Winter Park Magazine Spring 16

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Red-Shouldered Hawk by John Costin



Breathtaking D E T A I L S






©Cucciaioni Photography 2016




20 | HE LEFT HIS HEART IN WINTER PARK Away from the L.A. rat race, Grammy-winner and Godspell guitarist Jesse Cutler offers a musical tribute to his adopted home town. By Randy Noles, lead photograph by Rafael Tongol

GOOD WORKS 12 | CHAMPIONS OF WELLNESS The Winter Park Health Foundation is low key, but effective. Now, as it prepares to build a major center, its far-reaching impact on the community’s overall well-being is moving front and center. By Dana S. Eagles, photographs by Rafael Tongol

26 | FLORIDA’S TROUBADOUR James Gamble Rogers IV left a musical legacy as enduring as any of his architect father’s buildings. Friends and fans are trying to make certain that his colorful life and heroic death aren’t forgotten. By Harold Fethe and Randy Noles 41 | INN FASHION FOR SPRING The Alfond and its art provide a stylishly contemporary setting. Photographs by Rafael Tongol, styling by Marianne Ilunga, makeup and hair by Elsie Knab


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DINING 76 | LUMA’S LUSTER IS UNDIMINISHED A decade after its opening, this Winter Park dining destination remains at the top of its game with creative cuisine and an ambience that’s swanky but never stuffy. By Rona Gindin, photographs by Rafael Tongol

SPECIAL SECTION 49 | REMODEL WINTER PARK Old homes aren’t for everyone. But these families have found a deep sense of satisfaction by settling in quirky historic charmers. By Randy Noles, photographs by Rafael Tongol












Old homes can be full of surprises. Russ and Andi Prather, for example, found the original blueprints (top) for their Stirling Avenue home, which was designed by noted architect George Edward Krug. The Prathers increased the home’s square footage by enclosing a porte cochère to create a sunroom and building a rear addition for a new kitchen and master bedroom. All the rooms are bright, cozy and welcoming, including the living room (above left) and the dining room (above right). The new sunroom (above center) is basically a children’s den. And that means it’s a busy place, since the Prathers have five youngsters ranging in age from 3 to 10.



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Built in 1925, this Cape Cod masterpiece has been beautifully renovated and offers spectacular views of Lake Virginia. Just steps away from Park Avenue! 4,735 SqFt | 5 Bed | 4.1 Bath | Pool/Spa

Winter Park | “Vias” | $1,750,000

Winter Park | Windsong | $1,595,000

This home has been meticulously maintained and is located in the prestigious Windsong community. The open floor plan is perfect for family living or entertaining. 4,622 SqFt | 5 Bed | 5 Bath | Pool/Spa




Designed by James Gamble Rogers II, this spectacular Mediterranean style home has been beautifully renovated and sits on an oversized lot. Must see to truly appreciate! 4,134 SqFt | 5 Bed | 4.1 Bath | Pool/Cabana

Winter Park | “Vias” | $1,375,000

Winter Park | “Olde” Winter Park | $725,000





This elegant traditional style pool home is located on one of Winter Park’s most sought after streets. 2,555 SqFt | 4 Bed | 2.1 Bath | Pool







This charming extensively renovated Southern-style home was custom built by Carlos Posada and is situated on a quiet street in the “Vias”. 4,343 SqFt | 4 Bed | 4 Bath | Pool

Winter Park | “Orwin Manor” | $419,900

Move-in ready! This fabulous pool home has been extensively renovated and is situated on an over-sized lot on a quiet street in the very popular Orwin Manor neighborhood. 1,714 SqFt | 3 Bed | 2 Bath | Pool

Winter Park | Mead Gardens | $410,000

This charming home has been lovingly updated and is in move-in condition. Conveniently located between Winter Park and Orlando this property must be seen to truly appreciate! 2,057 SqFt | 4 Bed | 2 Bath

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hen I was a kid, we lived for a time in Maitland on Lake Sybelia, within walking distance of the Maitland Public Library. Most Saturday mornings, I’d make my way to the charming old building and spend hours reading American Heritage magazines — the ones with the hard covers, like books. No, I wasn’t one of the cool kids. Ensconcing myself in a secluded corner surrounded by shelves of reading matter was my idea of the perfect way to spend the day. In Winter Park, voters recently approved a bond issue of up to $30 million to build a new combined library and events center (plus a parking structure) in Martin Luther King Jr. Park, on the site of the current Rachel D. Murrah Civic Center. But the vote was a squeaker. The bond issue passed with just 51 percent of the vote, and despite outspoken opposition from people who think the current library on New England Avenue is just fine, thank you very much. Others argued that we might not really need a library at all. After all, who reads print-on-paper books anymore? Whenever I saw such a statement on Facebook (which is where most issues are debated these days), I wondered if those taking such a stance had actually been to a library in the past decade or so. Thankfully, a bare majority accepted the many arguments supporting the need for a 21st century, multiuse facility with (yes) more books, more space and state-of-the-art technology. But it wasn’t the kind of rousing mandate that supporters likely hoped for. That’s why it’s incumbent upon the powers that be to make the next steps as transparent and inclusive as possible. A decade from now, the 49 percent who voted no ought to feel just as connected to the project as the 51 percent who voted yes. After all, regardless of the close vote, 100 percent of taxpayers will be footing the bill. There’s every reason to expect the best. Winter Park voters have approved four bond issues in recent history. The first, in 1992, was used to renovate the old railroad depot, where the



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Farmers’ Market and the History Museum are, and to add a third story to the current library. The second, in 1996, was used to buy the Winter Park Country Club golf course. In 2000, a bond issue allowed the city to construct its Public Safety Building. And in 2003, another bond issue enabled the city to buy out its franchise agreement with Progress Energy and to operate its own electric utility. Several of these bond issues passed easily, while others were highly contentious. But today, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who believes the money for these initiatives was poorly spent. So, the hotly contested affirmative vote isn’t the end of a campaign but the beginning of a process — one that will hopefully involve some present-day skeptics who’ll look back one day and say, with pride, “I helped build that.”


Copyright 2016 by Florida Home Media LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Florida Cities Media 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 Florida Home Media LLC, 2700 Westhall Lane, Suite 220, Maitland, FL 32751

FOR GENERAL INFORMATION, CALL: 407-647-0225 For advertising information, call: Kathy Byrd, 407-399-7111; Lorna Osborn, 407-310-1002; or Theresa Swanson, 407-448-8414

Randy Noles Editor/Publisher

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f you attended the 2016 Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, you saw Adds Costin: “Ultimately, one’s sensitivity and awareness of these natural John Costin’s extraordinarily detailed and vibrant work. His snowy wonders could lead to a more profound perception of the world we all share.” egret was selected as the poster image for the event, which was held While attending the University of South Florida, Costin studied Intaglio in March. art, which piqued his interest in etching. He says etching is a way of comAt Winter Park Magazine, we were so impressed with Costin’s meticulous bining graphics, painting, sculpture and engineering into one art form. etchings that we requested another bird image for the cover of our spring is“The medium has an extremely large range of possibilities, giving many sue. We wanted a bird that could be seen in Winter directions for my imagination to explore,” Costin Park – but not a peacock. says. “The visual qualities are very enticing: colCostin came through. The Ybor City-based artors that range from subtle to intense, black tones ist allowed us to use an image of a red-shouldered that range from delicate to velvety black, lines hawk, a bird that particularly enjoys the environs of that range from needle thin to broad and bold. Mead Garden. In fact, there’s a large nest in a tree Textures are limited only by the imagination.” next to Alice’s Pond, not far from a picnic table and Etching is a complex process. The image is etched the creek. by hand on a polished plate of copper, which takes “We often see a pair bringing in nesting mateabout 6-8 weeks. Then the plate is wiped down rial,” says birdwatcher and writer Linda Carpenter. with ink and printed on high-quality rag paper. “The red-shouldered hawk is a com­mon resident Afterward, the printed image is painted with oil and visitor — and one of Florida’s most beautiful paints, making each piece unique. hawks.” Costin has been a professional artist since 1979, With a background in contemporary art, Costin exhibiting in numerous shows and winning awards creates complex and colorful life-size images of birds, throughout the South. His work can be found in capturing the nuances specific to each species. collections at General Motors Corporation, Eckerd “Through my art I strive to capture and personCollege, USAA Insurance, the University of Miami, ify birds, enriching the viewer’s perception of this the Tampa Museum of Art and the Polk Museum particular form of wildlife,” he says. “The birds are of Art, to name a few. presented in such a way that they’re aware of the Costin is now creating a book of etchings depictJohn Costin lives in Ybor City, but his work is viewer’s presence, and react to it. This approach familiar to many locals. One of his etchings ing large birds of Florida. For more information reveals unique traits, adding another level of under- was selected as the official poster for the about Costin and his art, visit — Randy Noles standing for the viewer.” 2016 Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival.

IT’S A WHISTLING, SOARING HUNTER The red-shouldered hawk (buteo lineatus) is often heard before it’s seen. Its clear whistles are conspicuous, especially in spring; in the east, blue jays often give a near-perfect imitation of this call. The bird usually hunts by watching from a perch, either within a forest or in the open, using its hearing and sight. Sometimes it flies very low in open areas, swooping down and taking its prey by surprise. Its diet includes small mammals, amphibians, reptiles and even other birds. It also eats snakes, small birds, mice, large insects and occasionally fish. In courtship, the male displays by flying upward, calling, then diving steeply. Pairs may soar together in circles, calling, high over nesting territory. Nest sites are usually located in the fork of a tree’s main trunk, most often at least 35 feet above ground. The nest, built by both sexes, is a platform of sticks and other material, lined with bark, moss and sprigs of green vegetation. -Adapted from the Audubon Guide to North American Birds


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Patricia Maddox is president and CEO of the Winter Park Health Foundation, which up to now has maintained an intentionally low profile.

CHAMPIONS OF WELLNESS The Winter Park Health Foundation is low key, but effective. Now, as it prepares to build a major center, its far-reaching impact on the community’s overall well-being is moving front and center. BY DANA S. EAGLES PHOTOGRAPHS BY RAFAEL TONGOL


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ary Wooley, a jovial 80-year-old wearing a Christmas-red jacket, sits at the end of a long table at Day Break in Winter Park, where the chatter darts randomly from the quality of the snacks to the star power of Roy Rogers and his horse, Trigger. Day Break offers a chance for older people with memory impairment to socialize, exercise, play games, eat lunch and create works of art while still getting their medications. Some clients are stoic. But Wooley, a former cafeteria worker who now lives with her son, works hard to stay as sharp as possible. She knits, crochets and neatly embellishes the drawings in adult coloring books. She boasts that on her 80th birthday, her son taught her how to text. Two days a week, she visits Day Break. The lunch is OK here, she says, and she loves to stroll in the Sensory Garden. But it’s cutting up with others that she enjoys the most. “We talk and laugh — we’re forever laughing,” she says. “We have fun.” Day Break is run by Easter Seals, but its building, the Miller Center for Older Adult Services, is made available for $1 a year by the Winter Park Health Foundation, whose headquarters is next door. The low-key arrangement is typical of the foundation, which tends to operate in the background, conducting research related to health and wellness issues that impact its service area, which encompasses Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville. It also provides money and facilities for groups that deliver services. Contributions run the gamut, from $500 for a healthy-snacks cabinet at the Winter Park Community Center to $570,000 for mental-health counseling in schools. In 2014, the foundation estimates, its impact on the community — including facilities, grants and direct donations — totaled $7.6 million. “We want to be a partner with the community and other organizations rather than shine a spotlight on ourselves,” says Patricia Maddox, longtime president and CEO of the foundation, which has a staff of just 11. “People clearly view us as more of a collaborator.” But ducking the spotlight will be harder to do as the foundation embarks on the most visible endeavor in its 22-year history: a major wellness center adjacent to Winter Park Memorial Hospital, near Aloma and Lakemont avenues. The multiuse complex will be built on the site of the cur­ rent Peggy and Philip B. Crosby YMCA Wellness Center — which pays the foundation 50 cents a year in rent — and three adjacent parcels. In partnership with the hospital, the foundation plans an 85,000-square-foot building, a portion of which will house the Crosby Y, and a parking garage. The existing 25-yearold building will be razed later this year, and the confusing streets around the site will be untangled. The Crosby Y will gain more space for workouts and

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The foundation plans to build an 85,000-square-foot facility that will encompass the Peggy and Philip B. Crosby YMCA Wellness Center along with other health-related services.

classes. A second pool will be dedicated to exercise and warm-water therapy, while a demonstration kitchen will help participants make more healthful meals. In the deliberate, data-driven style that characterizes everything it does, the foundation looked at wellness centers across the country and took the best elements of each in planning the $45 million project. Maddox says the emphasis of what’s known for now as Project Wellness will be helping the community deal with the “silver tsunami” — the aging of America — while preparing younger people to stay healthier as they grow older. Diana Silvey, the foundation’s program director for older adult services, envisions a place where you might consult a physician in the center’s clinical area and be told you need more fiber in your diet. Then, at the same place, you can learn to make healthier meals and sign up to exercise at the Crosby Y while you’re at it. “My hope for it is real integration,” Silvey says. The building is scheduled to open in the fall of 2018. When that happens, says foundation Vice President Debbie Watson, Winter Park will have a major wellness destination that will include the Crosby Y, the Miller Center and the foundation’s offices. It’ll be next to 66-acre Ward Park, which is owned by the city.


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While construction is underway, the 1,900 members of the seniors-oriented Crosby Y will have to go elsewhere to work out and see their buddies. Mary Cox, the Crosby Y’s associate executive director of wellness, says members can use other Y’s in the area, adding that the Y will work with the foundation to rent space in churches and other venues. “Everything is on the table,” she says. Half of the Crosby Y’s members are 71 or older, Cox says, and one 96-year-old member told her the change had a bright side: “I have a reason to live for two more years.” Asked to look ahead 20 years, Maddox says she hopes Project Wellness “will be an integral part of the community, viewed as a destination in Winter Park. In the future, when people are showing visitors Winter Park landmarks, [the new facility] will be one of them.”


Good intentions and thorough research have helped the foundation become the leading champion of wellness in the Winter Park area. But luck and timing have played roles, too. In 1994, the 300-bed Winter Park Memorial Hospital was finding it tough to compete in the managed-care environment of the time. So the governing Winter Park Memorial Hospital Association Inc. sold controlling interest to Columbia/HCA, the company then run by Rick

Scott, now governor of Florida. The association began doing business as the Winter Park Health Foundation. In that transaction, the foundation got properties such as the Miller Center and Crosby Y buildings and added cash to its endowment. Then, in 2000, the foundation sold its remain­ ing interest in Winter Park Memorial, which Columbia/HCA promptly sold in its entirety to Florida Hospital. The foundation’s assets grew from about $88 million at its inception in 1994 to about $128 million at the end of 2014, Watson says. During that period, by its own calculations, the foundation’s financial impact exceeded $93 million. Although it once covered a broader area that included Oviedo, the foundation now concentrates on Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville, with a mission of preventing disease and creating an environment conducive to good health. It focuses on children, older adults and overall community health, mainly by making grants to groups it believes can make a difference. But its philosophy is not to throw money at grant recipients for a year and walk away, Watson says. “We tend to fund longer and stick with it. We work with them on sustainability, to help them stand on their own.” Winter Park and Maitland may seem unlikely targets for such philanthropy, but the founda-

GOOD WORKS tion’s frequent assessments have found that from a health standpoint, the two relatively affluent cities face the same challenges that most other places do. “The simplistic answer is that affluence and prosperity does not equal good health,” says Maddox, who recently was named the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year for her foundation work, including the development of Project Wellness. Health sins such as overeating, failing to get enough exercise and avoiding recommended screenings tend to be similar from one place to the next, she says. A 2014 assessment conducted for Healthy Central Florida — a partnership between the foundation and Florida Hospital — found that more than half of the three cities’ adult residents were considered overweight, and 14.2 percent rated their own health as fair or poor. That compares with 15.3 percent nationwide.


