harley” Ward and Dow George, who became the club pro. The course, and the $3,500 clubhouse, was built on property owned by Morse, who was also elected first president of the nascent organization. Another 18 holes were added the following year. Although the 27 holes were considered two separate courses, they shared the first fairway and green, and extended all the way to U.S. Highway 17-92, where Winter Park Village now sprawls. Play was sometimes interrupted by stray cows, prompting club officials to erect a fence. Some livestock, including sheep and goats, were welcomed, though. The unwitting animals kept the grass in check and were later slaughtered to help alleviate a meat shortage during World War I. A decade later, the club’s heyday had seemingly come to a close. The Aloma Country Club, which encompassed the present-day location of Ward Park and AdventHealth Winter Park,


In 2017, the legendary Clyde Butcher, renowned for his iconic Everglades images, visited Winter Park and spent several days taking photographs at Mead Botanical Garden. One of the images he captured, shown on this page, was of the garden's oakleaf hydrangea, dracaenas, cordylines and a variety of begonias and ferns in the Legacy Garden.

A GARDEN OF EARTHLY

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This lively portrait of naturalist Theodore Luqueer Mead, for whom the garden was named, was painted in 1932 by Sam Stoltz, an artist and self-trained architect whose quirky “Spanish Florida” homes can still be seen in Windermere, College Park, Winter Park and on scattered sites throughout Central Florida.

A ‘Winter Park’s Natural Place’ is more than pretty and peaceful. It’s also an important ecosystem. BY LESLIE K. POOLE

snowy egret balances on a rock, eyeing glassy pond water in search of silvery minnows. Two gopher tortoises wrestle head-to-head in a slow-motion battle of wills. A bicyclist takes a break, peering up into an enormous pine tree from which comes a wind-borne tune. These are the creatures of Winter Park’s Mead Botanical Garden — humans, birds, reptiles and fish — that have found relief and sustenance in its 47 acres of precious green space. Only two blocks from the incessant cacophony of four-lane U.S. 17-92, it’s a quiet, verdant haven from harassment that allows the human spirit to rise while supporting habitats that have disappeared from much of Central Florida. The loveliness that visitors find here is real, making it an essential retreat especially during this time of quarantine. “It’s Nature RX,” says Mead Executive Director Cynthia Hasenau. “There is just nothing like spending time in nature and breathing in its glory.” But the garden also serves practical purposes: It filters water destined for the St. Johns River, houses scarce species, and provides layover grounds for migratory birds in search of food and rest. The garden also offers a glimpse into Winter Park’s past, when the area was mostly pinelands with trees that extended to the horizon — a rare sight in present-day Central Florida. Tucked behind a busy municipal tennis complex, railroad tracks, apartment buildings and homes, the garden is located on the south side of the city, bordered by Pennsylvania Avenue to the east and South Denning Drive to the west. But beyond its shady bricked entry, the garden offers calm amid chaos, and an opportunity to experience a different kind of park — one that combines planted gardens with restored natural areas. “Mead Botanical Garden is a little ecological island,” says Forest Michael, a landscape architect and master planner who has long been involved in the garden’s restoration. “It’s one of Florida’s most interesting spots, full of history and ecological relevance.” LI VI N G IN WIN T ER PA RK 

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PHOTOS BY RAFAEL TONGOL

A TRIBUTE TO A FRIEND The garden is named for Theodore Luqueer Mead, an accomplished naturalist, entomologist and horticulturist who moved to Oviedo in the late 1880s. There he grew exotic plants — particularly orchids — and became renowned for his hybridization techniques. A year after Mead’s death in 1936, his protégé, John “Jack” Connery — who had inherited Mead’s teeming greenhouses — approached Edwin Osgood Grover, the “professor of books” at Rollins College. Connery thought — and Grover agreed — that there should be a vast garden to memorialize their mutual friend, and to display his collection of amaryllis, hemerocallis, fancy-leaf caladiums and more than 1,000 orchids. But how could such an audacious goal be achieved? Near Rollins College was a low-lying area along Howell Creek that they thought would be perfect for the venture. At Grover’s behest, owners of several tracts donated their holdings to Theodore L. Mead Botanical Garden Inc., a newly formed nonprofit. Four years later, aided by Works Progress Administration labor, the dream became a reality. Mead Botanical Garden officially opened on January 15, 1940, in a formal ceremony that included local dignitaries and elected officials. Grover, who presided over the festivities, laid out a grand vision of a garden that would encompass unspoiled natural areas, ornamental plots, greenhouses for exotic plants and even aquariums — which were never built. Perhaps the garden wasn’t everything that Grover and Connery had envisioned. For years, though, it was arguably the most beautiful spot in Central Florida — a fitting tribute to the genius of Mead and the persistence of the unlikely pair who had implemented this far-fetched notion.

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One of the most popular features of the garden is Howell Creek (above left), which brings water from the wetlands near Orlando’s Spring Lake through Winter Park and into a lake system that eventually connects to the St. Johns River. Volunteers such as Alice Mikkleson and Jean Scarbourgh (above right) are crucial to maintaining the 47-acre garden, which is owned by the city but operated by Mead Botanical Garden Inc., a nonprofit organization.

ONCE LOST, NOW FOUND Then, in 1953, the original nonprofit headed by Grover was acrimoniously dissolved — there was a dispute over the distribution of admission fees — and operation of the garden was turned over to the city. Gradually, it became a mishmash of elements. There were multiple greenhouses, two of which were filled with Mead’s orchids. A garden path was lined with palms and hybridized plants, and the wetlands encompassed an egret rookery. But there was also a county-owned clay pit next to a landfill, which contained everything from old tires to chemical waste. And in 1959, an amphitheater was built next to Howell Creek. Decades after its creation, the vision articulated by Grover and Connery had been forgotten — or, more likely, ignored. Nonnative invasive trees, plants and vines overwhelmed the wetlands. Wooden boardwalks were built and then abandoned to rot. The city even used the property to store and repair vehicles. Maintenance consisted of mowing over native plants, leaving them unable to naturally grow and reseed. An irreplaceable natural asset was being not only neglected but abused.


In 1988, Mayor David Johnson appointed a 15-member Mead Garden Task Force, which recruited the Orlando Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects to assist in formulating a master plan. Perhaps predictably, the plan gathered dust. In 1992, a Rollins class analyzed the site, offering a vision for a boardwalk system that included signage to educate visitors about local ecology. Again, nothing of consequence resulted. Despite fits and starts of ideas and activity, comprehensive management — and adequate funding for restoration — never materialized. By the early 21st century, the property had become not a botanical garden but an oversized and underused city park — breathtaking in places, but in a state of inexorable decline. Enough maintenance was done to keep it looking respectable, and the amphitheater remained a popular venue among event planners. Some boardwalks were repaired, a few trails were built, and the entry was rebricked. However, the garden needed new energy to revive the vision of its early champions like Grover and Connery. Enter the Friends of Mead Garden, a nonprofit formed in 2003 by concerned residents. The group organized volunteers for cleanup duty and advocated improvement plans to city officials. Those efforts were hampered, however, by the

hurricanes of 2004. Charley, Frances and Jeanne — three storms in six weeks — left the wetlands a mess and blew in more invasive species. Optimism was rekindled in 2007, when the city approved a master plan for the garden presented by Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan, a large architecture and engineering firm. But an economic storm — the Great Recession — caused funding for reclamation to be slashed. Still, volunteer “Weed Warriors” and “Butterfly Brigades” soldiered on, mostly on weekends, doing what they could with limited resources and motivated by their vision for the garden’s future. In 2012, the Friends of Mead Garden — now Mead Botanical Garden Inc. (MBG) — signed a multiyear agreement with the city that essentially turned over operational responsibility to the privately funded organization and its 18-member board. The city still owns the property, but the nonprofit runs its facilities. MBG board members envision a new master plan that’s more ecologically focused and program-driven than past plans have been. Central to MBG’s effort is enhancing and restoring habitats and natural systems. There’ll always be human manipulation of the property, notes Michael, but improving its ecology will be a boon for flora and fauna. “If the ecology is good,” he adds, “people will love it.”

WATERWAYS AND BIRDS One of the most popular features of the garden is Howell Creek, which brings water from the wetlands near Orlando’s Spring Lake through Winter Park and into a lake system that eventually connects to the St. Johns River. The portion of the creek that runs through the garden is its longest uninterrupted stretch. It winds through cypress trees and Alice’s Pond — named in LI VI N G IN WIN T ER PA RK 

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PHOTO BY LAURENCE TAYLOR

The garden has long been a popular birding site. Its checklist of almost 180 species, compiled by the Orange Audubon Society, includes native and migratory birds. Birders regularly roam the site carrying binoculars or cameras with large lenses to “capture” their prey. Among the yearround residents are barred owls, which regularly produce broods of adorable owlets (above).


PHOTO BY RAFAEL TONGOL

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honor of volunteer Alice Mikkleson — providing an important habitat and travel avenue for wading birds, otters, turtles and fish. During dry periods, the creek almost disappears; during rainy periods, it floods, demonstrating the fluctuations of natural systems and the importance of wetlands to the local ecology. Joining the creek at the garden are two city stormwater pipes that collect water from the surrounding neighborhood and dump it onto the property. The water — teeming with chemicals, fertilizers, leaves, grass clippings and trash — had for years been deposited into an increasingly mucky marsh. But with Michael’s help — and through in-person lobbying of Tallahassee lawmakers by Winter Park Mayor Steve Leary — the city received $450,000 in state grants to remove 17 truckloads of muck and landfill debris from the half-acre site. A clay pit and a plant-lined pond near The Grove — a newer amphitheater built in 2012 — assist in water treatment during storm and high-water times. Now, when water flows through the creek, it’s much cleaner than when it arrived. “The garden is going to be a managed system to some extent, but we want it to be managed as close to natural as possible,” says Tim Egan, assistant director of parks and recreation for the City of Winter Park. The city is

supervising an ongoing wetlands restoration and reforestation effort using $100,000 from the city’s stormwater utility capital improvement fund. The entire job may take decades to fully complete. For now, though, the garden provides priceless green space for the city — which is important for people and animals alike. “The tremendous ecological value of the garden is, in part, its proximity to other natural resources,” Egan says. The city’s various parks support many species — particularly birds — that have adapted to living in an urban environment. The garden has long been a popular birding site. Its checklist of almost 180 species, compiled by the Orange Audubon Society (OAS), includes native and migratory birds. “Mead Garden is a supermarket for migratory birds,” says Hasenau. Birders regularly roam the garden carrying binoculars or cameras with large lenses to “capture” their prey. During the spring and fall migration seasons, OAS conducts guided walks for birders, who come from across Florida in hopes of glimpsing, say, a colorful American redstart or hooded warbler. Scot French, an amateur photographer, usually visits the garden twice a week. “Obviously, I love the place,” says French, who lives in Maitland and is a UCF history professor. “I go there all the time. I find it really peaceful.” The wildlife is always changing, French says. On a recent visit, he realized that a barred owl was directly overhead, staring down at him — and offering an unexpected photo op. “It shot me a look like it was mad,” says French.

SANDHILL PINE UPLANDS The southern part of the garden, which offers the healthiest habitat, encompasses the sandhill pine uplands that once dominated the Central Florida landscape. LI VI N G IN WIN T ER PA RK 

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PHOTOS BY RAFAEL TONGOL

Just beyond the garden’s entrance is its restored greenhouse (above left), which is surrounded by a colorful and meticulously maintained Legacy Garden. Among the unusual plants you’ll find are staghorn ferns (above right), which hang from the large oak trees just to the left of the greenhouse. The ferns are native to Africa, Australia and Southeast Asia. During last year’s Young Naturalist Summer Camp, Shannon Charmley, program counselor, and a group of eager youngsters (facing page) collected samples of aquatic life from Howell Creek.


Educational programs at the garden cultivate — literally — young ecologists. One of the most popular such programs is the Young Naturalist Summer Camp, held every June and July for children ages 5 to 12.

PHOTOS BY RAFAEL TONGOL

This tract, while not completely pristine, has the greatest potential to be restored to a near-natural state. It rises to 89 feet — the highest elevation in the garden. Its central feature is longleaf pine — majestic trees that can reach 50 to 60 feet in height and live up to 500 years. Plant growth in the uplands was once kept in check by forest fires. However, with no fires for at least 150 years, other trees have sprouted, including palms and laurel oaks. In the meantime, native plants have been mowed over by city crews, and nonnative plant species have invaded. Since 2013, in partnership with MBG, the Tarflower Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society has developed a sandhill demonstration garden with three areas totaling 6,500 square feet. The plots are populated by a variety of plants, including saw palmetto, black cherry, persimmon and native grasses. Plans to add another 5,000 square feet of native grasses are in the works, said Catherine Bowman, who chairs a newly formed Tarflower-Mead committee. Signs to explain the habitat — and the gopher tortoises that thrive there — are displayed in marked areas, some separated by split rail fencing. Gopher tortoises are listed by the state as a threatened species, which means their numbers have dropped from historical levels. Gopher tortoises also have an important function in the environment. Their extensive underground tunnels — the entrances are cordoned off at the garden — may be home to some 350 other animal species. Response to the native area, planted by volunteers and using funds from an

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have to worry about tracking in dirt.” Centered in the Discovery Barn — originally built as a storage facility for city tractors — and a small environmental building, the camp lets kids get up close and personal with everything from snakes to minnows to butterflies in the butterfly garden. All the while, they’re learning about Florida habitats from a 12-member counselor staff that’s aided by counselors-in-training who earn community service for their camp work. There’s not an electronic device in sight — and the kids, some of them soaked through their clothes from wading, are having a ball. “I’m fond of saying that if we can get kids to fall in love with the Earth when they’re little, they’ll love it forever,” says Hasenau as a group of boisterous campers pass. She describes the camp experience as “going green and getting grimy,” a phrase that seems to perfectly fit the bill. MBG also offers programming for elementary and preschool children as well as opportunities for field trips with public, private and home schools. Special field trips may be arranged on an appointment basis. Rollins classes often walk to the garden, where they’re able to conduct studies in nature’s own laboratory. Students taught by Bobby Fokidis, an assistant professor of biology, have trapped, tagged and collected blood samples from turtles; their biggest catch was a 51-pound female snapping turtle, which they released. Rollins students have also documented fish from the creek and from the stormwater retention ponds, discovering in the process that a South American fish species has somehow entered the ponds. Fokidis, an eco-physiologist who studies the effect of urban environments on animal species, points to scientific studies indicating that a walk in the woods can decrease stress and improve human emotional wellbeing. “Psychologically, it’s important that people have this,” he adds. Researchers have indeed found that people living near green space have less mental distress as well as lower incidences of 15 ailments, including asthma, migraine headaches, depression and heart disease.

Bobby Fokidis, an assistant professor of biology at Rollins College, holds a 51-pound female Florida snapping turtle found in Howell Creek near the foot bridge. The turtle was given a unique mark on her upper shell (carapace) that allowed her to be tracked. “It’s cool to know that even in a small parkland in suburban Winter Park, such large and old reptiles are still out there,” Fokidis says.

annual MBG native plant sale and Backyard Diversity event, has been positive, Bowman said, adding that the goal is “to bring some of the beauty of Central Florida’s longleaf pine sandhill plants back to Mead Botanical Garden.”

EDUCATION AND PSYCHIC RELIEF Ecology comes to life during the garden’s educational programs and camps, which aim to be incubators for future environmentalists. One of the most popular programs is the Young Naturalist Summer Camp, held every summer for children ages 5 to 12. When it debuted, the camp had 35 registered children and ran three weeks. In summer 2020, the six-week camp registered more than 300 kids. “We are absolutely thrilled, and parents are happy to have a place where their kids can go and just be kids,” Hasenau said. The Rotary Club of Winter Park supports the program with 10 scholarships annually. “The secret of the camp’s success is the awesome camp staff, the amazing natural setting, and the interesting activities and adventures,” Hasenau says. “Children have fun, they explore, they learn, and they don’t

With a staff of three full-timers and one part-time social media coordinator, the garden is reliant on a combination of taxpayer dollars, private fundraising and literal sweat equity from volunteers. The public-private partnership is proving beneficial to the city, which allocates approximately one-sixth of one percent of its annual budget to the garden while earning back more than twice that amount, according to Hasenau. Some of the challenges include reducing the impact of feral cats that hunt avian life — a problem made more difficult by people illegally feeding the felines — and working with local governments to reduce the use of insecticides and herbicides that can harm native biota. Also high on the priority list is improving land-management practices; removing exotic species; and accelerating the wetlands restoration and reforestation program. In addition, MBG has developed new community programming and offerings, including a partnership with Dubsdread Catering for events at the Azalea Lodge, and outdoor church services and play performances at The Grove. This fall MBG plans to offer children’s birthday programs with nature-oriented activities. “We’re providing a venue where groups can gather outdoors,” Hasenau says. “We’re their place.” Walking through the garden on a muggy afternoon, Hasenau energetically points to garden highlights, notes some problem areas and praises the passionate volunteer efforts. “We’ve made a lot of progress since 2003,” she says. “And, there’s tremendous potential as well. We’re just scratching the surface of what we can do here.”  Leslie K. Poole, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of environmental studies at Rollins College. She’s also the author of Saving Florida: Women’s Fight for the Environment in the Twentieth Century (University Press of Florida, 2015). LI VI N G IN WIN T ER PA RK 

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COURTESY OF BOBBY FOKIDIS

JUST SCRATCHING THE SURFACE


ISN’T IT ROMANTIC? 