In its early days, the foundation learned that kids here needed help just as much as kids living anywhere else. More families than expected in the Winter Park area were living in poverty. One of every five children was suffering from depression, and rates of smoking among teens were troublingly high. “Counselors said, ‘These kids are smoking because they have really big issues, and this is their coping mechanism,’” says Watson. Those findings led to the Coordinated Youth Initiative, an effort to improve the mental and physical health of children in 12 schools that serve Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville. The foundation now spends more than $1 million a year on health in schools. Its School Nursing Initiative helps provide a full-time nurse at each of the schools — an asset not available at every Orange County school. In addition, nurse practitioners stationed at Glenridge Middle School and Winter Park High School conduct physical exams, write prescriptions and treat common ailments without charge for students at all 12 schools. Their focus is on kids who don’t have a regular source of care or who face other barriers in getting medical help. Healthy School Teams made up of faculty, parents and other residents come up with ways to improve student health. During the 2014-15 school year, nurses handled almost 40,000 visits, says Pam Flaherty, a nurse practitioner who coordinates the School Nursing Initiative. “If we can’t give them everything they need, we know where to find it,” she adds. Because they have the knowledge to make accurate assessments, nurses send about 95 percent


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of kids back to class after a clinic visit, compared with 80 to 85 percent who are seen by unlicensed attendants, Flaherty says. But the foundation’s CHILL program may be its most innovative way of safeguarding kids’ health. Licensed mental-health counselors for CHILL (Community Health and Intervention in Life’s Lessons) offer up to 12 individual or group sessions to kids struggling with problems such as depression, anxiety, bullying and anger management. “There once was a perception that children in Winter Park didn’t have some of these issues,” says Joie Cadle, an Orange County School Board member who lives in Winter Park. But the reality is that pressures on teens have never been greater, Cadle adds, and the economic downturn showed how quickly a youngster who had been in a seemingly secure situation could wind up impoverished or homeless because of layoffs and foreclosures. “CHILL counselors are able to help children of divorce, those who are grieving, smoking and have risky behaviors,” Cadle says. “That mentalhealth component is huge.”


At the other end of the age spectrum, the foundation is trying to keep older adults living independently longer — and to keep them learning so they can maintain cognitive abilities. One grant, for example, led to the creation of Neighbors Network, whose members pay a fee to get help with basic household tasks — including decorating during the holidays or changing light bulbs — instead of climbing ladders and risking broken bones. Cyber Seniors pairs older people who want to become computer-literate with young volunteers who provide one-on-one instruction on how to use smartphones, tablets and laptops. The goal is sim­ ple, Silvey says: Help seniors stay connected. And the foundation spent about $160,000 to launch a program offering courses for adults 50 and over through Rollins College’s Center for Lifelong Learning. Classes, which meet in Winter Park and beyond, are capped at 35 students and are taught by local experts. Demand has exceeded expectations since the program began in 2013, says Jill Norburn, the center’s director. In 2015, nearly 1,100 people took at least one class, Norburn adds. This spring, the center will offer 128 classes, which typically meet for 90 minutes a week over four weeks. Among the most popular topics: “Nazi Germany,” “Using Meditation in Everyday Life” and “The Sistine Chapel Up, Down and Sideways.” Tuition is $65 per class.

AN INVESTMENT IN WELLNESS Here are the three largest grants the Winter Park Health Foundation awarded in 2014 (the most recent year available) in each of four categories. A complete list is at


 Foundation for Orange County Public Schools: $569,685 for CHILL, a mental-health counseling program.  Foundation for Orange County Public Schools: $129,538 for two school-based health centers and nurse practitioners.  Orange County Public Schools: $85,955 for a School Nursing Initiative, which helps provide nurses in 12 public schools.


 National Gerontological Nursing Association: $64,196 for Be@Ease Central Florida, which encourages individuals and families to discuss and share their wishes for end-of-life care.  VOICE (Volunteers Organized in Community Engagement): $48,365 for a program in which senior volunteers address community issues.  Senior Resource Alliance: $40,000 for Neighbors Network, a membership organization that gives older adults help with household tasks.


 Florida Hospital Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes: $91,290 to support the opening of Healthy Eatonville Place, a health and diabetes-education center.  Grace Medical Home: $42,000 for development of an electronic health record system.  Hebni Nutrition Consultants: $36,240 for cooking classes and nutrition education for Eatonville residents who have or are at risk of developing diabetes.


 Winter Park Memorial Hospital: $400,000 for development of a Family Medicine Residence Building.  Florida Hospital Foundation: $41,000 for a community health assessment and $180,000 for Healthy Central Florida, a large-scale health and wellness initiative.

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Like many participants in the Day Break program in Winter Park, Bill Morath loves to play bingo.​Another frequent visitor, Mary Wooley (right), enjoys adult coloring books and laughing with friends. ​

“For many, these classes have pulled them away from depression and isolation,” Norburn says. “They’re meeting new people, learning new things and also finding ways to get involved in the community through our different volunteer outlets.”


Not everything the foundation supports is aimed at a particular age group, however. Its Healthy Central Florida partnership with Florida Hospital promotes broader wellness ideals such as walking and biking, healthful eating and smoke-free spaces. The partnership has organized walking and biking events and funded a mobile farmer’s mar­ ket, for example. It also works at the policy level to push for improvements such as bike lanes and sidewalks that make it safe to be more active, says Jill Hamilton Buss, the partnership’s execu­tive director. “If you change the environment, you change the behavior,” she notes. Healthy Central Florida’s Breathe Free Winter Park campaign has enlisted 32 restaurants that have pledged to keep their dining patios smokefree, Buss says. (The number includes some that


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were already offering smoke-free patios along with others that changed their policy.) Research helped make the case that restaurants don’t miss losing many customers when they ban outdoor smoking: The 2014 health assessment found that only 10.3 percent of Winter Park residents and 7.3 percent of Maitland residents are smokers. In Eatonville, Healthy Central Florida is combating diabetes, obesity and other chronic diseases. The partnership’s research found that almost one in four residents of the historically AfricanAmerican town had been diagnosed with diabetes — more than twice the national rate, says Julie Clyatt, a nurse practitioner for Florida Hospital. Clyatt is program director for Healthy Eatonville Place, a center funded by the foundation, Florida Hospital and the pharmaceutical company Sanofi. Since Healthy Eatonville Place opened in mid-2014, Clyatt says, about 350 people have benefited from health assessments and diabetes education programs, which are provided without charge. It offers cooking and nutrition classes and refers clients to physicians for additional help. The Florida Hospital Translational Research

Institute is studying why diabetes is so prevalent in Eatonville, and whether the strategies of Healthy Eatonville Place prove effective in preventing and controlling it. One of Healthy Eatonville Place’s success stories is 60-year-old Charles Jackson, who was diagnosed with diabetes 35 years ago and later had quadruple bypass surgery. In cooking classes, Jackson says, he learned how to stop using salt and substitute other seasonings when preparing dinner — and to be more skeptical about ingredients. “I never read a label until I got involved in the class,” says the tall, lanky Jackson, who also joined a Healthy Eatonville Place support group and realized that many of his neighbors were dealing with similar problems. Despite his arthritis, Jackson says, he has been walking more than a mile every day “in segments” and is proud that he has stopped using a cane. Jackson still struggles with his health. But in sum­ming up his situation, he could be citing a goal the foundation has for everyone as it prepares to break ground on Project Wellness: “I’m in a much better place — mentally, physically and spiritually.”



PARK Away from the L.A. rat race, Grammy-winner and Godspell guitarist Jesse Cutler offers a musical tribute to his adopted home town. BY RANDY NOLES PHOTOGRAPH BY RAFAEL TONGOL


“Winter Park exists in its own bubble,” says Cutler. “Everyone who lives here or visits here has their own unique experience. My experience is reflected in this music, which I wanted to share.” W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | SP RI N G 2016


esse Cutler is not, we assume, the first artist ever to be Cutler says he’s concerned with young, would-be stars who don’t, as he did, so inspired by Winter Park’s ambience that he composed survive their mistakes and go on to build happy and successful lives. music in the city’s honor. But he is, without question, “There are so many traps to avoid,” he says. “The book talks about what it the first former boy-band rocker, Broadway performer, takes to succeed, and asks young people if they’re prepared to pay the price.” Grammy-winning arranger and — gasp! — Playgirl cenFor Cutler, a musical prodigy, the adventure began when he was 13. “We terfold to do so. started a band,” he says. “I recruited two Jewish kids from Brooklyn, and Music of Winter Park is an instrumental CD that enmy dad was our manager.” compasses 10 classically tinged, jazz-infused composiCutler’s dad, a retired investment banker, bought the group all the requitions that reflect Cutler’s impressions of all things Winter Park, including site equipment and even came up with a gimmick. “He looked at what was Rollins College, Park Avenue and the city’s 130-year heritage. popular and said, ‘We’re going to go the clean route,’” recalls Cutler, whose Cutler, a fulltime Winter Park resident since the late 1990s, released the stage name became Lou London. CD on his own Gourmet Records label. It’s available at several local retailIn response to the British Invasion bands, including The Beatles and The ers and can be downloaded from the usual places, such as iTunes, Spotify Rolling Stones — who horrified adults with their shaggy hair, rebellious and iHeart Media. For every $13.99 CD purchased, $1 goes to the Second tone and unabashed sex appeal — Cutler and his barely pubescent bandHarvest Food Bank. mates were dressed in business suits and dubbed the Young Executives. “Winter Park kind of exists in “We were the first boy band,” its own bubble,” says Cutler, 65, Cutler says. “And we were the a genial character whose sandyoungest boy band in history.” paper speaking voice reflects a Although the Young Executives pronounced Long Island accent. rate only a footnote — if that — “Everybody who lives here or in rock ‘n roll history, they had a visits here has their own, unique little success and a lot of fun. The experience. My experience is regroup was signed to Mercury Reflected in this music, which I cords in 1964 and released a rolwanted to share.” licking single — Everybody Do the Cutler, born Louis Milo GibalDuck — that snuck onto the Billdi, is a musician, actor, pro­ducer board charts. and entrepreneur. Although he’s The lyrics — “Everybody do had several shots at mainstream the duck! Quack, quack, quack, stardom, he confesses that at times quack!” — were silly, but the tune he was his own worst enemy. had an irresistible hook and the In a 2008 book, Starlust: The talented trio could really play and Price of Fame, Cuter candidly adsing. The Young Executives apmits the misjudgments — somepeared on American Bandstand, times a by-product of cockiness The Merv Griffin Show, Hullaba— that kept him from the kind loo and Shindig. of high-profile career that some The group also started playing of his friends enjoyed. (One of star-studded private parties and those friends, Paul Shaffer, the fundraisers alongside such pop bandleader best known for his culture icons as Andy Warhol, long stint on The David LetterLiza Minelli, Sammy Davis Jr., man Show, wrote the book’s inBarbra Streisand, Anthony NewAs a youth, the precocious Cutler fronted a boy band and got to hang out with such show troduction.) ley and Joan Collins. They even business legends as Sammy Davis Jr. His group, the Young Executives, had a chart hit In Starlust, the thrice-married rubbed elbows with John Lennon called Everybody Do the Duck. Cutler describes a life in which he and Mick Jagger. was driven to succeed, and quick Although the band broke up, to avail himself of the perks that come with being a performer: parties, Cutler continued performing while attending prep school and Hofstra women, money, women, adulation and women. University. While still a student, he and Ricky Shutter, a fellow Young Regrets? He’s had a few. That’s why Starlust is, in large part, a tell-all cauExecutive, auditioned for another youthful Long Islander who was writtionary tale. In it he writes: “I have often wondered how my own demons, ing the score for a show called Godspell, which had been presented as a the ones that said that I wasn’t good enough to be famous, got in the way non-musical play at LaMama, a small experimental theater on New York’s and made me sabotage myself — even when it didn’t look like I was the one Lower East Side. doing it.” The show had caught the attention of producer Edgar Lansbury (brother of Relaxing in the lounge of the Alfond Inn on a chilly January afternoon, Angela Lansbury) and his partners, who thought it ought to be a musical and S PRING 2 0 1 6 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


move off Broadway. The tunesmith was, of course Stephen Schwartz, who would become a Broadway legend through Godspell, Pippin and Wicked. Schwartz hired Shutter and Cutler, who says he “didn’t know who this kid was; it felt more like he was auditioning for us.” Cutler went on to play guitar, sing and co-arrange the score. He also persuaded Schwartz that the music, which was written to emphasize the piano, should be mostly guitars. “A musical? It’ll close in two weeks,” Cutler recalls his dad predicting. Godspell, however, was an off-Broadway smash. It later moved to the Great White Way, where it continued its historic run — and where Shaffer joined the band on keyboards. Cutler appeared in 800 Godspell performances. And when the original cast album was released in 1972, he shared a Grammy for best score. The album went platinum and spawned the hit single “Day by Day,” which spent 90 weeks on the Billboard charts, peaking at No. 13. A film version was released in 1973, but by then Cutler had left the show. Feeling he had gotten all the mileage he was likely to get from Godspell, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a solo recording career. He was signed by Brut Records, a division of the fragrance company Fabergé, and recorded several albums. From there he moved to United Artists,

Music of Winter Park is Cutler’s tribute to his adopted hometown. For every CD purchased, $1 is donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

only to be dropped from the roster after EMI purchased the company. But, at a fit and frisky 28, he still had the attributes needed to land a gig as a Playgirl centerfold. Yes, you can still find copies of the 1979 magazine, the cover of which features Christopher Reeve in Superman attire, on eBay.

“I had a girl tell me, ‘I’ll bet you can’t get a real job,’” Cutler recalls. “I took her up on it. I found an ad that said ‘seeking sales for sports, TV, movies.’ I’d been a performer, and that was nothing but sales. I thought, ‘I can do that.’” He carved out a successful career in media sales and founded two magazines, Medical Digest and Restaurant Tour, which he sold in the early 1990s for seven figures. He also produced a TV show called The Singles Connection, and launched what he believes was the first music aerobics package, Disco DietDance Yourself Slim. The exercise videos ignited a craze that caught the attention of Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons. No longer needing to chase mainstream pop stardom, Cutler began recording for his own label, releasing sometimes quirky but, to him, meaningful projects. One was a 12-CD compilation, with each CD dedicated to a sign of the zodiac. He moved to Winter Park in 1998 and is president of The Cutler Edge, a multimedia marketing and promotions company. And he says he can make you a star, if you have enough money — and enough talent — to open the right doors. “It’s all who you know,” Cutler says. “In L.A., when I meet somebody trying to break into show business, the first thing I ask is ‘Who’s your manager?’ That tells me how far you’ll go.”