Winter Park is where love is always in bloom alongside the azaleas.

i

By Patricia Letakis

ts cultural vibe and historic charm have always defined Winter Park. But if you’re planning a wedding here, you’ll notice one aspect above all others: The city is a very, very romantic place. The granddaddy oaks, the tranquil lakes, the brick streets, the meticulously restored private homes and the numerous cultural amenities combine to provide an idyllic setting for an exchange of vows and a celebration afterward. Winter Park’s many charms — including its shopping and dining districts — also make it an extraordinarily appealing place for out-of-town wedding guests to explore after the wedding day hubbub. But first things first. If you’re planning to be married, you’re faced with an embarrassment of riches in Winter Park. Whatever your taste — from a nationally renowned boutique hotel to a retro red-brick railroad station — you’ll find an unforgettable venue in good old 32792.

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The gorgeous Rollins College campus, with its Mediterranean Revival-style architecture and lush landscaping, is home to historic Knowles Memorial Chapel, built in 1932 and the site of 60 to 70 weddings a year.


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Going to the Chapel The gorgeous Rollins College campus, with its Mediterranean Revival-style architecture and lush landscaping, is home to historic Knowles Memorial Chapel, built in 1932 and the site of 60 to 70 weddings a year. Over the decades, it’s likely that some couples who didn’t even want to marry were compelled to make the leap solely because of the opportunity to say “I do” in this jewel box of a building. For decades, however, these coveted chapel nuptials were available only to faculty, staff and alumni of the college as well as their children. That all changed last spring, when the chapel was made available to those with no such Rollins affiliation. Concurrently, the erstwhile campus bookstore was repurposed as a reception and banquet hall. The 10,000-square-foot Rice Family Pavilion, which can accommodate receptions and rehearsal dinners of up to 230, features a brand-new rotunda with floor-to-ceiling windows. There’s a full kitchen downstairs, where in the 1960s a coffee shop hosted budding folk singers. The chapel, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, boasts dramatic towers arched overhead and sunlight filtered through stained-glass windows. A vintage pipe organ adds a majestic touch to this sacred space, which was designed by Ralph Adams Cram. The legendary architect’s other achievements include a master plan for Princeton University and the Gothic transformation of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. Following ceremonies, couples are often photographed at the chapel’s majestic entry or in a rose garden located just steps away. Indeed, the entire campus provides multiple backdrops for stunning images. Weddings are held on Saturdays only, and openings are limited because of holidays and college events. (That’s why getting married at the chapel can’t be a spur-of-the-moment decision.) If you have no college connection, you must book a package that includes both the chapel and the Rice Family Pavilion. But that’s something you’d likely do in any case. The interior of Knowles Memorial Chapel (facing page, top) boasts dramatic towers arched overhead and sunlight filtered through stainedglass windows. A vintage pipe organ adds a majestic touch to this sacred space. Another popular venue at Rollins is the Rice Family Pavilion (facing page, bottom). The reimagined and repurposed space can accommodate receptions and rehearsal dinners of up to 230.

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Homey and Historic Capen House at the Polasek sits on three lush acres skirting the shores of Lake Osceola, alongside the Alan Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens. How it got there is a story worthy of Ripley’s Believe It or Not. The circa-1885 Tudor Revival home famously faced the wrecking ball in 2013, until community members raised funds to float the structure — via barge and in pieces — across the lake to the museum’s property, where it was reassembled and restored. Surely there’s a wedding analogy in there somewhere. The herculean effort to preserve the home has made it a treasure in the hearts of Winter Parkers. Pinewood floors, beadboard ceilings, crystal chandeliers, bronze sculptures and a case filled with silver teapots are among the details that make it an endearing and enchanting place for weddings. Larger groups hold ceremonies on the manicured Lake View Lawn, which is surrounded by blooming gardens. Smaller groups often opt for the expansive patio, which can be outfitted with tables draped in white tablecloths for elegant outdoor dining. Indoor weddings take place in the Grand Parlor, which is highlighted by a Victorian staircase. Cocktails can be served on an enclosed porch that offers a spectacular view of the grounds and the water. A dock allows guests to arrive by boat, if they so choose. The Peacock Room, with its French doors, oriental rugs and a sofa accented with pretty tapestry pillows, serves as a charming dressing/waiting room for brides. And the house has a full catering kitchen, where any caterers on the Capen House preferred list can set up. Czech-born sculptor Albin Polasek’s Mediterranean-style home, now a museum, is just steps away. In addition to viewing a collection of figurative and whimsical mythological sculptures on the grounds, guests can tour the exhibition gallery, see the artist’s personal chapel and enjoy his courtyard — where the iconic “Emily” sculpture welcomes visitors with her harp. Other historic venues in the city include the cozy Winter Park Country Club, a welcoming clapboard cottage built in 1914 and painted in summer shades of yellow and white. Its screenedin porch faces the Winter Park Golf Course, the region’s second-oldest nine-hole layout. The unpretentious interior features two fireplaces, paddle fans and highly polished wood floors. The main dining room seats 78, while the lounge accommodates 49. The venue, which also

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Capen House at the Polasek sits on three lush acres skirting the shores of Lake Osceola, alongside the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens. Larger wedding parties hold ceremonies on the manicured Lake View Lawn, which is surrounded by blooming gardens.

has a bricked outdoor gathering area, is run by the City of Winter Park. Also adjacent to the golf course is another blast from the past that offers an entirely different sort of wedding experience. Casa Feliz Historic Home & Venue — which dubs itself “Winter Park’s Community Parlor” — is a little bit country. Meaning, in this case, an entirely different country (and era). At 6,000 square feet, this Andalusian-style masonry farmhouse was built in 1933. However, architect James Gamble Rogers II wanted it to look several hundred years older — which he accomplished with arches crafted to resemble ruins, a whitewashed red-brick exterior and a weather-worn clay barrel-tile roof. The interior of Casa Feliz (“happy house” in Spanish) evokes 19th-century Spain and is replete with beamed ceilings, oriental rugs, ornately carved chairs, fireplaces and paintings in gilded frames. It

can accommodate up to 120 for a reception. A cozy courtyard with a fountain featuring colorful Mallorca tiles that depict floral and bird designs is just one of many unique photo opportunities. Larger weddings are often held in the courtyard or on the front lawn, while smaller events may be held indoors. Upstairs, the beautifully furnished hospitality suites provide a comfortable place to prepare. Like the Capen House, Casa Feliz was rescued from demolition and moved to its current site when community activists rode to the rescue. The structure, which was hauled from Interlachen Avenue to its current location on city property in 2000, is owned by the city and operated (using its own funding) by the nonprofit Friends of Casa Feliz. Capen House at the Polasek, the Winter Park Country Club and Casa Feliz Historic Home & Venue are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


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Mead Botanical Garden is known as “Winter Park’s Natural Place.” It’s certainly a natural place for a wedding — possibly at Garden Grove, an outdoor performance area that features a raised stage topped with soaring overhead sails. The stage faces a gently sloping lawn, and there’s a rustic pole barn off to the side.

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Gracious Gardens Flowers are meant to bring joy to a wedding — which explains, in part, the popularity of getting married in a garden setting. At Mead Botanical Garden, the Little Amphitheater, cocooned by pink azaleas, a frilly wrought-iron trellis and tall oak trees, has been a favorite wedding locale for more than 50 years. Tiered bench seating for as many as 350 eliminates the need for cumbersome folding chairs. A bonus is access to the 47-acre site’s other picturesque locations, from the Butterfly Garden to Alice’s Pond. After the ceremony, friends and family can gather in the 3,000-square-foot Azalea Lodge, just steps from the amphitheater. Weddings and receptions may also be held at the adjacent Grove at Mead Garden, an outdoor performance area that features a raised stage that faces a gently sloping lawn. There’s a rustic pole barn off to the side, from which caterers can operate food and drink stations. The 50-by-60-foot platform is big enough to accommodate the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra, which performs there. And it’s also big enough to accommodate at least a dozen tables for a seated dinner. Other outdoors-themed weddings are held at 13-acre Kraft Azalea Garden, which faces Lake Maitland along Alabama Drive — a winding, shady street lined with historic homes and modern showplaces. The garden is filled with cypress trees that reach soaring heights and drip with Spanish moss, which blows gently in the breeze. And, of course, there are acres of azaleas. On the edge of the lake is the iconic Exedra, an open-air, temple-like structure whose architectural heritage dates to ancient Greece. The Exedra, which was built in 1969, is particularly breathtaking (and photogenic) at sunset. However, only groups of up to 20 are permitted to use the city-owned property, and there’s no dressing area — so come prepared. If you like the idea of an outdoor wedding but prefer that amenities be a little closer at hand, you may opt for the Central Park Rose Garden, located in the southern reaches of the city’s signature Central Park.  Located near the corner of Park and New England avenues, the urban oasis is convenient to venues where receptions can be held. No parties are allowed in the park and, like Kraft Azalea Garden, there’s no preparation area (or even restrooms). Groups are limited to 20.


Unique and Boutique Weddings at the luxurious Alfond Inn at Rollins, a boutique hotel owned by the college, are popular in part because out-of-town guests have a handy place to stay. Oh, but what a place it is. The 112-room Alfond — located just a block from Park Avenue — has earned Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Award as the Best Hotel in Florida every year from 2014 to 2018 and has a AAA Four Diamond rating. The Alfond is, of course, frequently full. But if you book a wedding, you’re guaranteed a block of rooms and can be certain that your guests will be well taken care of — and will be within walking distance of shops, restaurants and museums. The hotel’s signature Conservatory, with its dramatic glass-dome ceiling, is a one-of-a-kind wedding space in the region. Adding further interest are thought-provoking pieces from the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, which is held by the college’s Cornell Fine Arts Museum. Outdoor weddings are often held on the Courtyard Lawn, adjacent to the Conservatory, which is lined with pots of bougainvillea that bloom bountifully in shades of pink. Receptions are usually hosted in the Park Avenue Ballroom, which can be transformed through lighting, draperies, floral displays and elegant table settings. And because the hotel is a boutique property, it can handle only one wedding at a time. That means the highly professional staff will lavish you with attention.  Best of all, the Alfond — which can accommodate weddings with as many as 240 guests — is basically a one-stop shop. Couples need to contract separately only for photography, entertainment and floral arrangements. Last summer, the hotel embarked on an expansion program that will, by 2021, add 75 more guest rooms — many of them full suites — a stateof-the-art, 10,000-square-foot wellness center and spa, and a second swimming pool in an elevated outdoor area with fixed cabanas.

The Alfond Inn at Rollins frequently hosts weddings on the Courtyard Lawn, adjacent to the Conservatory, which is carefully manicured and lined with pots of bougainvillea. Receptions are usually held in the boutique hotel’s Park Avenue Ballroom. The Alfond, which boasts a AAA Four Diamond rating, is frequently full. But if you book a wedding, you’re guaranteed a block of rooms and can rest assured that your guests will be well taken care of. LI VI N G IN WIN T ER PA RK 

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The Winter Park Farmers’ Market is likely not top of mind as a wedding venue. But perhaps it should be. After all, railroads and romance have a long and storied history together. The place has a certain rustic appeal that many couples find charming.

Down to Earth The Atlantic Coastline Freight Depot is likely not top of mind as a wedding venue. But perhaps it should be. After all, railroads and romance have a long and storied history together. The historic depot, which was built in 1913, anchored the popular Saturday-morning Winter Park Farmers’ Market since 1979. The market moved to West Central Park in early 2020. The depot, however, remains and offers a certain rustic appeal that many couples find charming. The exposed red-brick walls and wood sliding doors are original to the building, which is air conditioned and seats 180. The parking lot can be used for a tented event.

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Located on West New England Avenue in downtown Winter Park, the city-owned, 2,800-square-foot venue also has a prep kitchen and an ice machine. Tables and chairs are included with the rental. You’ll need to keep in mind that the building is next to the railroad tracks — not surprising for an ertswhile freight depot. If your wedding is on a weekday, SunRail cars will rumble past every half hour. An Amtrak incursion is also a possibility, so it’s smart to check the schedule if you don’t want to hear the train a’coming (as Johnny Cash might say) during your ceremony. The Winter Park Community Center, located in Hannibal Square, is likewise an under-the-radar wedding location. But it’s got all the bells and whistles, including a ballroom that accommodates groups ranging in size from 50 to 350 for dinner and dancing. There’s a full commercial kitchen on site — and two basketball courts to work off those extra pounds after gorging on hors d’oeuvres.


Clubs and Churches

The Winter Park Racquet Club, located on Via Tuscany, is a warm, inviting space on the edge of Lake Maitland with a dreamy view of the water framed by the branches of cypress trees. No matter where you hold the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner and dancing, guests will delight in the splendid views and posh appointments. But you must be a member, or have a member sponsor you, to use the facility.  That’s also the case with Interlachen Country Club, located off Lake Howell Road on lakedotted property that encompasses a Joe Lee-designed, 18-hole golf course. There are more than a dozen weddings a year at the club, many of them for families that were member sponsored.  Other clubs, though, open their facilities to anyone for weddings. The Woman’s Club of Winter Park, located on South Interlachen Avenue in downtown Winter Park, often hosts weddings in its clubhouse — which was completed in 1921 — or on its beautiful front lawn. The facility has a full kitchen and a stage for a DJ or a band. The room seats about 120 at tables and about 150 with chairs only. A long terrace that runs along the building’s south side is ideal for cocktail receptions. Ditto for the University Club of Winter Park on North Park Avenue. The main ballroom of its clubhouse, which was completed in 1934, can handle up to 120 at tables or up to 200 for a reception. The Women’s Club of Winter Park often hosts weddings in its clubhouse or its beautiful front lawn (above). On the property of the University Club of Winter Park is an oak-shaded gazebo where outdoor ceremonies are held (right). Receptions are held in the cozy clubhouse, which was built in 1934. LI VI N G IN WIN T ER PA RK 

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There’s also a stage and a full kitchen. The library is available to host pre-wedding catered dinners for as many as 40. And elsewhere on the property stands an oak-shaded gazebo where outdoor ceremonies are often held. Still, many prefer to be married in a house of worship. If so, there’s no shortage in Winter Park — although some only perform weddings for members and their families. Several, though, are of historic interest. All Saints Episcopal Church, for example, with its peaked roof and arches, was built in 1942 and designed by Ralph Adam Cram, whom you’ll recall from Knowles Memorial Chapel. It’s located on East Lyman Avenue.  St. Mary Margaret Catholic Church, with its Mediterranean architecture and cavernous contemporary interior surrounded by stained-glass windows, provides a beautiful setting for wedding ceremonies. First Congregational Church of Winter Park, established in 1884, is the first church of any denomination to be established in Winter Park. The original building is long gone, but the current Colonial Revival sanctuary, completed in 1925, holds 400 and has an adjoining meeting room with a full kitchen for receptions. It’s worth noting that First Congregational, which also has a smaller chapel on its South Interlachen Avenue campus, is the only church in Winter Park that performs same-sex marriages. The Chapel & Hudson’s Cellar Hannibal Square was built as Grant Chapel on Winter Park’s west side in 1935 and served as a house of worship for the predominantly AfricanAmerican neighborhood for almost 70 years. In 2002, the building was bought by Sydgen Corporation — which redeveloped Hannibal Square in the 1990s — and was for several years leased to a company that used it as a photography studio and wedding venue. In 2013, Sydgen moved the chapel to its present location on Lyman Avenue near the railroad tracks and across from the Farmers’ Market. As part of the move, the company renovated the structure and added a well-equipped basement space for receptions and other events. It’s an intimate space (capacity is just 49) that features six of the church’s original pews in the chapel area. The cellar, entered through handforged iron doors imported from Mexico, has black-stained concrete floors, oak tongue-andgroove ceilings and Edison light fixtures.  In the center of the room, two antique Chicago brick pillars anchor a banquet table, while lining the walls are tufted-leather banquette benches and six smaller tables. There’s also a granite-top bar.

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The Chapel & Hudson’s Cellar Hannibal Square was known to generations of west side residents as Grant Chapel. In 2002 the building was bought by Sydgen Corporation, which in 2013 moved it to Lyman Avenue and transformed it into a wedding and reception venue. The chapel seats 49, and still features some of Grant Chapel’s original pews. The cellar, entered through hand-forged iron doors imported from Mexico, has black-stained concrete floors, oak tongue-and-groove ceilings and Edison light fixtures.


The Winter Park Library and Events Center, slated for completion next summer, is already accepting reservations for weddings and receptions. The events center space will total 13,000 square feet.

New and Notable

ADJAYE ASSOCIATES © 2019 (THE WINTER PARK LIBRARY AND EVENTS CENTER)

By the summer of 2021, Winter Park will have a new venue for hosting weddings and receptions — one that has been years in the making and not without controversy. The Winter Park Library and Events Center is being constructed where the Rachel D. Murrah Civic Center once stood on Morse Boulevard. The civic center was demolished last year to make way for two new buildings designed by celebrity architect Sir David Adjaye. The 13,000-square-foot events venue will include such enhancements as a porte cochere, a rooftop venue and an exterior amphitheater. As was the case with the former civic center, city officials say they expect most weekends to be booked months or perhaps years in advance. Reservations, in fact, are already being accepted. So, there you have it. Now that we’ve laid out the options, contact any of these venues or visit their websites for rates and restrictions. First, of course, try to ensure that you won’t be left standing at the altar when the time comes. Aside from the embarrassment, some deposits are not refundable. 