Celebrating Director Webb’s 10th Season


2016 2017 SEASON

“Few, though, can have appreciated the extraordinary level both of Mr. Webb’s ambition and his company’s level of achievement.” – Alastair Macaulay, The New York Times


W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | SP RI N G 2016

Sir Frederick Ashton George Balanchine Dame Ninette de Valois Ricardo Graziano Joe Layton Will Tuckett Antony Tudor Dominic Walsh

The Sarasota Ballet Box Office 941.359.0099

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Despite a debilitating back condition, Rogers enjoyed outdoor activities such as swimming and rowing. Fittingly, a recreation area along Flagler Beach is named in his honor.


W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | SP RI N G 2016

FLORIDA’S TROUBADOUR James Gamble Rogers IV left a musical legacy as enduring as any of his architect father’s buildings. Friends and fans are trying to make certain that his colorful life and heroic death aren’t forgotten. BY HAROLD FETHE AND RANDY NOLES



Rogers treated his fans like they were the stars, and he had all the time in the world to visit with them. Some of his biggest boosters were journalists, who appreciated his way with words.


ames Gamble Rogers IV was the son of Winter Park’s most renowned architect. Yet, he spurned the family business and became a troubadour, celebrating rural Florida with whimsical stories, evocative songs and skillful fingerpicking. For nearly 30 years, he presented a genre-defying oneman show that took him from raucous bars to intimate listening rooms to the stage of Carnegie Hall. In doing so, he left a musical legacy as enduring as any of the buildings designed by his father. Or, for that matter, by other family members who likewise became notable architects. Rogers’ great-great uncle, also named James Gamble Rogers, designed buildings at Yale, Northwestern and Columbia universities. His grandfather, John Arthur Rogers, had an architecture practice in Daytona Beach. Rogers’ father, James Gamble Rogers II, designed the Olin Library at Rollins College and the Florida Supreme Court building in Tallahassee. But he’s best known for his elegant homes, which helped define the residential ambience of Winter Park. The name James Gamble Rogers III went not to the son of James Gamble


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Rogers II, as might be expected, but to a grandson of the first James Gamble Rogers, who became an architect in New York. (Indeed, the family has produced six architects named James Gamble Rogers.) Rogers’ brother, more conveniently (and less confusingly) named Jack, became chairman and CEO of Rogers, Lovelock & Fritz, the firm their father founded. Known in his youth as “Jimmy,” Rogers died in the Florida surf in 1991, trying to save the life of a Canadian tourist he’d never met. He plunged into high waves despite an arthritic back that made it impossible for him to drive a car in reverse, rest his chin on his chest or even turn his head. It was an act of bravery that those who knew him say was entirely in keeping with his character. “Of course, we felt shock and numbness when we heard about [Gamble’s] death,” says Jack Rogers. “I’m sure it never occurred to him not to try and save that man.” In Rogers’ memory, friends and colleagues launched a long-running folk festival, a memorial foundation and a website where fans continue to express their admiration for his life and work and their sorrow for his death. The beach where he drowned and a nearby middle school have been

named for him. His manager, at his own expense, has ensured that his albums have remained in print. Now, 25 years later, friends and family still display a mixture of affection, reverence and unresolved grief that causes them to tell the story of his drowning as if the outcome somehow still hung in the balance; as if this time it might end differently. Should all this seem too mythic for any fleshand-blood human, then welcome to the world of Gamble Rogers.


Songwriter and performer Mike Cross describes Rogers as a man who “had command of the stage, and could create a world that people could escape into for the time he was performing.” Distinguished by clear diction and a reedy timbre, Rogers sang like he spoke, using a cultured Southern dialect. His vocals were punctuated by energetic thumb-picked bass lines and buoyed by arpeggio guitar flourishes. No less a storyteller when he was singing than when he was speaking, Rogers favored songs with narratives. He often challenged his own artistic range, performing songs with storylines that were funny, poignant, heroic or dissolute. Some songs were traditional and some he wrote himself. Friends wrote others, just for him to perform. For his tall tales, he painstakingly composed serpentine, alliterative, mock-scholarly sentences and then practiced them before a mirror until he could deliver them in long, energetic bursts. Audiences would start chuckling at the first laugh line, not knowing that seven more would come before the passage ended. It seemed to his fans as though Rogers was holding forth from the loading dock at Arrandale’s Purina Store in Oklawaha County, the fictional Florida backwater in which many of his tall tales were set. “Gamble came about as close as anybody could to being onstage what he was in real life,” says Cross. “He didn’t have to hide anything — there was so much good in him that he could just strip naked.” Lanky, angular and six feet tall, Rogers dressed in a dignified but unpretentious manner for the stage, sporting wool blazers and brown Florsheim Imperial cap-toe shoes. His work ethic was prodigious and his presentation was by turns frenetic, poignant and sardonic. A tireless performer, he wanted to give his audiences their money’s worth and then some — but still leave them wanting more. “The contracts [for Rogers’ performances] would just blow your mind,” says Cross. “It would be a five-night run, and the contract would say, ‘Tuesday through Thursday: three 90-minute sets; Friday and Saturday: three 120-minute sets.’ Three sets! Six hours!”


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If the bred-in-the-bone gallantry of a Southern gentleman can be a tragic flaw, it would be about the only one anyone ever found in Rogers. His manners were old-fashioned and courtly, and he was patient and generous with his audiences. When fans met him, he treated them as if they were the stars, and he had all the time in the world to visit with them. Emotion-filled messages posted on describe such encounters, remembered vividly despite the passage of years or decades. Friends and fellow artists describe Rogers as someone who had achieved a near-seamless blend of life and art, combining technical excellence with sincere humility, wry humor and a writerly love for language. “When Gamble showed up at a party, people would greet him or try to get his attention,” says singer Bob Patterson. “He’d acknowledge them, but he’d go around and say hello to the kids and dogs first.” His sense of obligation to his fellow man was extreme. Rogers’ manager and agent, Charles Steadham, describes a breakfast meeting they had one morning in Micanopy, after his client had just come off the road. Sleep-deprived and physically wrung out, Rogers wanted to deal quickly with business matters and cover the few remaining miles to his

home on Anastasia Island, near St. Augustine. As they left, a man approached Rogers in the parking lot and asked to speak with him privately. Shortly thereafter, the man returned to his car and drove out of the parking lot with Rogers following along in his well-traveled Mustang. The man’s wife, it seems, was an avid fan. She was also near death from cancer, and might be bolstered by even a brief visit from her favorite singer. Rogers, never one for half measures, ended up performing a long bedside concert for an audience of two. He also stood up for other artists. St. Petersburg folksinger Pete Gallagher recalls a controversy 30 years ago over the inclusion of a blues artist in the Florida Folk Festival, which was held annually in White Springs. At the time, Gallagher was managing renowned African-American singer Mary McClain, a halfsister of Bessie Smith, who usually billed herself as Diamond Teeth Mary. McClain performed a blues set at the event, annoying folk purists who gathered afterward for a wrap-up meeting. “Everybody who was still around, artists and organizers, would come to this free breakfast and gripe,” recalls Gallagher. “They were griping about Diamond Teeth Mary being allowed to perform. Then Gamble stood up and said, ‘Would you deny your brother a seat at the table?’ There was silence, and all the griping stopped.”


The Gamble Rogers Memorial Foundation, based in Gainesville, was established by Rogers’ longtime manager, Charles Steadham, to preserve the folksinger’s memory and his music. On the foundation’s website,, you can order his CDs, watch performance videos and read about his life. A guestbook allows fans to reconnect and share memories. The foundation also plans to produce a network-caliber video documentary and a 30-year retrospective CD compilation of Rogers’ songs.

Born in 1937 to energetic and sophisticated parents, Rogers grew up in a loving family of Renaissance-style high achievers. His father, in addition to being an architect, was a world-class swimmer and skilled musician. “Jimmy and I both played guitar as kids,” recalls Jack Rogers. “That’s because we saw the way our mother looked at our father when he played.” Rogers’ father had attended Dartmouth, where as a swimmer he qualified for the 1924 “Chariots of Fire” Olympics. He worked in the Daytona Beach architecture practice started by his father before establishing his own firm in Winter Park. If it seems strange that the son of a prominent architect in a wealthy city could be so convincing in his depictions of rustic characters and remote places, Jack Rogers has an explanation. He and his brother were raised like country boys. The Rogers clan — parents Gamble and Evelyn and sons Jimmy and Jack — lived on 18 acres called Temple Grove, now an upscale subdivision but then a working orange grove. The brothers came into Winter Park to sell fruit to the Marketessen, a small grocery story on Park Avenue. They spent summers on a north Georgia farm owned by their mother’s family. There, Jack Rogers says, “we worked alongside people of all kinds, black and white. [They] may have murdered the King’s English, but they were very

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The Rogers brothers enjoyed many adventures growing up in Winter Park. Gamble (standing) and Jack sometimes sailed homemade boats in Lake Maitland.

independent and could do anything.” Listening to stories told by farmhands inspired his brother and helped shape his stage persona, adds Jack Rogers, who was 18 months Jimmy’s junior. “He could poke fun at these people, but he poked fun at himself, too.” Back in Winter Park, the boys sailed along the Chain of Lakes, camped on Dog Island and hunted ducks along the St. Johns River. They were inseparable — but, like all brothers, they scuffled from time to time. Evelyn, says Jack Rogers, told her sons that she didn’t particularly mind if they fought one anoth-


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er. However, she added, “If I ever hear there’s been a fight involving other boys, and you two weren’t on the same side, that’s when you’ll be in trouble.” Then came a serious medical crisis that tested Rogers’ resolve and shaped the man he was to become. At age 14, he attempted a high jump and missed the sawdust pit, jarring his spine on hard ground. The accident aggravated a serious but previously undiagnosed case of spinal arthritis, triggering a lifelong struggle with limited mobility and chronic pain. For therapy, Rogers had to lie on a large stain-

less-steel reflector, under a heat lamp, for four hours a day. He passed the time practicing the guitar — a record player and a collection of Merle Travis albums was always nearby — and reading. Although his condition was a serious one, he refused to use it as an excuse for failing to accomplish a goal. As a Boy Scout, for example, Rogers was one merit badge away from attaining Eagle Scout status. The missing badge was for athletics, which was out of the question, so the scoutmaster offered permission to substitute three other badges involving less strenuous activities. Rogers refused.

“He wanted to do everything straight up, and didn’t want special treatment,” says Jack Rogers, who recounts a harrowing event that reflects his brother’s bravery while eerily presaging his death decades later. While riding on the family farm, he says, the brothers and some friends tied their horses to a tree on a hilly bank abutting the Chattahoochee River. One horse slipped and plunged into the river, its foreleg tangled its reins. “We were standing there in shock,” recalls Jack Rogers. “But Jimmy was the first in water. Somehow, he got the bridal loose from this drowning horse, which was going berserk, and he saved the horse. Now, Jimmy wasn’t reckless. He was calculating. But he never hesitated to act.”

lahassee and opened a downstairs grotto club called the Baffled Knight. Those three, the Baffled Knights, were the house act. By 1966, although Rogers was a seasoned performer, fame had continued to elude him. So he took a trip to Massachusetts, where he planned to interview for a job at Cambridge Seven Design, a respected architecture firm. If architecture was indeed his destiny, then at least he needed to establish an identity away from Florida, outside his father’s substantial shadow. “I think he would have taken the job,” says Jack Rogers. The fact that he instead wound up joining a nationally known singing group was, well, serendipitous.



After graduating from Winter Park High School in 1955, Rogers enrolled at the University of Virginia. While there, he met several times with Nobel laureate William Faulkner, the school’s writer-in-residence, whom he idolized. At the end of his junior year, Rogers decided to skip final exams and left Charlottesville to take guitar lessons from jazz guitarist Charlie Byrd in Washington, D.C. Notes Jack Rogers, with his family’s gift for ironic understatement, this resulted in his brother being “excused from the University of Virginia, for at least a year.” Back in Winter Park, Rogers enrolled at Rollins, where he befriended English professor Edwin Granberry, author, essayist and mentor of Margaret Mitchell, who wrote Gone With the Wind. Granberry composed a glowing recommendation that helped his young protégé get into DeLand’s Stetson University, which had a writing program that the venerable O. Henry Award winner thought would be ideal for Rogers. Jack Rogers still has the letter, carefully folded and typed on onionskin paper. In it, Granberry describes Rogers as possessing “unusual intellectual potential” and being “the most pronounced writing talent of my 25 years in teaching.” Rogers spent a year at Stetson before putting aside formal higher education for good. He had drifted through four years at three different colleges, majoring in architecture, English and philosophy. Yet he had no degree to show for his effort. Again he returned to Winter Park and ensconced himself in his parents’ guest house, where he spent the better part of a year working on a book before declaring that he simply wasn’t ready to write anything worth reading. “I assume it was somewhat autobiographical; a coming-of-age type story,” says Jack Rogers. “I think he destroyed the manuscript. I never saw it.” He later worked for a year in his father’s architecture office, where he displayed an intuitive gift for design. Jack Rogers believes that his brother could have been a top-tier architect, although

Rollins College English professor Edwin Granberry called Rogers, who attended three colleges over four years but never earned a degree, “the most pronounced writing talent of my 25 years in teaching.”

only one of his designs saw construction — the Orange County Juvenile Detention Center, in which he used bulletproof glass instead of bars. Nothing, however, could deter Rogers from performing. He played locally at Dubsdread, Harrigan’s, the Beef & Bottle and a coffeehouse at Rollins. He also appeared at folk clubs in surrounding cities, most notably the El Prado Lounge in Winter Garden and Stuckey’s Saloon in Lakeland, where he was often joined by friends Paul Champion, a banjo player, and Jim Ballew, a guitarist. Chip Weston, a local artist who attended Rollins in the ’60s, was playing with a bluegrass group at the college when he met Rogers. “There weren’t a whole lot of musicians, so it was standard practice to jam with whoever was around on a weekly basis,” says Weston. “Jimmy and his stories and his music were so refreshing because they weren’t trying to reinvent themselves or their music to fit mainstream success.” But in a family of achievers, was such an esoteric career path acceptable? “Our parents, especially our dad, understood pretty well,” says Jack Rogers. “My mother was flexible. Neither of them tried to discourage him. But we had uncles who would say, ‘When are you going to get a real job?’ Jimmy would just walk out of the room when that happened.” Rogers, Champion and Ballew moved to Tal-

While in Massachusetts, a friend persuaded Rogers to take a side trip to New York City to watch auditions for the Serendipity Singers, a popular folk group that had reached the Top 10 with “Don’t Let the Rain Come Down (Crooked Little Man)” two years earlier. Rogers, unimpressed with mediocre showings from the other musicians in attendance, borrowed a guitar and ambled onstage. Although it was a spur-of-the-moment performance, he was offered a job singing and playing lead, acoustic and electric guitars. Because of Rogers’ storytelling skills, he also became the group’s front man, setting the scene for their songs when they appeared on such network mainstays as The Tonight Show, The Ed Sullivan Show and Hootenanny. Success offered Rogers a sense of validation, but he soon began to feel restless and out of place. “I was merely a hired gun, so to speak,’’ he told the Orlando Sentinel in 1987. “I simply signed on with an already established group.’’ He left the Serendipity Singers after two years to pursue a solo career, relocating to the Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami, which had a thriving folk music scene. From there, he built up a circuit of coffeehouses and clubs in St. Augustine, Gainesville and Tallahassee. Finding that well-crafted acoustic songs weren’t always enough to hold a rowdy crowd’s attention, he honed his storytelling, which would later be described as a combination of Mark Twain and Will Rogers, if either humorist had been a Floridian. By the early 1970s, Rogers was playing across the U.S. and Canada. In 1974, when he appeared at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, PBS taped his performance for nationwide broadcast. The following year, the network produced a television special, Gamble Rogers: Live at the Exit In, which originated in Nashville. Indeed, Rogers’ literary bent and subversive approach to Southern humor seemed tailor-made for PBS. He was a current-events commentator S PRING 2 0 1 6 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


During performances, it seemed to his fans as though Rogers was holding forth from the loading dock at Arran­dale’s Purina Store in fictional Oklawaha County.

on NPR’s All Things Considered in 1976 and 1977 and then again in 1981 and 1982. One of his monologues, “The Great Maitland Turkey Farm Massacre of 1953” was included in Susan Stamberg’s book, Every Night at Five: The Best of all Things Considered. The riotous recitation can be heard on YouTube. Rogers also wrote two NPR radio dramas, Good Causes: Confessions of a Troubadour, which aired in 1977, and Earplay, which aired in 1980. A Rogersscripted television play, The Waterbearer, aired on PBS in 1984 and was rebroadcast twice in 1985.


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In the fall of that year, Rogers co-hosted and performed on AT&T Presents Carnegie Hall Tonight, which followed a concert appearance at Carnegie Hall with the legendary Doc Watson, a bluegrass icon and his childhood hero. It was, as far as anyone remembers, the only time Rogers ever performed wearing a tuxedo. In part because of his PBS affiliation, Rogers gained a following among intellectuals, who appreciated his facility with language and his ability to satirize both rural ignorance and urban pretention in a pointed yet hilarious way.

Journalists were also among Rogers’ biggest fans, describing him as “an American treasure ... an awesome talent ... a rare and guaranteed treat ... worthy of inclusion in the Smithsonian.” What differentiated Rogers from dozens of would-be Woody Guthries? It had to be the stories. Rogers enlivened his tales of life in Oklawaha County and Snipes Ford, the county seat, with the antics of a host of colorful characters, most notably “Agamemnon Abramowitz Jones,” “Downwind Dave” and “Sheriff Hutto Proudfoot.” Snipes Ford, where “sorriness” was considered

a prime virtue, had little of the precious charm of Lake Wobegone, Garrison Keillor’s frozen outpost of Lutheran virtue “where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.” By contrast, in Snipes Ford, the center of community activity was the Terminal Tavern, a scurrilous dive “where the good ol’ girls put their earrings on with staple guns and the good ol’ boys know it’s always easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission.” Rogers once said, “The stories I tell are all true, except the few that are obviously whimsy. Each and every one of the characters in my stories started out representing a specific person. The characters may tend to be outlandish, but their statements resonate with a certain amount of horse sense.” In the last decade of his career, Jack Rogers says, his brother seemed to have hit his stride. He was flying to gigs instead of piling more miles on his Mustang, and living happily in St. Augustine with his free-spirited wife, Nancy. He packed clubs and was welcomed as a superstar at folk festivals and storytelling gatherings. He was a niche celebrity, perhaps, but a celebrity nonetheless. And, most importantly, he was doing exactly what he wanted to do, exactly the way he wanted to do it.


One weekend in 1991 at Flagler Beach, the 53-year-old Rogers and his wife returned to their campsite from a four-hour bike ride, tired and ready to go home. The October daylight was waning, heavy weather was coming in and the surf was head-high and dangerous. The Halloween Storm, a three-hurricane hybrid that sank the sword fishing boat Andrea Gail and inspired Sebastian Junger’s bestselling novel, The Perfect Storm, was only a few days away. Sam Pacetti, a surfer who was also Rogers’ guitar protégé, says, “It was like a washing machine out there.” It was no day for swimming, but a tourist from Ontario had gone into the water and gotten into trouble. His young daughter ran to Rogers, pleading for someone to help her father. His arthritis, relentlessly worsening since childhood, had frozen his spine so severely that he’d struggled in the calm water of a swimming pool just weeks before. Rogers had to know that he couldn’t maneuver in the surf on his own. Yet he stripped to his undershirt and shorts, grabbed an air mattress from under a sleeping bag and started into the water. As minutes ticked by, park ranger Chuck McIntire, a strong swimmer, joined Rogers and another would-be rescuer. McIntire swam past Rogers, who signaled to him that he was still all right. As McIntire continued outward, working the undertow to reach the Canadian, a massive wave

When he wasn't touring, Rogers was writing — songs he recorded, commentaries he delivered on NPR and mock-scholarly yarns he recounted at storytelling festivals.

ripped Rogers’ air mattress away. His body was found a few hours later.


St. Augustine resident Harvey Lopez describes how he and two friends were enlisted to build Rogers’ casket: “Nancy said, ‘I have a big favor to ask of you. I’d like for you to build a coffin for Gamble.’ What could I say? ‘No problem, when is the funeral?’” Lopez, Jesse Allen and Brad Kinsey were all boat builders, woodworkers or cabinetmakers. “We decided we were going to build it like a boat,” Lopez says. “We found some old Florida cypress. We planed it out in planks, smoothed it and started putting it together. We stained it an old rosewood color, just like the ‘Rosewood Casket’ song.” Since you can’t cross the River Styx in a boat without a paddle, the trio also crafted a miniature oar and slipped it inside the coffin. Tributes poured in from friends and fans. Jimmy Buffett dedicated his Fruitcakes album to Rogers’ memory: “I dedicate this collection of songs to a troubadour and a friend who has gone over to the other side where the guardian angels dwell and has, in all likelihood, become one.” The state Legislature honored Florida’s quasi-official musical ambassador by creating the Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area,

a 144-acre park on Flagler Beach between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. St. Johns County opened Gamble Rogers Middle School near St. Augustine in 1994, and the Division of Cultural Affairs named Rogers to the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 1998. Rogers is buried in Winter Park’s Palm Cemetery, beneath a marble headstone that reads “Florida’s Troubadour.” Nancy, who died of cancer in 2005, is buried beside him. But Rogers’ legacy lives on. Each May, a confederation of Rogers aficionados organize and stage the Gamble Rogers Festival, a St. Augustine hootenanny that commemorates his life and work and attracts performers whose style and personal history relate to Rogers’ own. Yet, despite the popular show business cliché, not one of them so far has suggested that they are, or know who will be, “the next Gamble Rogers.” Editor’s note: A version of this story appeared in a 2013 edition of Winter Park Magazine. But it has been updated based on new interviews with friends and family members. Harold Fethe is a former biopharmaceutical executive now working as a writer and guitarist. Gamble Rogers’ personal manager, Charles Steadham, introduced Fethe to Rogers in the 1970s. Randy Noles is editor and publisher of Winter Park Magazine. S PRING 2 0 1 6 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E





Down home there lived a man so lazy he refused either to work or to speak. An unwillingness to work was not uncommon along Bean Creek. From time to time, a man might forsake his responsibilities temporarily, soon to return to his appointed rounds in chastened reaffirmation. So, in light of past experience, this particular instance of dropping out was accepted by the community as just another benign aberration, and an amusing one at that. “At least he can’t get no bedsores in that hammock,” said Bill. “Listen to that little bell ringin’,” said Dave. “I wouldn’t work neither, if I had all them gals to wait on me,” said Leon. So, as the days spun into weeks, the man’s laziness remained the central object of his neighbors’ concern, while his unwillingness to speak was seen as a singularly humorous adjunct to his laziness overall, a mere anomalous stunt. “It’s got to be a mighty big cat, got his tongue,” said Bill. “It’s a fact that a man who won’t work is sorry,” said Dave. “Well then, the man who won’t work or talk either one must be the square root of sorriness,” said Leon. There you have it: a man who declined to lift a finger in the service of his own family, remaining, in the purest sense, stationed in stone-silent recumbency in a hammock tended by his eldest child, a girl of 8, whose younger sister daily hand-fed him lemon ices and sweetbreads, the two girls also fanning his


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uncloudy brow by turns with a plaited palmetto fan he had filched from some churchhouse in the time before his stasis. Month after month, this exhibition of whimsical slothfulness bloomed in the consciousness of the community: the spectacle of a prodigal layabout who, in utter indifference to all canons of decency and convention, remained hammock-slung and mute, suffering his brother-in-law to tend the fields by day, his sister to manage the accounts by night, and his grievously put-upon wife to minister to all their other shared worldly concerns. “These others so labored in his stead, that he might loll pendulant, dandled by the hands of trusting children.” This phrase had rolled off the honeyed tongue of Jeremiah Proudfoot, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Bean Creek, who otherwise referred to the subject of his sermon as “torsionless these last many months…flaunting, flaunting his indolent example…this contemptuous sluggard, a corporeal mass exhibiting the neurological constitution of a pelt.” The Proudfoot sermon, though not exactly a model of balanced perspective, seemed a fair enough assessment, coming as it did a full four years after its subject had been, as one parishioner said, “taken with the strangeness.” After church that Sunday, the talk had continued. “At least he ain’t gone to wearin’ no di-dee,” said Bill. “They say his girls knocked off to go shopping last week and the hammock swung by itself till they

come back home,” said Dave. “Still and all, he had ‘em tie the dinner bell to the hammock where it could be heard clean back to the kitchen,” said Leon. “They say it rang two and a half hours straight.” In any event, it was right after this sermon that the vigil began. Then, and each day thereafter for a great long time, neighbors and townsmen alike would congregate in the pecan grove that stood bordering the sluggard’s porch yard. By late afternoon they would drift in, joining one another by twos and threes, milling murmurous and jocular among the shadow-splayed trunks, their number swelling with the approach of evening, now teeming, now breaking apart and re-forming amiably into loose knots and clusters of witnesses who surveyed the house, the porch, the distantly creaking hammock with its lumplike burden, the comings and goings of the now half-grown girls and the dimming figures of the wife or brother-in-law, remonstrating to no avail. “Better’n watching haircuts,” said Bill. “Sorry is as sorry does,” said Dave. “Live an’ let live,” said Leon. No one could ever say afterward just what changed the attitude of the witnesses, at first so diffident in their manner and so seemly, or why exactly they were moved to action. There were no crop failures. There was no pestilence, no hideous curse, no crisis come over the land to prompt the populace to offer up an object of propitiation.

Neither did any one person inveigh against the man in the hammock. It just happened one day that everything changed. That body of loosely constituted onlookers suddenly became a congress of rigid and palpable intent. Perhaps a drift toward group resolve had been constant yet unperceived from the very beginning, like the imperceptible carry of glacial ice. Certainly the result, when it came, was as cold and as incontrovertible: The pecan grove, so long a sanctum of quacks and curiosity seekers, became charged with avid stewards of propriety. All at once, the witnesses began trickling out from among the trees, grouping themselves at the border of grove and lawn. ‘’Lord a’ mercy, look at that,’’ said Bill. ‘’What could they be up to?’’ ‘’Lookin’ for exercise, I guess,’’ said Dave. ‘’For the best part of three years now, they ain’t moved much more than him on the porch.’’ ‘’I been expectin’ them to bring up their own hammocks and dinner bells and settle in just any time now,’’ said Leon. The body of witnesses swelled and clotted silently at the foot of the lawn, then bore onward to the porch and massed expectantly at the rail. The wife, the girls, and the brother-in-law froze stock still, stifled and distrustful. A spokesman for the group stood forth and spoke: ‘’Rise up, Brother! Rise up and turn those idle hands to useful labor! For don’t you understand how it is man’s common lot to live by the sweat of his brow for the bread of his table? Take these things into account and rise up, Brother, rise up now!’’ But he did not rise up, nor did he break his monumental silence, so that these others turned away dispirited, and the community became widely rent with schism. Still, there were prayer meetings on his behalf. There were healings and further vigils, but all

to no avail. The subject of these wholesome solicitations remained stationed as before in fathomless and defiant recumbency. Now, certain men of the community began to draw furtively apart from the salutary constraints of their womenfolk, conjoining themselves in secret society so as to become possum-eyed, clinchmouthed and jurisprudent. Finally, these men came before the sluggard and reasoned with him anew: ‘’Brother, this is your day of reckoning! Either you rise up and work, or at least make account of your sorry ways with speech…or, mind you now, we’ll take you out and bury you alive!’’ The wind whispered among the pecan trees at the foot of the lawn. The vigilantes waited, fretful and remorseless. The recumbent one loomed before them, recalcitrant as some seagoing mammal enigmatically beached. At last, the vigilantes unhooked the hammock at either end and bore it still swinging down the porch steps and across the yard, settling their burden into a wagon-borne coffin. They took to the roadway then, commencing a peeved and mordant procession. Halfway to the burying ground, a stranger met them coming along the road. Noting the peculiar fixity of these others and the lidless casket with its strange contents, he inquired, ‘’What is the nature of your curious burden, and where might you be bound?’’ Came the reply: ‘’This man has been judged by his peers to be in contempt of everything and everybody. He’s so damned lazy that for seven years he has laid up in that very hammock. He won’t work. He won’t even talk. So we’re going to bury him alive.’’ ‘’You mustn’t do such a thing,’’ exclaimed the stranger, ‘’for every man is lazy in his own way. I suggest that this one might be redeemed, not through threat of punishment, but by direct appeal to his

inmost human heart. Suppose that I make him an offer…an offer couched in charity. Being a creature of feelings like you and I, he may well respond to the prospect of loving kindness. I think it’s worth a try.’’ The stranger drew nigh the casket and appraised the inscrutable creature within. He began speaking in a sonorous voice: ‘’Hear me now, and hear me well. I have 500 bushels of corn I’ll give you. Think on that, my good man! Why, you can have this corn milled for your family’s sustenance, or you can lay it by as provender for your livestock…then again, you may wish to barter some of it for household necessities, or you may choose to sell part of it for profit so as to render up taxes on your homestead. Well, what do you say to that, my stubborn friend?’’ And now, to the ears of that rapt company surrounding the wagon came a sound as foreign and incredible, as terrifyingly arcane as the groaning rend and tear of some quaking continental groundmass tortured into movement by the core flux of the very earth itself. From the coffin emanated a voice, a voice sepulchral. ‘’That corn…’ ‘’Yes, yes,’’ cried the giver of gifts blissfully. ‘’Five hundred bushels. What about the corn?’’ ‘’Is it shucked?’’ ‘’No,’’ cried the other in consternation. ‘’It’s not shucked.’’ ‘’Drive on,’’ came the voice from the casket. ‘’Drive on, drive on, drive on…” Editor’s note: This story by Gamble Rogers, then 50, was published in Florida magazine in 1987, along with a profile of the St. Augustine troubadour and storyteller. The story is a good example of his unique mix of highbrow language and rural characters, a blend of gentle humor and what he called “fifty-cent words.” S PRING 2 0 1 6 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


PREMIERSOTHEBYSREALTY.COM Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered service marks used with permission. Each office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity. Property information herein is derived from various sources including, but not limited to, county records and multiple listing services, and may include approximations. All information is deemed accurate.