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Venue Guide ROLLINS COLLEGE Knowles Memorial Chapel and the Rice Family Pavilion 1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park (Rollins College Campus) 407.646.2541 rollins.edu/chapel/wedding-information Alfond Inn 300 East New England Avenue, Winter Park 407.278.8159 thealfondinn.com/meetings-events/ weddings OUTDOORS Central Park Rose Garden 250 South Park Avenue, Winter Park 407.599.3397 cityofwinterpark.org/venues

Services Directory CLUBHOUSES

BEAUTY SALONS

University Club of Winter Park 841 North Park Avenue, Winter Park 407.644.6149 winterparkvenue.com

Bangz Park Avenue 228 North Park Avenue, Winter Park 407.645.2264 bangzparkavenue.com

Woman’s Club of Winter Park 419 South Interlachen Avenue, Winter Park 407.644.2237 womansclubofwinterpark.com

Dolce Vita Salon 1286 Orange Avenue, Winter Park 407.374.3333 dolcevitaorlando.com

COMMUNITY CENTERS The Winter Park Community Center 721 West New England Avenue, Winter Park 407.599.3275 cityofwinterpark.org/venues

Gary Lambert Salon & Nail Bar 517 South Park Avenue, Winter Park 407.628.8659 lambertsalon.com Salon Ciseaux 658 North Wymore Avenue, Winter Park 407.865.5881 salonciseaux.com

PRIVATE CLUBS Kraft Azalea Garden 1305 Alabama Drive, Winter Park 407.599.3397 cityofwinterpark.org/venues Mead Botanical Garden 1300 South Denning Drive, Winter Park 407.599.3397 cityofwinterpark.org/venues or meadgarden.org HISTORIC PLACES Capen House at the Polasek 633 Osceola Avenue, Winter Park 407.636.9317 capenhouse.com Casa Feliz Historic Home & Venue 656 North Park Avenue, Winter Park 407.628.0230 casafelizvenue.com The Chapel & Hudson’s Cellar Hannibal Square 16 West Lyman Avenue, Winter Park 407.644.3151 chapelandcellar.com

Interlachen Country Club 2245 Interlachen Court, Winter Park 952.924.7406 • interlachcc.org Note: You must be a member or be sponsored by a member. Winter Park Racquet Club 2111 Vía Tuscany, Winter Park 407.644.2226 • wprc.net Note: You must be a member or be sponsored by a member. NEW VENUES The Winter Park Library and Events Center 407.599.3525 1050 West Morse Boulevard, Winter Park cityofwinterpark.org/venues Note: The venue doesn’t open until the summer of 2021, but reservations are now being accepted.

Stella Luca Hannibal Square 433 West New England Avenue, Winter Park 407-740-7006 Winter Park Village 460 North Orlando Avenue, Winter Park 407.740.6711 • stellaluca.com Una Donna Piu 216 Park Avenue, Winter Park 407.628.4555 unadonnapiu.com BRIDAL ATTIRE Calvet Couture Bridal Winter Park Village 520 Orlando Avenue, Winter Park 407.951.5670 calvetcouture.com The Bridal Finery 976 North Orange Avenue, Suite C, Winter Park 407.960.5225 thebridalfinery.com

Winter Park Country Club 761 Old England Avenue, Winter Park 407.599.3416 cityofwinterpark.org/venues

The Collection Bridal and Formal 301 North Park Avenue, Winter Park 407.740.6003 thecollectionbridal.com

Winter Park Farmers’ Market 200 West New England Avenue, Winter Park 407-599-3341 cityofwinterpark.org/venues

The Seamstress 1143 Orange Avenue, Winter Park 407.740.7544 seamstresswinterpark.com

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CATERERS Arthur’s Creative Events & Catering 860 Sunshine Lane, Altamonte Springs 407.331.1993 arthurscatering.com

Rifle Paper Co. 558 West New England Avenue, Suite 150, Winter Park 407.622.7679 riflepaperco.com

Weddings Only DJ Entertainment Contact: Brian Scott 407.493.2617 weddingsonlydjentertainment.com PARTY RENTALS

JEWELERS Cuisiniers 5470 Lake Howell Road, Winter Park 407.975.8763 cuisinierscater.com Dubsdread Catering 549 West Par Street, Orlando 407.809.5740 dubsdreadcatering.com

Atelier Coralia Leets Jewelry 307 South Park Avenue, Winter Park 321.203.2716 coralialeets.com Be On Park 152 South Park Avenue, Winter Park 407.644.1106 beonpark.com

John Michael Exquisite Weddings and Catering 627 Virginia Drive, Orlando 407.894.6671 johnmichaelevents.com

Jewelers on the Park 116 South Park Avenue, Winter Park 407.622.0222 jewelersonthepark.com

Puff ’n Stuff Events Catering 250 Rio Drive, Orlando 407.629.7833 puffnstuff.com

Reynolds & Co. Jewelers 232 North Park Avenue, Winter Park 407.645.2278 reynoldsjeweler.com

FLORISTS

GROOM’S ATTIRE

Atmospheres Floral and Décor 2121 West Fairbanks Avenue, Winter Park 321.972.2976 atmospheresfloral.com

John Craig Clothier 132 South Park Avenue, Winter Park 407.629.7944 johncraigclothier.com

Fairbanks Florist 805 South Orlando Avenue, Winter Park 321.695.5440 fairbanksflorist.net

Leonardo 5th Avenue 121 East Welbourne Avenue, Winter Park 407.622.0296 leonardofifthavenue.com

Winter Park Florist 537 North Virginia Avenue, Winter Park 407.647.5014 winterparkflorist.com

Siegel’s Winter Park 330 South Park Avenue, Winter Park 407.645.3100 siegelsonline.com

Lee Forrest Designs 51 North Bumby Avenue,Orlando 407-770-0440 leeforrestdesign.com

MUSIC

A Chair Affair 613 Triumph Court, Orlando 386.479.4308 chairaffairrentals.com Fenice Events 1255 La Quinta Dr., Orlando 407.404.1895 feniceevents.com Orlando Wedding & Party Rentals 2452 Lake Emma Road, Lake Mary 407.739.5740 orlandoweddingandpartyrentals.com RW Style 1075 Florida Central Parkway, Longwood 407.374.2534 rw-brands.com PHOTOGRAPHERS

INVITATIONS

The Buzzcatz Contact: Ricky Sylvia 321.277.5522 thebuzzcatz.band

Maureen H. Hall Stationery and Invitations 116 Park Avenue, Winter Park 407.629.6999 maureenhallinvitations.com

The Elite Show Band 7512 Dr. Phillips Boulevard, Orlando 888.400.5013 eliteshowband.com Leonard Brothers Band info@leonardbrothers.com leonardbrothers.com

Allan Jay Images 407.252.8094 allanjayimages.com Art Faulkner Photography 805 South Orlando Avenue, Winter Park 407.461.6628 Brian Adams Photo 321.206.6285 brianadamsphoto.com Cricket’s Photo & Cinema 16618 Broadway Avenue, Winter Garden 407.484.2931 cricketsphoto.com Jensen Larson Photography 407.409.8499 jensenlarsonweddings.com Sunshine Photographics 13953 Lake Mary Jane Road, Orlando 407.481.8425 sunshinephotographics.com Gian Carlo Photographer 407.312.7932 giancarlophotography.com

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ALL IS

WELL One-of-a-kind center offers a holistic approach to health and happiness. BY JACKIE CARLIN

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Approaching the main entrance to the Center for Health & Wellbeing from the parking garage, visitors pass through the Bamboo Garden. It’s one of a half-dozen gardens surrounding the building, each of which has a specific purpose. One is for contemplation, for example, and another for aroma.

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At the heart of the Center for Health & Wellbeing is the Commons, a light-filled, two-story space for activities and casual socializing. Around the upper reaches of the Commons, there’s an indoor walking track (12.5 laps equal one mile). The complex was designed by Durham, North Carolina-based architect Turan Duda (below).

I COURTESY OF THE WINTER PARK HEALTH FOUNDATION PHOTO BY LINDSAY VIGUE (TURAN DUDA)

f the recent COVID-19 pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that the places where we spend our time have an extraordinary effect on our overall wellbeing. As you hunkered down at home, did your surroundings make you feel calm and peaceful? Did you experience a sense of flow, movement and instinctual serenity as you walked room to room? If you did, you can thank an architect.

For more than 40 years, architect Turan Duda, 66, has infused his projects with passion, purpose and thoughtful design. The former Yale University professor trained under and spent 15 years working with famed architect César Pelli, world-renowned for skyscrapers such as the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur and the World Financial Center in New York City. In 1997, Duda returned to his hometown of Durham, North Carolina, to launch Duda | Paine with his Pelli colleague, Jeffrey Paine. Together, they’ve created an impressive portfolio of projects, including Duke Integrative Medicine at Duke University; the Emory University Campus Life Center in Atlanta and now the Center for Health & Wellbeing (CHWB) in Winter Park.

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The 79,000-square-foot, $42 million facility — created through a partnership between the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) and AdventHealth Winter Park — sits on 4.2 acres near Ward Park and Showalter Field, where the original Peggy & Philip B. Crosby Wellness Center opened in 1989 and operated until 2017.

LOCATION FOR INSPIRATION The two organizations — whose core principles about the nature of whole-person health are in hale and hearty alignment — say the joint project appears to be unique in the U.S. It seamlessly combines health-related disciplines in one state-of-the-art facility where the only goal is to improve the community’s quality of life. “When we first started dreaming of one center that could cater to a person’s entire journey through wellbeing, we began looking around the country for inspiration,” says WPHF president and CEO Patty Maddox. “We struggled to find one location that did it all.” But representatives were wowed by Duda | Paine’s earlier design of the Duke Integrative Medicine complex, says Maddox. The group had visited other wellness-oriented centers where the programs were interesting but the facilities — not so much. The Duke building, however, exuded warmth and serenity, partly through its use of wood, stone and plants. “We had the same response — the building was speaking to us,” recalls Maddox, who was surprised to find that the


COURTESY OF THE WINTER PARK HEALTH FOUNDATION

The CHWB is a busy place — and figuring out how to take full advantage of its services might seem a bit overwhelming. That’s why WPHF has stationed “wellbeing guides” in first-floor offices close to the welcome desk.

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COURTESY OF THE WINTER PARK HEALTH FOUNDATION

On the Crosby Center’s ground floor are two pools — one for swimming laps, the other with warmer water for “aquacise” classes and physical therapy. There are also men’s and women’s locker rooms, each with saunas.

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architect was headquartered in Durham. “We all felt this calming influence.” Duda | Paine got the job in Winter Park, and the state-of-the-art CHWB opened in 2019. Duda says one key word drove the project’s design: community. “We combine different aspects of life here — wholeness, fitness and medicine,” Duda says. “But they need to be connected through a central community space. If you make the space comfortable, warm and inviting, it draws people and becomes an integral part of their everyday lives.” That space at the CHWB would be The Commons, the light-filled, twostory heart of the center. Flanking The Commons on the first floor is the Community Conference Center — two adjoining meeting rooms that can be combined to accommodate 250 people. The Commons also features inviting sofas and circular tables, all designed to inspire community members to pause and enjoy social time. On any given morning, you can find groups of friends playing cards, mahjong or even putting a puzzle together. “People are the life of any building,” Duda says. “If people are avoiding my building, I’ve failed. This is not some abstract notion of what architecture should be for academics. I want people to see and enjoy and live in this building.”

MEET ME AT THE PIAZZA Duda, who draws inspiration from his travels, says The Commons was inspired by a ubiquitous feature of Italian towns — the piazza.

“It’s where life happens,” he notes. “If you’ve watched Fellini movies, he filmed a lot of his scenes in piazzas. It’s a theater of life, and the show is watching other people.” Also on the CHWB’s first floor is Nourish Coffee Bar + Kitchen and its adjoining Nutrition Theater as well as clinical offices. A nearby space dubbed the Healthy Living Experience features an exhibition area with interactive displays of new personal medical technology. The Wellbeing Network — WPHF’s partnership with the PBS series Growing Bolder — has a studio within the Healthy Living Experience. There, educational and inspirational videos related to the center’s Seven Dimensions of Wellbeing (physical, intellectual, environmental, vocational, social, emotional and spiritual) are shot and disseminated online. Members of the Peggy & Philip B. Crosby Wellness Center can drop their youngsters off at the Kids’ Corner before seeing a clinician, attending a lecture or working out. (Nonmembers can make a reservation to use the Kids’ Corner.) The 30,781-square-foot Crosby Center — which spans two floors and has a first-floor entrance — is expected to earn Medical Fitness Association certification following its first full year of operation. It’s operated by Chicago-based Power Wellness, which runs 14 MFA-certified facilities around the U.S. On the Crosby Center’s ground floor are two pools — one for swimming laps, the other with warmer water for “aquacise” classes and physical therapy. There are also men’s and women’s locker rooms, each with saunas. A bonus feature on this level is the Kids’ Corner, a space where, for an addiLI VI N G I N WIN T ER PA RK 

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The 30,781-square-foot Peggy & Philip B. Crosby Center — which spans two floors and has a first-floor entrance — is expected to earn Medical Fitness Association certification following its first full year of operation.


COURTESY OF THE WINTER PARK HEALTH FOUNDATION

Nourish Coffee Bar + Kitchen features healthy and delicious food using locally sourced produce and sustainable South American coffee products. Start your day with an energizing breakfast sandwich or power-packing smoothie and enjoy a comforting panini or a bowl of hearty soup for lunch.

tional fee, children from ages 6 to 12 can spend up to two hours participating in a youth-focused wellness curriculum while their parents or guardians work out. Upstairs is the Crosby Center’s fitness floor, with a fitness studio for cycling and other high-intensity exercise programs. There’s also a mind-body studio for group classes, the latest Precor and Life Fitness cardio machines and, for traditionalists, tried-and-true free weights. Elsewhere on second floor are more clinical offices and, around the upper reaches of The Commons, an indoor walking track open to the public (12.5 laps equal one mile). Outdoors, circling the perimeter of the site, are multiple gardens around which loops a walking trail (2.5 laps equals one mile). There’s free parking in a five-level garage.

YOUR WELLNESS JOURNEY Obviously, the CHWB is a busy place — and figuring out how to take full advantage of its services might seem a bit overwhelming. That’s why WPHF has stationed “wellbeing guides” in first-floor offices close to the welcome desk. The guides, based on feedback received through brief assessments, help visitors identify and meet their wellbeing goals. Physicians also steer patients toward one or more of the center’s services as part of overall treatment plans. At a single location, then, you can visit a physician, receive laboratory tests, fill a prescription at a retail pharmacy, go to a rehab session while

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recovering from an injury or learn to implement lifestyle modifications that can help prevent medical issues as you grow older. As our recent social isolation experiment has taught us, humans are hardwired to connect to one another. We crave interactions and experiences with our fellow humans. Technology has distanced us in many ways, whether it’s hiding in our phones while sitting in public or relying upon a text instead of a call to a loved one. Duda says creating a warm and nurturing place for people to interact drives his passion for carving out such spaces: “My 107-year-old uncle once said to me, ‘At my age, the most valuable thing you can give me is your time. The older I get, the more I understand and appreciate what that means. Today, when we’re booking every five minutes of our lives on our iPhones, to stop and pause and give your time to somebody, sitting in a cafe, sitting on a terrace ….” Duda trails off, then continues: “Well, if I can create places for people to have that human connection, one on one — to me, that’s success. If I cause people to think differently about their lives, to be grateful for what they have, to be grateful for another human being, then the architecture has really been successful.” Duda is also inspired by the natural world and always seeks ways to bring the great outdoors inside. At the CHWB, that includes an undulating wood ceiling that evokes the idea of movement and takes advantage of the shifting


DEEP COMMUNITY ROOTS

Patty Maddox (top), president and CEO of the Winter Park Health Foundation (top) and Justin Birmele (above), CEO of AdventHealth Winter Park, are justifiably proud of the Center for Health & Wellbeing. The hospital, which is adjacent to the CHWB, recently completed its 160,000 square-foot Nicholson Pavilion, and in July broke ground on a major emergency room expansion.

Both WPHF and AdventHealth Winter Park can track their beginnings to 1951, when a group of community leaders, frustrated at having to drive to Orlando for care, bought 15 acres on what had been the golf course of the long-defunct Aloma Country Club. The group, known as the Winter Park Memorial Hospital Association, raised more than $850,000 from 2,500 individual donors. Ground was broken in 1953, and the hospital — serving a city of about 12,000 residents — opened its doors in 1955.

There were 58 beds, two operating rooms, a fracture room and a delivery room. During its first year, the “hospital with a heart” served 2,000 patients and delivered 200 babies. (Last year, there were more than 64,000 outpatient visits and more than 3,200 babies delivered.) For nearly 40 years, Winter Park Memorial was owned and operated by the association. In 1994, however, the association entered into a partnership with Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation, which assumed management responsibility. The association then became a private foundation. With Maddox at the helm, WPHF initially focused on operating the original Peggy & Philip B. Crosby Wellness Center and opening the nearby Elinor & T. William Miller Jr. Center for Older Adult Services, a day-services facility for adults with disabilities or dementia-related disorders. In 2000, when Adventist Health System — now AdventHealth — bought the hospital, WPHF sold its remaining interest and shifted its focus to making Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville — with a combined population of more than 60,000 — happier and healthier places. Toward that goal, WPHF quietly funded numerous community health programs — from fighting diabetes to placing nurses and counselors in public schools — through grants and partnerships. It has invested about $100 million in such efforts since it began operating independently, according to Maddox. In the meantime, the hospital grew along with the city, which today has more than 30,000 residents within its corporate limits. In addition to Winter Park, the burgeoning facility’s primary service area includes portions of northeastern Orange County and southeastern Seminole County. Ongoing expansion projects reflect the hospital’s headway. The Nicholson Pavilion — an $85 million, 160,000-square-foot expansion — created another 140 private patient rooms for the hospital, an orthopedic unit in partnership with Winter Park-based Jewett Orthopaedic Clinic, and a new surgical waiting room and hospital entrance. In July 2020, the hospital broke ground on an emergency room expansion that will encompass 27,000 square feet and 32 beds. The expansion will include all private rooms, two bariatric rooms and a separate ambulance entrance. The facility also will offer a separate pediatric waiting area and rooms for children. “Once complete, this ER will modernize and expand the world-class care we’ve been providing Winter Park and surrounding communities for over 60 years,” Advent-Health Winter Park CEO Justin Birmele said during a virtual groundbreaking event. 