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The Alfond and its art provide a stylishly contemporary setting.


PHOTOGRAPHY BY RAFAEL TONGOL | STYLING BY MARIANNE ILUNGA MAKEUP AND HAIR BY ELSIE KNAB | MODEL: BRIDGHAM FROM MODERN MUSE MODELS inter Park’s Alfond Inn houses more than 100 intriguing works from the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, part of the permanent collection of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum on the Rollins College campus. The inn, owned by Rollins, has earned Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards as the No. 1 hotel in Florida and the No. 7 hotel in the U.S. That’s why it’s such an ideal setting in which to showcase wearable art. Here’s what’s cool for spring, set against a backdrop of world-renowned works by established and emerging creators.

Bridgham from Modern Muse Models wears a white plaid mesh crop top by Gracia ($82) and white bell-bottom pants by Alexis ($458), both from Tuni, Winter Park. Her pinky ring in pave zircon ($289), silver tone ethnic statement necklace ($320), pearl necklace ($420), moonstone necklace ($480), silver druzy earrings ($193), and chunky link hammered silver bracelet ($229) are all by Coralia Leets Boutique, Winter Park. S PRING 2 0 1 6 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


Bridgham wears a poppy red jumpsuit with cutout detail by Dakota ($94) from Violet Clover, Winter Park. Her long grey multistrand moonstone necklace with red macramÊ ($584), ruby quartz drop ear­rings in 18-karat gold over silver ($428), and adjustable druzy ring ($490) are all from Coralia Leets Boutique, Winter Park. Her silver metallic ankle strap pumps ($775) are from the Jimmy Choo Boutique, Mall at Millenia.


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Bridgham wears a white and blue stripe romper playsuit by Finders Keepers ($158) from Charyli, Winter Park, and a tweed tapestry detail jacket by Amanda Uprichard ($288) from Tuni, Winter Park. Her Petite Lockett denim handbag with gold chain straps ($2,750) and denim platform wedges ($625) are both from the Jimmy Choo Boutique, Mall at Millenia. Her deep blue chalcedony bangle in 18-karat gold over silver ($255), lapis chandelier earrings ($205), lapis ball bracelet ($215), and braided bangles in 18-karat gold over silver ($238 each) are all by Coralia Leets Boutique, Winter Park.




Bridgham wears a multicolor flower V-neck blouse ($250), a brick and black stripe skirt ($295), a brick-colored lightweight trench coat ($660), and brick-colored suede sandals ($570), all by Sandro from Bloomingdale’s, Mall at Millenia. Her rubber link bracelets ($49 each), blue resin adjustable ring ($49), and 18-karat gold over silver post earrings ($280) are all from Coralia Leets Boutique, Winter Park. W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | SP RI N G 2016

Bridgham wears a tropical orange off-the-shoulder dress with ruffle details by Amanda Uprichard ($228) from Tuni, Winter Park. Her rose gold cuff with quartz ($490), rose gold over silver chunky link bracelet ($924), rose gold link drop earrings ($247), and stackable rings ($180 each) are all from Coralia Leets Boutique, Winter Park. Her fringe detail orange suede heels ($975) and Lockett suede handbag ($2,795) are both from the Jimmy Choo Boutique, Mall at Millenia.

Bridgham wears a tuxedo low-cut long-sleeve blouse by Rachel Zoe ($325), a black and white print coat by Trina Turk ($548), and black and white stripe strappy sandals by Vince Camuto ($275), all from Tuni, Winter Park. Her black and white pinstripe shorts by C/MEO Collective ($139) are from Charyli, Winter Park. Her horn bangles ($198 each), tribal black feather statement necklace ($249), horn ring with diamond detail ($710), and hammered gold and silver cascade earrings ($375) are all by Coralia Leets Boutique, Winter Park.


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Old homes can be full of surprises. Russ and Andi Prather, for example, found the original blueprints (top) for their Stirling Avenue home, which was designed by noted architect George Edward Krug. The Prathers increased the home’s square footage by enclosing a porte cochère to create a sunroom and building a rear addition for a new kitchen and master bedroom. All the rooms are bright, cozy and welcoming, including the living room (above left) and the dining room (above right). The new sunroom (above center) is basically a children’s den. And that means it’s a busy place, since the Prathers have five youngsters ranging in age from 3 to 10.


Custom Homes & Renovations






Inside The Dr. Phillips Center For The Performing Arts



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obody — not even a remodeler — is going to try and make the case that remodeling an old home is easier than buying a new one. Remodeling is a major hassle under the best of circumstances. And it’s easy to spend more than you intended, or more than you’re likely to recoup, especially after only a short time. Yet, the market for remodeling is stronger today than it was at the peak of the housing boom. In February, Washington, D.C.-based Metrostudy released its 2015 Residential Remodeling Index (RRI), which quantified remodeling activity nationwide. The RRI notched a reading of 103.1 in the fourth quarter of last year, up 5.4 percent from a year earlier. That makes 15 consecutive quarters of year-over-year gains since the industry bottomed out at the end of 2011. What does all that mean? The RRI baseline is 100, which was the peak achieved during the fourth quarter of 2007, after which the Great Recession began to take hold. So, a reading of 103.1 means the remodeling business today is even better than it was when we were all “irrationally exuberant.” But it’s different now. For many of us, the crash changed our priorities forever. In 2007, investors were remodeling old homes purely for the purpose of flipping them in a few months and earning a big payoff. Today, families are remodeling old homes in which to live and raise their children for years to come. While not dismissing the potential for financial return, they’re more concerned with creating places that suit their aesthetics and their lifestyles, in neighborhoods that are mature, safe and close to everything. In this special section of Winter Park Magazine, we spotlight some locals who have restored and renewed some of the city’s delightful old homes. We also talk to the experts about remodeling in general, and how to go about it in an informed way. Old homes aren’t for everybody. But maybe an old home is right for you. Winter Park, in particular, is full of vintage structures that need only a little TLC to host a new generation of memory makers. — Randy Noles

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Wade and Hannah Miller have remodeled their charming Glencoe Road bungalow. But from the outside, the home looks pretty much like it did in 1930, when it was built.


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MEMORIES are MADE OF THIS Old homes aren’t for everyone. But these families have found a deep sense of satisfaction by settling in quirky historic charmers. BY RANDY NOLES PHOTOGRAPHS BY RAFAEL TONGOL

“It’s all a conspiracy, I tell you! The minute you start, they put you on the all-American sucker list. You start out to build a home and wind up in the poorhouse. And if it can happen to me, what about the guys who aren’t making $15,000 a year? The ones who want a home of their own. It’s a conspiracy, I tell you — against every boy and girl who were ever in love!” — Jim Blandings


anhattan ad man Jim Blandings (Cary Grant) has had enough of city life. Instead of a crowded apartment, he envisions a spacious, single-family home in Connecticut where he and his wife, Muriel (Myrna Loy), can put down roots and raise their children in a stress-free setting. The 1948 film, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, follows the travails of the hapless Blandings clan as they buy a home intending to remodel it, but ultimately tear it down when they learn that it’s on the verge of collapse. They build anew with the help of a flinty assortment of tradespeople who explain that most aspects of the project are either impossible or twice as costly as anticipated. It’s a screwball comedy, but also a horror story. And some 65 years later, Mr. Blandings’ experience remains a cautionary tale for those who wish to remodel an older home but begin the process uninformed and unprepared. In Winter Park, where there are many old homes and two local historic districts, there are likely people for whom Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House is a little too realistic to be funny.

Frank Roark, shown here during a restoration project at the Maitland Art Center, says he’s encouraged that increasing numbers of young families seem to prefer older homes in mature neighborhoods. S PRING 2 0 1 6 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


Wade Miller crafted the chair that faces the living room fireplace. The removal of walls expanded the master bedroom (top right) and enlarged the kitchen (bottom right). The stairwell (below) had also been obscured by a superfluous wall.

Remodeling is stressful under the best of circumstances. But in the College Quarter and Virginia Heights East neighborhoods, homes deemed historically or architecturally significant undergo an extra level of scrutiny. Winter Park’s historic preservation ordinance seeks mainly to regulate major changes to the facades of older homes. Therefore, while anything goes on the inside, an appointed Historic Preservation Board must OK most exterior changes. That’s also true of homes outside the two districts that have been listed on the Winter Park Register of Historic Places. Registration of individual homes is voluntary, and initiated by the homeowner. There are about 80 such homes citywide. Formation of a historic district is a complex process that ultimately requires a neighborhood vote, with the threshold for approval recently lowered from 67 percent to 50 percent plus one. Regardless, those who choose to buy and renovate old homes — even those that are not listed on the local historic registry or in a local historic district — do so because they love the charm and character of old homes, quirks and all. Some know exactly what they’re getting into and take the inevitable obstacles and surprises in stride. Others — primarily those who haven’t done their homework, so to speak — may find themselves as flustered and discouraged as Jim Blandings. Any expert will tell you that it’s all about the team you hire. Remodelers like Frank Roark, who specialize in old homes, rarely if ever encounter problems that can’t be solved. Roark was raised in Maitland and moved into a vintage Victorian home on Packwood Avenue when he and his wife, Angela,


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were newlyweds. “These homes are one-of-a-kind construction,” Says Roark, who masterminded the world-famous move of Winter Park’s Capen-Showalter House across Lake Osceola on a barge. “They’re works of art.” Roark was the general contractor on two recent renovations in Virginia Heights East. His clients were a pair of young couples with kids — Wade and Hannah Miller, and Russ and Andi Prather — who were eager to put down roots in this venerable, tree-lined neighborhood, where the architecture is eclectic and many homes date from the 1920s or earlier. “It’s very encouraging to see young families gravitating toward older homes in historic districts,” says Roark, who adds that Orwellian tales regarding bureaucratic intrusion are overblown. “People are often surprised at how much leeway they have.” That was the case with the Millers, who in 2014 bought their woodframe bungalow on Glencoe Road for $560,000. Hannah, 36, an attorney, had her eye on the home for several years. “I was in town several years ago visiting my parents, and drove by the house,” recalls Hannah, who at the time lived in Austin with Wade. “I fell in love with it. It just felt like our house.” When the home was about to go on the market — Hannah says her mom tipped her off in advance — the Millers acted quickly. Then they relocated to Winter Park, where they plan to stay put and raise their children, now 5 and 18 months. Hannah was surprised to find that the previous owners had planned to

Russ and Andi Prather managed to add more than 1,000 square feet to their Dutch Colonial revival-style home without significantly altering its appearance. A child’s chair (below) had been used by all three previous owners.

remodel, and been granted approval by the Historic Preservation Board to double the size of the home’s footprint. Wade, 37, an architect, says the project would have been overkill. “Some people feel you can’t do anything [with a home in a historic district],” Wade says. “That’s a fallacy. Obviously, you can do a lot.” The Millers, however, chose a more minimalist approach. From the outside, the home looks much like it did in 1930, when it was built. And the only additional square footage resulted from converting an unfinished portion of the attic into a reading nook for the children. “It’s just the right size for our family,” says Hannah, who has a home office just off the living room. Mainly, the couple made better use of the space that already existed. They gutted the kitchen and knocked down some walls, opening up what had been a narrow hallway at the foot of the stairs and creating extra space in what’s now an L-shaped master bedroom. They also added some closets, which are notoriously insufficient in old homes. The result? It’s hard to imagine a more welcoming, homey, family friendly place. Wade, a masterful woodworker, built some of the furniture and created a hidden fort for the kids deep in the lush backyard vegetation. Sometimes, the Millers say, the rewards of living in a historic home are more emotional than financial.

“I had a glorious moment,” recalls Wade. “An older gentleman walked by and said, ‘My grandfather built this house, and I spent a lot of time here as a child.’ I invited him inside and loved seeing the twinkle in his eye.” Just around the corner, on Stirling Avenue, Russ Prather, 44, and his wife, Andi, 35, are raising five children ranging in age from 3 to 10 in a Dutch Colonial revival-style home designed by George Edward Krug, who was among the first architects to practice in Central Florida. The home, built in 1928 and bought by the Prathers in 2010 for $635,000, had 2,650 square feet of living area. But with plans for a large family, the couple knew they’d eventually need more room. Now, after a carport was converted into a second sunroom and the back was extended for the kitchen and master bedroom, there’s 3,700 square feet. The attic remains unfinished, but it’s air conditioned and could someday be converted into a functional third floor. Russ, a pediatrician, said he “loved old houses, but we just couldn’t find one that hadn’t already been renovated.” The Stirling home, however, had stood for 80 years without substantial changes. There’d been only three previous owners. “We loved the charm, the high ceilings and the natural light,” Russ says. “And we were surprised at what excellent shape it was in. It had great bones. Everything we’ve done, we’ve tried to be faithful to the house.” That approach is apparent in the way the rear addition, from the exterior, S PRING 2 0 1 6 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


The kitchen island (top) was made from heart pine salvaged from the floor. The hallway leading from the kitchen to the front door (above left) features an arch original to the home (although the wainscoting is new), and period-appropriate wallpaper. Decorations include family photographs and vintage Florida maps. In the former kitchen, now an office (above right), is a narrow second staircase originally intended for the household help to use.

appears to be part of the original structure. The plank siding, which is no longer manufactured, had to be custom milled to match and blend seamlessly. The kitchen island was made from reclaimed heart pine flooring that had to be torn out during the expansion. And the windows were removed and refurbished, not replaced with new ones. Surprisingly, the home has a full basement, a rarity in waterlogged Florida. But Krug built primarily in New York and New Jersey before moving to Orlando in 1919, and would have been accustomed to designing homes with basements. (Luckily, the half-acre corner lot is high and dry, so water intrusion hasn’t been a problem.) Krug, in fact, was one of a small group of architects selected to design homes in Livingston Manor, an early 20th-century subdivision in Highland


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Park, New Jersey. Today, the Livingston Manor Historic District is on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places. Andi says her connection to the house was deepened when she discovered Krug’s original blueprints — a set is framed and hanging on a living room wall — as well as letters written by previous residents. For reasons that are unclear, a child’s chair that had been used by all three previous owners remains in the home. In a touch of small-town serendipity, one of those three owners was the Skolfield family, who lived there for more than 50 years. Susan Skolfield, now executive director of the Winter Park History Museum, was raised in the home and is a Prather family friend.

Senior Moments or Something More: When to Worry By Rosemary Laird, MD

Executive Medical Director, Florida Hospital for Seniors


Phil Kean (right) and Brad Grosberg recently bought a James Gamble Rogers II-designed home on Alabama Avenue. Kean, an award-winning architect known for his modern designs, says he and Grosberg plan only minimal changes to the Colonial revival-style home. It’s certainly different from their previous digs — an ultra-modern Kean creation on Alexander Place, which was featured as the New American Home during the 2012 International Builders Show.

“There are so many memories in this place,” says Andi. “And not just our own memories. You can feel it.” Adds Russ: “It takes a certain kind of personality to appreciate an old house — you have to view its flaws as part of its character.” And look who else is living in an old home: Phil Kean and Brad Grosberg, principals in Winter Park-based Phil Kean Design Group. Kean, an architect known for his contemporary designs, and Grosberg, who runs the company’s real-estate brokerage division, recently paid $1.5 million for a James Gamble Rogers II-designed home on Alabama Drive. No, they don’t plan to tear it down, although nothing would prevent them from doing so. The 3,809-square-foot home, which boasts frontage on Lake Maitland, is not in a historic district and is not listed on the local registry. Instead, Kean and Grosberg plan only to raise some ceilings and make some cosmetic repairs on the Colonial revival-style charmer, which was built in 1941 and remodeled in 1999. The couple sold their previous home on Alexander Place for $2.7 million, which is thought to be the highest price per square foot ever paid for a

non-lakefront home in Winter Park. Designed by Kean, it was featured as the New American Home during the 2012 International Builders Show. The solidly traditional Alabama Drive home couldn’t be more different. Which is fine by Kean, who can’t understand why so many people assume that a designer of new homes can’t possibly appreciate the intrinsic value of old homes. Kean, in fact, thinks of himself as an aficionado of fine architecture, regardless of the genre. And he has lived in old homes before, including one on Woodmere Drive that was attributed to Rogers. “I think the appeal of an older home usually is the character and history,” says Kean. “Others may feel a stewardship to care for and preserve a lovely old home. And some may be drawn to the details or scale that older homes often have.” Kean, an alternate member of the Winter Park Historic Preservation Board, says he and Grosberg loved living in the ultra-modern Alexander Place home. “We lived there for four years and didn’t think we’d ever leave,” he adds. “Selling it was kind of a fluke, really. But we saw this place and said, ‘Wow! What a great house!’”

ccasional memory lapses and breaks in concentration are quite common at all ages. The most common culprit is not paying close enough attention to the information. For example, sending an email and answering a text message while at the same time you’re discussing dinner plans with your spouse. Sound crazy? It may be, but it’s also the way many of us live our lives these days. No wonder we can’t remember what day it is! For most of us, these “senior moments” will be nothing more than embarrassing annoyances. As more and more of us are living longer lives, however, it’s important to understand that the most powerful risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease is age. At 85, there’s a 50/50 chance. It’s key to understand that senior moments happen to everyone now and then. Alzheimer’s disease is much different. It’s a disease that involves the dysfunction and decline of the brain’s ability to function. In Alzheimer’s disease, more than one cognitive process is altered. For example, people may forget the day or month, or how to make change at the store. As the disease progresses, it worsens over time and ultimately affects the ability to function. Other risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease include being older, female, having diabetes, coronary artery disease and/or sleep apnea. If you’re concerned, speak about your symptoms with your primary care provider. Rosemary Laird, M.D., is a nationally renowned geriatrician who joined Florida Hospital in 2015 as the executive medical director of Florida Hospital for Seniors. Dr. Laird received her medical degree with honors from Georgetown University School of Medicine, and completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Chicago Hospitals. She pursued a geriatric fellowship at the University of Kansas, where she also earned a masters degree in health services administration. She was the founding medical director of the Health First Aging Services program until 2015. Now with Florida Hospital, Dr. Laird leads the development of a state-of-the-art, care-delivery system providing comprehensive and coordinated care and caregiver support for older adults.



Farina & Sons completed a large-scale renovation with additions on this 1950s Spanish-style home in Winter Park. A new wing containing an entertainment room was added to the front The floorplan was reconfigured to accommodate a master bath, a larger kitchen and a dining area. A great room and an outdoor living area were added at the rear.


FOUNDATION If you’re remodeling your home, it pays to know what you’re getting into. Just ask Friedrich Nietzsche.



riedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher, may have had a more difficult time understanding building than he did religion, morality, culture and science. Nietzsche once said: “When one has finished building one’s house, one suddenly realizes that, in the process, one has learned something that one really needed to know in the worst way — before one began.” So, if you find construction projects daunting, don’t feel bad. One of the most brilliant people who ever lived apparently found out the hard way that he hadn’t adequately prepared himself for the experience. If you’re thinking about remodeling your home, be smarter than Nietzsche about it. Do your homework. Run the numbers. And most important, hire a qualified contractor with a strong track record of customer satisfaction.


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You’ll be in good company, especially in Winter Park, where there are two historic districts and an abundance of old homes that can be made like new again for less than the cost of building new from scratch. In fact, according to the latest leading indicator of home-remodeling activity at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, expenditures on remodeling are expected to increase by more than 10 percent this year versus last year. “As owners gain more confidence in the housing market, they’re likely to undertake home improvements that they’ve deferred,” says Eric S. Belsky, managing director of the center. Also, home-improvement projects are making more financial sense these days. While most renovations don’t pay off dollar-for-dollar when you sell your home, the average return in 2015 increased to 64.4 percent. That’s up from 62 percent


in 2014 and the largest increase since 2005, according to Remodeling Magazine. So it’s no surprise that a 2014 study by, a home-improvement website, found that homeowners would rather postpone vacations and avoid big-ticket purchases, such as vehicles, than delay or decrease their budgets for remodeling. Still, it’s easy for a homeowner with little experience in the remodeling realm to end up unhappy. Last year, the Better Business Bureau received nearly 8,500 complaints about remodelers nationwide. So, Winter Park Magazine rounded up a cadre of excellent remodelers, all of whom are local industry leaders, and asked them the questions you’d want to ask if you were thinking about embarking on a remodeling project. Here’s what they had to say:

move away. For them, remodeling may be the best solution.” But Farina tells potential clients not to remodel if they’re planning to move in a couple of years. “It won’t be worth the stress,” he says. Frank Roark, president of Frank Roark General Contractor in Winter Park, says he’s rarely, if ever, encountered a case in which it was more expensive to remodel an old home than to build a comparable new home on the same site. “In almost every case, tearing down doesn’t make sense,” Roark says. Of course, the key word in his answer is “comparable.” He’s not an advocate of building out-of-scale showplaces in unpretentious neighborhoods. Rather than do that, Roark asks, why not buy in a neighborhood where larger homes already exist, or where they wouldn’t appear out of place? Obviously, that can be a tough sell in Winter Park, What kind of qualifications should a remodeler where property values are high and smaller homes are have? Do all those fancy-sounding certifications reconstantly being demolished to make way for McManally mean anything? sions. But we digress. Yes, they do, up to a certain point. In recent years, the “Many existing homes have good bones and inherent remodeling industry has worked hard to differentiate procharacter,” agrees Farina. “By working with what’s already fessional, credentialed contractors from the ubiquitous there, the quality and the integrity of the home remains.” “guys in trucks” that local TV stations so love to confront. Even if a home is undergoing a renovation so major Both the National Association of Home Builders that its appearance will be entirely changed, Farina says (NAHB) and the National Association of the Remodelhe can often use the existing foundation, exterior walls ing Industry (NARI) offer certification programs. and wood floors. NAHB programs include Certified Graduate Remod- “When one has finished build­ing one’s In any case, the bottom line is this: Invest in remodeler (CGR), Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) house, one suddenly realizes that, in eling because you love your home and want to remain the pro­cess, one has learned something and Certified Green Professional (CGP). — not because you plan to flip it for a big profit. That that one really needed to know in the NARI programs include certification for five distinct worst way — before one began.” attitude is so 2004. groups of remodeling professionals. For example, a speTaxes are a consideration as well. If you add square foot— Friedrich Nietzche cialist in kitchen and bathroom rehabs may earn a Cerage, your remodeled home will be reappraised and your tified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler (CKBR) designation. taxes increased proportionally — but not nearly to the same extent as building At the very least, a remodeler should be licensed by the state as a contractor. an entirely new home. And membership in one or more trade associations is usually a good sign that the remodeler cares about professionalism and continuing education. How much should I spend on remodeling my home? Will I ever recoup A remodeler who has taken the time to earn certifications is likely to be my investment when I sell? a reputable businessperson, says Jonathan McGrath, president of Jonathan “The answer is, ‘it depends,’” says Charlie Clayton, president of Charles McGrath Construction in Longwood. Clayton Construction in Winter Park. “Each home is unique. View your “Keeping up with changes in the industry is an important indicator,” project as both creating a great place to live and creating a great investment.” notes McGrath, whose company was co-founded more than 30 years ago Clayton, a second-generation builder, adds that some projects make more with his wife, Marion. “A remodeler who’s acquired these certifications imfinancial sense than others. “Remodel the right areas,” he says. “Don’t redo a proves his or her business acumen, and runs a more professional operation. living room and leave an outdated kitchen or bathroom.” That can only help the client.” Of course, when remodeling you shouldn’t over-improve for the neighAlthough certifications may be a plus, they’re still no guarantee of a good borhood you’re in. A good remodeler or a knowledgeable real-estate agent job, according to Victor Farina, president of Farina & Sons in College Park. can help you assess what’s reasonable for where you live. “It’s far more important that your remodeler has longevity and extensive Still, if you’re the sort who must quantify everything, Remodeling Magaexperience in the field,” says Farina, whose company has been in business zine publishes a Cost vs. Value Report that estimates the cost of various since 1950. improvements and the likely return at resale a year following completion. Everyone agrees that checking references, seeing completed work and In Central Florida, according to the report, a “minor” kitchen remodel feeling personally comfortable with a remodeler — after all, the two of you (about $18,000) returns 122 percent. But a “major” kitchen remodel (about are going to be in close proximity for an extended period of time — are also $56,000) returns just 73 percent. essential to ensuring that you’ve made a good choice. A bathroom remodel (about $16,000) returns 75 percent. But a bathroom addition (about $38,000) returns just 58 percent. New roofing (about Sure, remodeling can be expensive. But so is buying a new home. How $19,000) returns 91 percent. Less sexy — and less costly — improvements, such as attic insulation, do I decide which is best for me? power generators and window and door replacements, may return 90 per“Location, location, location,” says Tom Lamar, president of Lamar Decent or more. Relatively inexpensive enhancements to a home’s exterior, sign in Winter Park, repeating the old real-estate axiom. “That’s the No. 1 such as adding a stone veneer, also offer high returns. reason to remodel. If you love your neighborhood but have outgrown your Mostly, though, it’ll take a substantial amount of time to fully recoup home, remodel.” your remodeling investment. That confirms the wisdom of doing so only if Farina agrees that location is key. “Some folks find that their homes no you plan to stay put for a while. longer meet their needs,” he says. “But they don’t want to tear down and S PRING 2 0 1 6 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


The history of Winter Park’s so-called Bonnie Burn house, located in the Sevilla neighborhood, encompasses almost as many twists and turns as the 130-year-old structure has nooks and crannies. Charles Clayton Construction was hired to give a cohesive look to a home that had been moved, expanded and otherwise significantly altered. One previous owner had even covered it with aluminum siding. Now, with its pale yellow stucco and white trim, Bonnie Burn could pass for the great house on a tropical plantation. Many 19th-century features can be found inside, including heart pine floors and paneling originally hewn from trees on the property.

What are the most popular remodeling projects? Not surprisingly, kitchens and bathrooms still top the list, mostly because those are the rooms in which out-of-date design and technology are the most glaringly apparent. “Master bathroom renovations seem slightly more popular, with kitchens a close second,” says McGrath. “Clients want the spa-like showers and, if space is tight, they want the tub removed.” In kitchens, McGrath says, under-counter LED lighting, taller cabinets and large single-level islands are on most wish lists. Farina says he’s seeing an upswing in clients wanting to combine their kitchens and great rooms, eliminating formal dining rooms altogether. Clayton notes that glass-tile or full-slab marble backsplashes are popular in his kitchen projects, along with stainless-steel appliances, glass cooktops and pizza ovens. Subway tile is a hot bathroom trend, he adds. Lamar’s clients like mixing materials — tile, wood, steel, granite — and using plenty of white with gray and black accents in their revamped kitchens. They’re also interested in new countertop materials, such as tempered glass and nanotech matt, a material that actually “heals” when it’s cut. Lavish outdoor living areas are also popular, and empty nesters are converting unused bedrooms into exercise areas, home theaters and hobby rooms. And master bedrooms are becoming more lavish, with coffee bars, mini-fridges and lounging areas. How about homes in historic districts, or homes that have a local historic district designation? Many of the challenges encountered in remodeling a designated historic home are the same as those encountered in remodeling any old home. The most common issue vexing remodelers is undoing shoddy work by past remodelers or, more typically, by do-it-yourselfers. Changes to the exteriors of historic homes must also be approved by the Winter Park Historic Preservation Board, which works from a lengthy list of requirements. Using original materials, when possible, is encouraged. “Blending old with new finishes requires meticulous detail work and is labor-intensive, but it’s an absolute must,” says Farina. “You don’t want to


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see where old and new meets.” Some materials are no longer manufactured, and must therefore be custom made. But Farina had a client in Winter Park for whom he was able to locate genuine old barrel tile to repair the roof. “It was expensive,” he says. “But it wasn’t as expensive as replacing the whole roof would have been.” No homeowners or remodelers interviewed by Winter Park Magazine said they’d ever encountered insurmountable difficulty dealing with the Historic Preservation Board on their remodeling projects. “You can do additions and alterations,” says Roark. “You’re just expected to keep the appropriate scale and style. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about people telling you what color you paint your door.” In fact, Roark notes, homeowners in designated historic districts can get certain variances okayed by the board without going through the city’s usual variance approval process. For example, he says, detached garages with apartments and separate electric meters, which are now considered nonconforming structures by the city’s Land Development Code, may be built in historic districts because they’re in keeping with the historic character of the neighborhood. The contract with my remodeler is 25 pages long. I need a lawyer to review it. What really needs to be included? A detailed contract is for everybody’s protection. But you should be certain that you understand it and that it includes, among other things, these elements: A timetable, a price and payment schedule, detailed specifications, insurance documentation, permit information, procedures for handling change orders, provisions for conflict resolution and notice of your rights under the Fair Trade Commission’s “Cooling Off Rule.” The rule spells out your right to cancel the contract within three days if it was signed someplace other than the remodeler’s place of business. Details on issues such as access to your home, care of the premises, phone and bathroom use, and cleanup and trash removal should also be dealt with. “We like to educate our clients as much as possible before starting the renovation,” says McGrath. “The biggest investment for most clients is their home, so having all the details spelled out is crucial.”

Welcome to Park Maitland!

A legacy of leadership for over 45 years. Since 1968, Park Maitland has been growing the leaders of tomorrow. We offer a proven foundation of excellence in education and provide children the tools they need to realize their dreams!