Jackie Carlin is Growing Bolder’s executive vice president-editorial. Growing Bolder and the Winter Park Health Foundation are partners on the Wellbeing Network, a digital destination for curated health and wellbeing content providing tools, resources and inspiration to people in all stages of their lives and wellbeing journeys. The Wellbeing Network is headquartered at the Center for Health & Wellbeing. LI VI N G I N WIN T ER PA RK 

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sun, creating different moods depending on the time of day. A half-dozen gardens surrounding the building have various purposes — one for contemplation, for example, and another for aroma. In the pool area, wall tiles mimic ocean waves and the ceiling overhead twinkles with light in the patterns of constellations. Duda and his team are passionate about features like this — but what if the average person misses the connections that inspired their design? “As architects, we talk about what is called a ‘haptic sense,’” he says. “These are things that your body senses in a very intuitive way even if you don’t physically see them. It’s intrinsic to how we use buildings. It’s about a sensation that’s not overt. It’s subtle, it’s in the background; but whether you realize it or not, you’re aware of it.” Duda sees his architectural designs as a marriage between art and function. He’s inspired to view his projects as works of art that offer something new (and perhaps unexpected) each time you visit. “That aspect of discovery is what makes the experience of a building rich,” Duda says. “I know as an architect I’m raising the bar really high. But when our visitors walk into these buildings, I want to spark curiosity and inspiration.” He adds: “If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, you won’t last. You’ll either be disgruntled, angry or bitter. Or, you’ll be enlightened and have joy for what you do. And believe me, that will come out in the work.” Already, there are ripple effects on property adjacent to the CHWB. City-owned Ward Park has gotten an upgrade, thanks in part to a $25,000 WPHF grant. An unused corner of the 66-acre, sports-focused park boasts a new trail as well as a lawn for croquet and bocce ball. “Projects like the Center for Health & Wellbeing help make us a world-class city,” says City Manager Randy Knight, noting that health is specifically referenced in the city’s vision statement: “Winter Park is the city of arts and culture, cherishing its traditional scale and charm while building a healthy and sustainable future for all generations.” For more information about the Center for Health & Wellbeing, visit yourhealthandwellbeing.org. For more information about the Peggy & Philip B. Crosby Wellness center, visit crosbywellnesscenter.org.


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12 The Winter Park Distilling Company 1288 N Orange Ave 13 Winter Park Chamber of Commerce 151 W Lyman Ave 4 The Alfond Inn 300 E New England Ave 307 S Park Ave 200 W New England Ave 13 Winter Park Chamber of Commerce 151 W Lyman Ave 14 Winter Park Farmers' Market 300 E New England Ave 148 W Morse Blvd 14 Winter Park Farmers' Market 200 W New England15 AveWinter Park Train Station Interior Design 15 Winter Park Train Station 148 W Morse Blvd 1 Ethan Allen 329 N Park Ave * Please note - Chamber Member is out of the map area, see edge 329 N Park Ave of map for approximate direction * Please note - Chamber Member is out of the map area, see edge Jewelry of map for approximate direction 1 Be On Park 152 S Park Ave 2 Jewelers on the Park 116 S Park Ave 152 S Park Ave 3 Lauren Sigman Collection 341 N Pennsylvania Ave 116 S Park Ave 4 Orlando Watch Company 329 N Park Ave 341 N Pennsylvania Ave 329 N Park Ave

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MARK YOUR CALENDAR

A GATOR’S EYE VIEW OF WINTER PARK

COURTESY OF THE WINTER PARK HISTORY MUSEUM (SCENIC BOAT TOUR)

The Scenic Boat Tour, in operation since 1961, embarks from Lake Osceola and offers hourlong, guided cruises through three of the seven lakes comprising the Winter Park Chain of Lakes, traversing two picturesque man-made canals along the way. You’ll see swaying palms, towering cypress trees, lush ferns and a variety of subtropical flowers as well as breathtaking views of opulent private homes lining the shore. You might even spot a gator or two. The sights are spectacular. But just listening to the jovial tour guides — a hearty band of local historians — spin their yarns is worth the price. (This postcard is from the 1950s.) Tours are offered in a fleet of six 18-passenger pontoon boats. Admission is $14 for adults and $7 for children. Call 407-644-4065 or visit scenicboattours.com.

Following are events that are listed as scheduled as of press time or, at least have not been specifically cancelled. This year, we are not including events that typically take place late in the current year — most notably holiday celebrations — because of uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also possible that some of the events listed may ultimately not occur or their formats may be altered due to public health considerations. Please check the appropriate websites for the most up-to-date information.

WINTER PARK SIDEWALK ART FESTIVAL MARCH 19-21, 2021 Central Park, Park Avenue This annual, nationally ranked juried arts fest features about 225 artists chosen by a panel of judges from more than 1,100 applicants. The three-day outdoor event also features live jazz and children’s activities. (Pets are not allowed in the park or along the avenue between New England and Canton avenues during the festival.) Free. Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. wpsaf.org.

ADVENTHEALTH WINTER PARK ROAD RACE MARCH 13, 2021 Central Park, 251 North Park Avenue The AdventHealth Winter Park Road Race is a local tradition and the grand finale each year of the region’s Track Shack Running Series. In addition to the 10K main event, it offers a 2-mile race and a kids’ run, so the whole family can participate. The 6.2-mile

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route features slight inclines, tree-lined streets, historic homes and views of the Winter Park Chain of Lakes as it passes through several of the city’s beautiful neighborhoods. The first race starts at 7 a.m.; the event ends at 10 a.m. with the Track Shack Running Series awards ceremony. trackshack.com

EARTH DAY IN THE PARK APRIL 2021 (DATE TBA) Central Park, Park Avenue This city-sponsored event, presented by its Sustainability and Keep Winter Park Beautiful programs, includes a kids’ zone with games, art projects, an educational planting experience, live music, an art contest, yoga for children and adults, a composting demo, a bike rodeo with safety checks for ages 5 and older, food-and-beverage vendors, and an electric-car show. Those riding bicycles to the 11 a.m.-3 p.m. event will be able to use a free bike-valet service on Morse Boulevard between Park and New York avenues. 407599-3364. cityofwinterpark.org.


WINTER PARK PAINT OUT

DINNER ON THE AVENUE APRIL 10, 2021 Park Avenue between New England Avenue and Morse Boulevard Each year the city shuts down a stretch of Park Avenue for the evening and replaces the cars with tables and white linen for a unique, fun-filled dining experience and social event from 6–10 p.m. Friends, families, co-workers and neighbors organize groups, decorate their tables based on themes of their choosing, then sit down to potluck or catered dinners. cityofwinterpark.org.

EASTER EGG HUNT APRIL 3, 2021 Central Park, Park Avenue This city-organized event is BYOB (Bring Your Own Basket). Children up to age 10 may hunt for the more than 10,000 eggs placed throughout Central Park. Anyone who comes up empty-handed can still enjoy special treats distributed at a designated candy area. Children with special needs are encouraged to join in the fun. 9:30–11 a.m., with the hunt starting promptly at 10 a.m. Free. 407-599-3463. cityofwinterpark.org.

TASTE OF WINTER PARK APRIL 2021 (DATE TBD) Winter Park Farmers’ Market, 200 West New England Avenue This foodie festival, organized by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, showcases more than 40 of the region’s top chefs, bakers, caterers and confectioners. Admission to the event, which runs from 5–8 p.m., includes unlimited samples of signature dishes, beverages and desserts as well as live entertainment and raffle prizes. 407-644-8281. winterpark.org.

APRIL 18-24, 2021 Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens The museum, formerly the home and studio of the late sculptor Albin Polasek, hosts 25 professionally acclaimed plein air artists, who roam the city to capture favorite landscapes and landmarks with oils, watercolors and pastels. The museum and sculpture gardens, at 633 Osceola Avenue, are open to the public free of charge during the event. Newly finished paintings are hung in the gallery’s “wet room” and may be purchased on the spot. 407-647-6294. polasek.org.

ready for an Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra program of holiday favorites that will be sure to put everyone in the spirit of the season. Free. cityofwinterpark.org.