Actress and Singer Park Maitland Class of 2001 BFA in Musical Theatre from Elon University UCLA Professional Television Writing Program The Groundlings Comedy School Caroline currently lives in Los Angeles and does singing and regional theatre throughout the country.

For more information: 407-647-3038, or visit

at the dr. phillips Center Presented by Park Maitland School

Music by richard rodgers Lyrics by oSCar HaMMErSTEIN II Book by howard lindsay & rUSSEL CroUSE Suggested by “The Trapp Family Singers� by Maria augusta Trapp

Serving Central Florida with Fine home renovationS SinCe 1984

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To schedule a complimentary consultation please call 407-260-8077 CBC 057 296 renovations // interior design // real estate services


PARK AVENUE Hill Gray Seven’s Park Hill raises the bar on luxury at a one-of-a-kind location.



The Hill family (left to right): Gregg Hill Jr., Gray Hill, Gregg Hill Sr. and Drew Hill.



elcome to Hill Gray Seven LLC. Although we’re active in 17 states, we’re particularly excited about Park Hill. As a Winter Park resident, it’s a project in which I take particular pride. In fact, you might call it our legacy project. Simply put, we wanted to develop the most luxurious townhomes ever offered in Central Florida — in the best location imaginable. That’s why we were so pleased when we had an opportunity to buy residential property — the last property of its kind — on Park Avenue in the heart of the downtown district. Frankly, the opportunity to develop this one-of-a-kind parcel came with great responsibility. Park Avenue is internationally known for its beauty and charm. So it was incumbent on us to spearhead a project worthy of the address; a project that raises the bar and sets a new standard for luxury living. We think you’ll agree that we’ve accomplished exactly what we set out to do. For me, Park Hill will be a legacy project. Thirty years from now, I fully expect to be bragging about it to my grandchildren. Honestly, there were more profitable options available to us. But we chose instead to spare no expense, cut no corners and create something unlike anything Central Florida has ever seen. If you believe the Park Hill lifestyle is right for you, I encourage you to call me right away. There are only 10 homes available. And we expect that they will be the last new homes constructed in the heart of Winter Park’s downtown core. I look forward to discussing Park Hill with you in person. Drew Hill Partner Hill Gray Seven LLC 407-588-2122


Park Hill, an ultra-luxury townhome project, offers a rare opportunity to live directly on Park Avenue in downtown Winter Park.


rew Hill had a vision. He just didn’t know, at first, where he’d be able to make it a reality. He wanted to build the most luxurious townhomes ever offered in Central Florida, townhomes that rivaled anything you’d find in the most affluent urban neighborhoods in the Northeast. Hill, a Winter Park resident, wanted to create a legacy project for his family owned company, Hill Gray Seven LLC. He wanted a project that would retain its wow factor for generations to come; a project that would permanently raise the bar locally for high-end townhomes; a project in which no compromises would be accepted, no expense would be spared and no detail would be overlooked.

But, Hill realized, the location for such an over-the-top endeavor had to be every bit as extraordinary as the opulent but dignified buildings he imagined. You couldn’t develop a project of this caliber and plunk it down just anywhere, even in the most affluent suburb. Then it hit him. Why not Park Avenue, perhaps the best-known thoroughfare in the region? Why not squarely in the vibrant heart of Winter Park’s lively, picture-postcard downtown district, with its beguiling European-meets-Mediterranean ambience and its intriguing assortment of boutiques, restaurants and museums? He’d call the project Park Hill and market it toward baby boomers, some of whom may be downsizing from lakefront mansions but aren’t

willing to swap the luxury to which they’re accustomed for the hasslefree lifestyle offered by townhome living. Why not have both? “We felt there was a need for this product, especially for people who want a luxurious setting but also want to be able to lock and leave and not worry about maintenance,” says Hill, a Rollins College graduate who runs the Oviedo-based investment and development company along with his father, Gregg Hill Sr., and brothers, Gray Hill and Gregg Hill Jr. Sure, everyone would love to have a Park Avenue address. But where could a new residential project be built in the downtown core? Only one place, as it turns out, and Hill Gray Seven quickly snapped it


The three rear Park Hill units face Whipple Avenue and the Winter Park Country Club golf course. All units have a Park Avenue address.

up. It’s two parcels totaling roughly an acre at the southwest corner of North Park Avenue and Whipple Avenue. The site had encompassed the 18-unit Spanish Oaks Apartments and the eight-unit Golfview Apartments, both built in the 1960s and 1970s. In January, Hill Gray Seven paid $5.2 million for the property and put its ambitious plan in motion. Ground is breaking this summer on Park Hill, and presales will begin soon. The project will include 10 three-bedroom homes with private elevators, two-car garages, private first-floor courtyards and covered rooftop terraces with summer kitchens and fireplaces. Seven of the 10 homes will front Park Avenue and encompass about


4,300 square feet of living area. They’ll have three bedrooms, three bathrooms and two half-bathrooms. Three other homes, equally luxurious at 3,300 square feet of living area, will have one less full bathroom. They’re separated from the row of seven homes by a private bricked driveway and face the Winter Park Country Club golf course across Whipple. All 10, however, will boast a Park Avenue address. Prices start at about $3.2 million for the larger seven homes and at about $2.5 million for the smaller three homes. Hill believes they’ll go quickly at that price. “No one has attempted anything like this in Central Florida,” Hill says. “And the only place it could really work is Park Avenue. That’s

Park Hill isn’t Hill Gray Seven’s only Winter Park project. Nearby, on quiet Pennsylvania Avenue, is four-unit Penn Place.

WELCOME TO PENN PLACE Hill Gray Seven LLC is developing another high-end townhome project not far from Park Avenue. Penn Place is a four-unit project on the southwest corner of Pennsylvania and Minnesota avenues. It’s across from the Winter Park High School Ninth Grade Center and near the eastern entrance to Mead Garden, one of the most beautiful and tranquil botanical gardens in Central Florida. Penn Place, also designed by Slocum Platts and built by Zoltan Construction, offers 3,300-square-foot homes with three or four bedrooms. They’re comparable to Park Hill, with elevators, high-style finishes, private courtyards and two-car garages. These two-story townhomes feature 11-foot ceilings on both floors and interior design by Mark Rash Interiors. Rollins College is about a five-minute stroll away, and the project is surrounded by charming historic homes lining walkable brick streets. Prices start at about $1.3 million. For more information, contact Drew Hill at 407-588-2122.

why we were willing to pay whatever it cost to get the property. That’s why this is something no one else can replicate. There’s really no competition.” Hill says he didn’t want Park Hill to look like anything you’d typically find in Florida. “I want people to look at this and say, ‘That fits in; that’s Park Avenue,’” Hill adds. The architect is award-winning, Maitland-based Slocum Platts. Company principle Randall J. Slocum says Hill gave him general guidelines, including the instruction that he wanted “a more northern look, with lots of brick and stone and a high level of detail.” Slocum delivered a classically stylish design that buyers in the upper

stratosphere will appreciate. The beautifully detailed facades feature smooth precast stone on the first floor, and rustic handmade brick on the upper floors. Mansard slate roofs add a European touch. The flashing and gutters are copper, and the exterior window trim, cornices and quoins are precast stone, demonstrating Hill’s insistence that there’ll be no corner-cutting on materials. The complex is surrounded by a decorative iron fence with Europeanstyle gaslights topping brick columns. The walkways are bluestone, and the landscaping — maintained by an owners’ association — is lush. Interiors, by Orlando-based Mark Rash, are no less impressive. Buyers will be able to choose from among several general styles, Hill says,





Dramatic open spaces ideal for entertaining or family time are shown in the floorplan for a first-floor end unit.

from contemporary to transitional to traditional. All the homes will feature high-style detailing, such as coffered ceilings and crown molding, as well as hardwood floors, marble countertops and cabinetry custom-made to the buyer’s specifications. Master bathrooms will have rainhead showers and large soaking tubs as well as his-and-hers vanities, while gourmet kitchens will boast top-ofthe-line Wolf appliances. There’ll be wet bars and wine towers that can store up to 160 bottles.

Perhaps the most impressive design feature will be three stories of glass along the back walls. That means natural light will spill unimpeded into every floor. Construction will be energy efficient and airtight, with spray-foam insulation and high-SEER Carrier air conditioning units. Smart-home technology, including security systems, will be stateof-the-art. For reservations, contact Drew Hill at 407-588-2122.

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


Mark Rash Interiors is the interior designer for Park Hill. Although high-style finishes are common to all the homes, buyers will be able to select from contemporary, traditional and transitional styles.


Downtown Winter Park features beautiful Central Park and the picture-postcard shopping district. The 100-year-old Winter Park Country Club is across the street.

DELIGHTFULLY DOWNTOWN Surely just about everyone who has visited downtown Winter Park has mused, “I’d sure like to live on Park Avenue.” However, the picture-postcard downtown district — especially Park Avenue itself — has offered precious few such opportunities. Park Hill, an ultra-luxury townhome project by Hill Gray Seven LLC, will be the only new residential construction along the stretch of Park Avenue that encompasses downtown and its many charms. In fact, Park Hill may fairly be described as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The Park Avenue shopping and dining district dates to 1887. By the turn of the century it included a general store, a railroad depot, a bakery, a watchmaker, a saw mill, a wagon factory, an ice house and a combination livery stable and blacksmith shop. Today, it’s Central Florida’s undisputed retail, dining, cultural and intellectual hub. Park Hill residents will be just steps from some of the region’s finest restaurants, from Tex-Mex to Turkish, and most fashion-forward boutiques. The world-renowned Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art and its astounding collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany creations is two blocks south.


And the historic Winter Park Country Club, where the golf course is undergoing a $1.2 million renovation, is right across the street. So is the adjacent Casa Feliz Historic Home and Museum. Eleven-acre Central Park is the scene of numerous concerts and festivals, including the annual Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, the Olde Fashioned 4th of July Celebration and the Bach Festival of Winter Park’s Christmas in the Park. Park Hill residents will never have to worry about finding a parking space for these popular events. And it’ll be an easy stroll to the Winter Park Farmer’s Market, held every Saturday. The Winter Park History Museum is in the historic depot around which the market is held. Rollins College anchors the south end of Park Avenue. There you’ll find the Cornell Fine Arts Museum and its eclectic and encyclopedic collection. Or you can attend a concert, a lecture or a sporting event. If you have more guests than you can accommodate — and in this location, that’s entirely possible — you can send them to the Alfond Inn, located just a block off Park Avenue. The boutique hotel has been named by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the best in the nation.

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The fish is always a welcome surprise at Luma. Here, golden seared flounder is served with red winepomegranate butter and mint salsa verde along with red rice and haricot vert.

LUMA’S LUSTER IS UNDIMINISHED A decade after its opening, this Winter Park dining destination remains at the top of its game with creative cuisine and an ambience that’s swanky but never stuffy. BY RONA GINDIN PHOTOGRAPHS BY RAFAEL TONGOL


W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | SP RI N G 2016

y 6:30 p.m. on any given Saturday, Luma is among the busiest places in Winter Park. The Park Avenue hot spot is, believe it or not, now a decade old. But it remains as vibrant today as it was when it first opened. The sophisticated contemporary décor still dazzles with its warm woods, flowing fabrics, dramatic backlit ceiling and bold glass wine cellar. The wine list is still well-chosen and well-organized, with dozens of choices by the glass. The kitchen is still an exhibition-style hub of rolling, shredding, broiling, grilling and sautéing. Luma has long been committed to establishing relationships with sustainable purveyors and local and organic farmers. It changes the way it labels its concept from time to time, but that’s about marketing, not cuisine. For example, “progressive American,” the original descriptor, has been replaced by “an upscale, casual American kitchen serving locally inspired cuisine.” But the phrasing works either way. “We don’t want to be pigeonholed as a fine-dining restaurant,” explains Brandon McGlamery, partner and executive chef. “People want to have the cuisine and the service associated with fine dining without the stuffiness.” Luma attracts a clientele of well-heeled, well-dressed professionals. But younger, more budget-conscious and casually attired diners can find offerings that suit their tastes and budgets, too. Regulars, and the special-occasion and expense-account crowd, might indulge in such creative entrées as flounder with Colusari red rice, haricot vert, red wine-pomegranate butter and mint salsa verde ($31). Or maybe a “Chairman’s Reserve” filet mignon with golden raisin chutney ($49). But you can also order a burger ($15), or a pizza (from $13), or a pasta (from $14), all of which are made using the same top-quality ingredients. And you can chow down where Sir Paul McCartney is said to have partaken of a meal when he was in town a couple years ago visiting Rollins College. On Sunday through Tuesday nights, Luma offers a tremendous value: three-course dinners for just $35. I’ve been known to settle into a lounge sofa on a weekday night and order only a Waterkist Farms tomato salad ($11) or a deconstructed dark chocolate devil’s food cake ($8). Luma was founded by Brian France, chairman and chief executive officer of NASCAR. France also invested in Prato, a progressive Italian restaurant a couple of blocks north. Today Luma is run by McGlamery, who was involved almost from the beginning, and front-of-the-house managing partner Tim Noelke. Chef de cuisine Derek Perez and

Fresh, Florida Cuisine in an Award-Winning Hotel Enjoy seasonal specialties surrounded by museum-quality art and a beautiful Mediterranean-style atmosphere. Relax on our patio and enjoy the sights and sounds of Winter Park.

Luma’s signature glass wine cellar leads to a private dining room downstairs.

pastry chef Brian Cernell are also Luma veterans. Noelke has managed to cultivate a staff of savvy, personable, responsive servers. In fact, through 10 years of dining at Luma, I’d never had anything but stellar service — until I visited anonymously for this article. A robotic waitress (“We do have such-andsuch”) was in a big hurry during my dinner. She fussed with entrée flatware at two tables while guests were eating their appetizers. She set a hot entrée at an empty seat while a diner was away

from the table. And she rushed over with the check the second I put down my dessert spoon. I was still swallowing my butter pecan pot de crème with brown butter crumble and pecan brittle, and hadn’t even considered yet whether I might follow up with a coffee or cordial. Oh, and she freely tossed around the moniker “Honey.” That’s the antithesis of Luma professionalism. But this was one disturbing encounter out of countless delightful ones. Therefore, I can confidently wager that it was an anomaly.

2015 Accolades Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Award Orlando Sentinel: Best Hotel Restaurant Orlando Business Journal Readers’ Choice Award Sold-Out Debut for Hamilton’s Kitchen at James Beard House in NYC

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Luma’s menu has maintained a stable formula. Each night’s selections usually encompass one soup, three salads, a few appetizers, three or four fish entrées, chicken and another protein (or three) and a handmade pasta Bolognese. There’s always some take on a flank steak. Changes are made within that format — and the chefs continuously and aggressively seek out new ideas. “We’re always educating ourselves, dining out in different cities and seeing what our colleagues are doing,” says McGlamery, who spoke to me en route back to Winter Park from a research trip to Atlanta. With Luma comfortably ensconced in the top tier of Central Florida restaurants — and with Prato performing well in its more casual niche — surely the France-Noelke-McGlamery triumvirate has something else up its collective sleeve. “Yeeeeaaaah,” McGlamery says, sharing that he’s “smiling and grinning” as he responds via Bluetooth. “Something is in the works. But I’m going to keep mum about it.” More food fun from these folks? Now you’re talkin’, Honey.