43RD ANNUAL CHRISTMAS IN THE PARK DECEMBER 2021 (DATE TBA) Central Park, Park Avenue Since 1979, the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art has helped launch the holiday season in Winter Park with a display of Tiffany stained-glass windows in Central Park and performances by the Bach Festival Choir, Youth Choir and Brass Ensemble. The tradition was started by Hugh and Jeannette McKean, the museum’s benefactors, to share a sampling of their rare Tiffany collection with the public in an informal setting. The event, which usually runs from 6:15–8 p.m. on the Central Park stage, is free. morsemuseum.org.

OLDE FASHIONED 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION JULY 4, 2021 Central Park, Park Avenue and Morse Boulevard Central Park is the site of this annual Independence Day celebration, with patriotic music performed by the Bach Festival Brass Band and Bach Festival Choir. There’s also a sunrise 5K run as well as other musical performances, horse-drawn wagon rides and an annual bicycle parade for children at 9 a.m. starting at City Hall, just south of the park. Free hot dogs, watermelon and water are served. Also, admission is free to the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art from 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. winterpark.org.

WINTER PARK AUTUMN ART FESTIVAL OCTOBER 2021 (DATE TBA) Central Park, Park Avenue The other shoe drops when the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce brings a second juried art show to the City of Culture and Heritage, this one in the fall. The two-day show, which draws more than 40,000 people each year, features work by outstanding Florida-based artists, plus live entertainment and food. Children’s art workshops are also offered. Free. 407-6448281. autumnartfestival.org.

10TH ANNUAL PUMPKINS AND MUNCHKINS OCTOBER 31, 2021 Shady Park, Hannibal Square Business District Children of all ages are invited to enjoy games, bounce houses, a costume contest, a trick-or-treat trail and fun for the entire family. Sponsored by the City of Winter Park. 6:30–8:30 p.m. Free. cityofwinterpark.org.

HOLIDAY POPS CONCERT DECEMBER 2021 (DATE TBA) Central Park, Park Avenue Bring a blanket and a picnic basket and get

WINTER ON THE AVENUE, FEATURING HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING DECEMBER 2021 (DATE TBA) Central Park, Park Avenue The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and the City of Winter Park host a holiday season kickoff presented by Westminster Winter Park. The street party includes a flurry of activities from 5–10 p.m. along Park Avenue and in Central Park. The annual tree lighting ceremony at dusk includes performances by children’s choirs as well as children’s activities. cityofwinterpark.org.

YE OLDE HOMETOWN CHRISTMAS PARADE DECEMBER 2021 (DATE TBA) Park Avenue, from Cole to Lyman avenues The city’s annual Christmas Parade has been held on the first Saturday in December for more than six decades, making it the longest-running parade in Central Florida. More than 100 units march south down Park Avenue between 9–11 a.m.; highlights include local dance troupes, police and fire departments, marching bands, Scout troops, local dignitaries and, of course, Santa Claus. Before and during the parade, Leadership Winter Park hosts its annual Pancake Breakfast at the Central Park stage from 7–10:30 a.m. Proceeds from the breakfast benefit the Winter Park Improvement Foundation. winterpark.org. LI VI N G I N WIN T ER PA RK 

107


EDUCATION GUIDE PRIVATE-SCHOOL DIRECTORY SCHOOL NAME/ADDRESS

WEBSITE/PHONE

UNIFORMS

GRADE

NUMBER OF STUDENTS

STUDENT TEACHER RATIO

*ACCREDITATIONS

2020-21 TUITION

THE GENEVA SCHOOL 2025 S.R. 436, Winter Park 32792

407-332-6363 genevaschool.org

Yes

K-12

505

10:1

FCIS

$7,540$16,305

JEWISH ACADEMY OF ORLANDO 851 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland 32751

407-647-0713 jewishacademyorlando.org

Yes

K-5

135

6::1

FCIS

$11,025$16,150

LAKE HIGHLAND PREPARATORY SCHOOL 901 N. Highland Ave., Orlando 32803

407-206-1900 lhps.org

Yes

PreK-12

1,924

13::1

FCIS, FKC, NAIS, SACS

$11,900$20,500

ORANGEWOOD CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 1300 W. Maitland Blvd., Maitland 32751

888-469-8211 orangewoodchristian.org

Yes

PreK-12

694

9::1 / 11::1

CSF, NCPSA, SACS

$13,300$22,400

PARK MAITLAND SCHOOL 1450 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland 32751

407-647-3038 parkmaitland.org

Yes

PreK-6

625

10::1 / 15::1

FCIS, FKC

$13,656$17,675

THE PARKE HOUSE ACADEMY 1776 Minnesota Ave., Winter Park 32789

407-647-3624 theparkehouseacademy.com

Yes

PreK-5

200

10::1

FCIS, FKC

$9,000$14,750

TRINITY PREPARATORY SCHOOL 5700 Trinity Prep Lane, Winter Park 32792

407-671-4140 trinityprep.org

No

6-12

875

12::1

FCIS

$23,910

*CSF: Christian Schools of Florida (christianschoolsfl.org); FCIS: Florida Council of Independent Schools (fcis.org); FKC: Florida Kindergarten Council (fkconline.org); NAIS: National Association of Independent Schools (nais.org); NCPSA: National Council for Private School Accreditation (ncpsa.org); SACS: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (sacs.org). Tuition was correct as of presstime. Call individual schools for confirmation.

HIGHER-EDUCATION DIRECTORY SCHOOL NAME/ADDRESS/WEBSITE

FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY 3300 University Blvd., Winter Park 32792 407-679-6333 / fullsail.edu

ROLLINS COLLEGE 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park 32789 407-646-2000 / rollins.edu

UNDERGRADUATE DEGREES

GRADUATE DEGREES

*COST

NOTES

BFA, BS

MA, MFA, MS

Undergraduate PCH: $257-$746 Graduate PCH: $534-$850

Offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs for careers in film, music, gaming, animation and other forms of interactive entertainment.

BA

MA, MEd, MHSA, MPH, MHR, MLS

Undergraduate Full Time PY: $53,716 Graduate PC: $1,695-$2,740

For the 25th consecutive year, Rollins has been either No. 1 or No. 2 on the U.S. News & World Report’s list of best regional universities. In 2020, it was No. 1.

MBA, EMBA, EDBA

PP varies from $63,893-$107,017

Ranked one of the Top 10 least-expensive private business schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Offers three types of MBA, plus an executive doctorate.

ABACS, MA, MEd, MHSA, MPH, MHR, MLS

Undergraduate PCH: $503 Graduate PCH: $513-$685

Named for Rollins’ eighth president; offers evening classes for working adults pursuing bachelor’s or master’s degrees.

PCH: $103-$112

Chosen in 2011 as the top U.S. community college by the Aspen Institute; graduates from its five campuses are guaranteed admission to UCF and other public state universities as well as Rollins College.

ROLLINS COLLEGE CRUMMER GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park 32789 407-646-2405 / rollins.edu/mba ROLLINS COLLEGE HAMILTON HOLT SCHOOL 311 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park 32789 407-646-2232 / rollins.edu/holt

BA

VALENCIA COLLEGE 850 W. Morse Blvd, Winter Park 32789 (Winter Park Campus) 407-299-5000 / valenciacollege.edu

AA, BS, AS, Cert.

MEd, MA, MHR

*PCH: Cost per credit hour, PS: Cost per semester, PY: Cost per year, PP: Cost per total program, PC: Cost per course. Note: Costs for in-state residents were correct as of press time, but are subject to change. Call individual schools for confirmation.

PUBLIC SCHOOLS Aloma Elementary School (Pre-K-5), 2949 Scarlet Road, 407-672-3100; Brookshire Elementary (Pre-K-5), 2500 Cady Way, 407-623-1400; Killarney Elementary School (K-5), 2401 Wellington Blvd., 407-623-1438; Lakemont Elementary School (K-5), 901 N. Lakemont Ave., 407623-1453; Winter Park High School (10-12), 2100 Summerfield Road, 407-622-3200; Winter Park High School Ninth Grade Center, 528 Huntington Ave., 407-623-1476; Orange Technical College Winter Park Campus, 901 W. Webster Ave., 407-622-2900.

108  L IV IN G IN W INTE R PARK


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HORIZONS Announcing Bristol Landing at The Mayflower:

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR FUTURE IN A BRAND-NEW WAY Architect's rendering, subject to change.

For more than three decades, The Mayflower has provided residents with stability, predictability and peace of mind, knowing they’ve made the best decision for themselves and for their families. Now, for those who are planning ahead for life’s “what-ifs,” there’s Bristol Landing – a brand-new neighborhood featuring a stunning Club House, state-of-the-art Health Center and spacious waterside residences. Discover The Mayflower – where you can take control of your future by planning for it now. Call us today at 407.672.1620. Only a limited number of residences will be built – and they will go quickly.

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1 62 0 M A Y F L O W E R C O U R T

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407.672.1620

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Profile for Winter Park Publishing Company

Living in Winter Park 2020-21 Edition  

Living in Winter Park 2020-21 Edition