LUMA 290 S. Park Ave., Winter Park 407-599-4111 •

Brandon McGlamery and his crew source ingredients carefully and prepare a wide range of items from scratch.

Thank You Central Florida for 10 Great Years!

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Enjoy LIVE music in the bar Wed.-Sat.


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Enzian’s Annual Extravaganza The Florida Film Festival is always an international affair, drawing its array of roughly 170 independent feature films, documentaries, shorts and animated movies from both the U.S. and countries all over the world. But this year, the 10-day event — which also includes an array of film seminars, parties, celebrity appearances and other events — will be a bit more international than usual. The 25th annual extravaganza will be held April 8-17, mostly on the grounds of Enzian, a single-screen art movie house in the middle of a three-acre, oak-shaded Maitland enclave with an outdoor restaurant and bar. Some of the films will be shown at Regal Cinema in Winter Park. Germany, France, Taiwan, Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, Canada and Poland are among the countries represented in this year’s lineup. Make no mistake — this is a big-time festival. Grand-prize winning entries are eligible for Oscar consideration. Enzian, a not-for-profit that hosts several other, smaller film festivals along with numerous educational and social service events, is in the midst of a fundraising campaign that enables it to add two smaller theaters to the complex and broaden its programming. No date for groundbreaking has been set, but roughly three-fourths of the $6 million fundraising goal has been reached. Both single tickets and packages for festival events are available. Visit for information. S PRING 2 0 1 6 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


EVENTS VISUAL ARTS Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens. Although the 54-year-old museum is dedicated to preserving the works of the famed Czech sculptor, it also stages frequent exhibits from internationally renowned artists working in all mediums. Continuing through April 17, Sight Unseen: Touchable Sculpture features threedimensional art that encourages visitor interaction; visually impaired persons and organizations dedicated to helping them are invited, and blindfolds are available so others can experience the art with their other senses. From April 24-30, the museum is ground zero for the Winter Park Paint Out, during which artists paint outdoors at various locations throughout the city. The completed works are immediately displayed and available for purchase at the museum, which is open free to the public the entire week. Also, the museum now offers tours of the restored Capen-Showalter House, built in 1885 but only recently rescued from destruction and floated across Lake Osceola to its new home adjacent to the museum. Half-hour tours are offered Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Regular admission to the museum, which was Polasek’s home from 1949 until his death in 1965, is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for students and free for children. 633 Osceola Ave., Winter Park. 407-647-6294. Art & History Museums — Maitland. The Maitland Art Center, one of five museums anchoring the city’s Cultural Corridor, was founded as an art colony in 1937 by visionary American artist and architect André Smith. The center offers exhibits and classes at its Maitland campus, located at 231 W. Packwood Ave. The complex is the Orlando area’s only National Historic Landmark and one of the few surviving examples of Mayan Revival architecture in the Southeast. Regularly scheduled events include an Artists’ Critique and Conversation (June 21 at 6 p.m.) and the Ladies’ Art Lounge (first Friday of each month at 7:30 p.m.). Continuing through May 1, Art31: Material World — Glass, Rubber and Paper is a look at experimentation and collaboration that emphasizes the creation of new art. Installations will be created on-site and off-site, but anchoring the exhibition are works by Dale Chihuly, Jason Hackenwerth, Lorrie Fredette and Paige Smith. Additional components of Maitland’s cultural complex include the Maitland Historical Museum and the Telephone Museum, both at 221 W. Packwood Ave. Continuing through June 5, Behind Closed Doors: The Collection Revisited features rarely displayed artifacts from the museum’s collection. The fourth and fifth components of the complex are the Waterhouse Residence Museum and the Carpentry Shop Museum, both built in the 1880s and located at 820 Lake Lily Drive. Continuing through May 15, Springtime at the Waterhouse transforms the Waterhouse family residence for spring and Easter celebrations using Victorian-era flowers, cards, clothing and other historical items. 407-539-2181. Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. With more than 19,000 square feet of gallery and public space, the museum houses the world’s most important collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany creations, including jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass and an entire chapel interior originally designed and built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Continuing through Sept. 25, Lifelines: Forms and Themes of


W I N T E R PA R K M A G AZI N E | SP RI N G 2016

Art Nouveau features more than 100 objects from the museum’s collection representing the art, architecture and craftsmanship that was considered “modern art” in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Continuing through Sept. 24, 2017, The Bride Elect: Gifts from the 1905 Wedding of Elizabeth Owens Morse features the original registry and some of the 250 gifts presented to the daughter of Charles Hosmer Morse and Martha Owens Morse by her wealthy friends. Among the surviving items: Tiffany art glass, Rookwood Pottery and Gorham silver. Ongoing exhibits include Revival and Reform: Eclecticism in the 19th-Century Environment, which encompasses two galleries and has as its centerpiece The Arts, a neoclassical window created by J. & R. Lamb Studios, a prominent American glasshouse of the late 19th century. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $1 for students and free for children younger than 12. Through April 29, admission is free on Fridays from 4-8 p.m. and live music is offered. 445 N. Park Ave., Winter Park. 407-645-5311. Cornell Fine Arts Museum. Located on the campus of Rollins College, the museum houses one of the oldest and most eclectic collections of fine art in Florida. Free weekend tours take place at 1 p.m. every Saturday at the campus museum and 1 p.m. every Sunday at the nearby Alfond Inn, which displays dozens of works from the museum’s Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art. Happy Hour art tours of the Alfond Collection are also conducted the first Wednesday of each month at 5:30 p.m.; upcoming dates are April 6, May 4 and June 1. The museum’s continuing exhibition, Ongoing Conversations: Selections from the Permanent Collection, aims to inspire dialogue about art created during disparate eras and among various cultures. Works are grouped under four broad thematic categories: “Religion Redefined,” “Gesture and Pose,” “A Sense of Place,” and “History and Myth.” Continuing through April 3, Transcommunality: Collaboration Beyond Borders documents the Mexican-born, New York-based artist Laura Anderson Barbata and her decade-long project with stiltwalking communities in Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico and Brooklyn. Also continuing through April 3 is Doris Leeper: Hard Edges, featuring works by the trailblazing abstract painter and sculptor from New Smyrna Beach who was instrumental in the creation of Canaveral National Seashore. Spring events include 2016 Senior Studio Art Exhibition (April 16-May 8), with works by Rollins College graduating seniors; 2016 Rollins Faculty Exhibition (April 16-May 15), featuring works by Rollins College faculty (and an April 20 gallery walkthrough with the artists at 6 p.m.); and a lecture by curator Amy Galpin on Romance and Industry: Thomas Moran, Francis A. Silva, and American Waterways of the Nineteenth Century (April 22 at 11 a.m.). Displacement: Symbols and Journeys, an exhibition that opens May 21 and continues through Sept. 4, features artists whose works focus either on the issue of displacement generally or the border region between the U.S. and Mexico. Admission to the museum is free, courtesy of Dale Montgomery, Class of 1960. 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park. 407-646-2526. Crealdé School of Art. Established in 1975, this notfor-profit arts organization offers year-round visual-arts classes for all ages taught by more than 40 working artists. Registration has begun for the school’s Summer ArtCamp 2016, which runs from June 13-Aug. 5 for youngsters ages 4 to 17. Ending April 2 is The Right of

Passage: A Collection of Work by Grady Kimsey, which honors the influential Winter Park sculptor, ceramicist and painter as part of the multisite Art Legends of Orange County program. Opening April 15 and continuing through June 25 is Tom Rankin: Sacred Landscapes of the South, an exhibition of large, black-and-white photographs of rural churches that the North Carolina photographer has documented through repeated visits over 25 years. The show is divided between Crealdé and the Hannibal Square Heritage Center. On April 16 at 7 p.m., in partnership with Cornell Fine Arts Museum, the photographer will appear for a free program, An Evening with Tom Rankin, in the Bush Auditorium on the Rollins College campus. Admission to Crealdé’s galleries is free, though there are fees for art classes. 600 St. Andrews Blvd., Winter Park. 407-671-1886. Hannibal Square Heritage Center. Established in 2007 by the Crealdé School of Art in partnership with residents of Hannibal Square and the City of Winter Park, the center celebrates the city’s historically African-American west side with archival photographs, original artwork and oral histories from longtime residents. Concluding April 2 is the exhibition The Inspired Paintings of Crealdé Founder Bill Jenkins, part of the multisite Art Legends of Orange County. From April 15-June 25, the center will co-host Tom Rankin: Sacred Landscapes of the South in partnership with the Crealdé School of Art. Admission is free. 642 W. New England Ave., Winter Park. 407-5392680.

PERFORMING ARTS Annie Russell Theatre. “The Annie,” in continuous operation since 1932, closes out this season April 1523 with the well-known musical Hello Dolly! Tickets for the general public are $20. The Annie also features a Second Stage Series in its Fred Stone Theater, with student-produced and student-directed plays. The final play of the Second Stage season runs April 6-9; Detroit, written by Lisa D’Amour and directed by Kathleen Capdesuñer, is a “scary-funny” play that deals with addiction, affluence and the power of nostalgia. Second Stage shows are free to the public, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Rollins College, 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park. 407-646-2145. annie-russell-theatre. Center for Contemporary Dance. A not-for-profit organization focused on dance education, incubation and production, the center’s programs and performances are designed to provide students of all ages, from novice to professional, with experience in classical, post-classical and world dance forms. During the past 13 years, the center, located at 3580 Aloma Ave. in Winter Park, has supported artists in the creation and presentation of more than 250 new works. This year’s summer concert, Broadway Our Way!, retells some of the great songs of the Broadway stage through new, contemporary dance works. The June 19 production, with tickets priced between $12 and $24, is choreographed by an award-winning faculty and features an ensemble cast of students, pre-professionals and seasoned artists. The performance, which begins at 7 p.m., is at the auditorium at Trinity Preparatory School, 5700 Trinity Prep Lane, Winter Park. 407-695-8366. Winter Park Playhouse. Winter Park’s only professional, not-for-profit theater continues its 2015-2016

April 24 through th April 30 th


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season with Showtune, celebrating the music of Broadway composer and lyricist Jerry Herman, who wrote Hello Dolly!, Mame and La Cage aux Folles. It runs from March 31-April 23. The season closes with The Fantasticks, the timeless off-Broadway musical that introduced such standards as “They Were You,” “Soon It’s Gonna Rain” and, of course, “Try to Remember.” Two runs are planned: May 13-22 and June 2-11. Tickets range from $15 (for students) to $40 for evening performances. 711 Orange Ave., Winter Park. 407-6450145.

FESTIVALS Florida Film Festival. Now in its 25th year, this Oscarqualifying festival premieres some of the best in current, independent and international cinema. See page 79 for more details. Enzian, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland. 407-629-1088. Hannibal Square Heritage Center Folk & Urban Art Festival. The seventh annual festival celebrates culture and diversity through art and music. More than 25 Florida artists will offer their works for sale from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on April 30. Participants will include members of the original Florida Highwaymen and the B-Side Artists collective. Music will be provided by the Porchdogs Cajun and Zydeco Band as well as OrisiRisi African Folklore. Food trucks will be on site. A “Kid-folk” workshop will culminate in a public parade. Free. 642 W. New England Ave., Winter Park.

FILM Enzian. This cozy, not-for-profit alternative cinema offers a plethora of film series. Peanut Butter Matinee Family Films are shown on the fourth Sunday of each month at noon; upcoming titles include The Goonies on April 24, Fly Away Home on May 22 and The Sandlot on June 26. Admission is $5, and a kids’ menu is offered. Saturday Matinee Classics, shown on the second Saturday of each month at noon, will include Hannah and Her Sisters on May 14 and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington on June 11. Admission is $8, or $5 for Enzian Film Society members. Wednesday Night Pitcher Shows — outdoor movies with seating on the Enzian’s lawn — are scheduled for the first and third Wednesday of each month. Admission is free, as is parking at Park Maitland School or First Watch, although $3 valet parking is available. Cult Classics are shown on the second and last Tuesday of each month at 9:30 p.m. The Getaway is playing April 26; admission is $5. FilmSlam, a showcase for Florida-made short films presented every month except for April and November, will be held May 15 and June 12. Two special showings — October Sky on May 7 and Rocks In My Pockets on June 25 — both start at 11 a.m. 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland. 407-629-0054. Popcorn Flicks in the Park. The City of Winter Park and Enzian collaborate to offer classic, family friendly films free in Central Park on Park Avenue in downtown Winter Park. This outdoor event usually occurs on the second Thursday of each month and starts at about 8 p.m.; upcoming dates are April 12, May 12 and June 9. Bring a blanket or chairs and a snack. 407-629-1088. Screen on the Green. The City of Maitland offers monthly outdoors movies for free during much of the


W I N T E R PA R K M A G AZI N E | SP RI N G 2016

year on the field at Maitland Middle School. Bring a blanket or chairs for seating. Minions will be shown April 2 at 8 p.m. and Inside Out will be shown May 14 at 8:15 p.m.; shows won’t resume until October. 1902 Choctaw Trail, Maitland.

HISTORY Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum. This stunningly restored Spanish farmhouse-style home was designed by acclaimed architect James Gamble Rogers II and is now a community center and museum. Free open houses are hosted by trained docents every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon. Also, live music is featured in the large downstairs parlor on Sundays from noon to 3 p.m. 656 N. Park Ave. (adjacent to the Winter Park Country Club golf course). 407-6288200. Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida. The center is dedicated to combating antiSemitism, racism and prejudice, with the goal of developing a moral and just community through educational and cultural programs. It houses permanent and temporary exhibitions, archives and a research library. Its newest exhibition, Kindertransport (April 4-May 27) traces the history of a unique child-rescue operation initiated by Jews living in Great Britain after the 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom in Nazi Germany through which nearly 10,000 unaccompanied children reached safety. The exhibit was produced entirely by those among the rescued. (Most of their parents perished in the Holocaust.) Admission to the center’s exhibits, films and other programs is free. 851 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland. 407-628-0555. Winter Park History Museum. With the construction of a SunRail commuter station in Central Park, the museum takes a look at railroading history with A Whistle in the Distance: The Trains of Winter Park. The multimedia exhibit traces the role of railroads in Winter Park’s founding, growth and development. Ongoing displays include artifacts dating from the city’s start as a New England-style resort in the 1880s. Admission is free. 200 W. New England Ave., Winter Park. 407-6442330. Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts. Eatonville, arguably the first municipality in the U.S. formed by African-Americans, is strongly associated with Harlem Renaissance writer and folklorist Zora Neale Huston, who lived there as a girl and recorded her childhood memories in her classic autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road. The museum that bears her name provides information on the historic city and sponsors exhibitions featuring the works of AfricanAmerican artists. Continuing through July 29 is The Journey Projects: Eatonville, a multimedia celebration of the town that combines residents’ photos with cyanotypes created by local youth on woven fabric. The exhibit was produced by Atlanta-based artist Lynn Marshall-Linnemeier. Admission is free, though donations are accepted; group tours require reservations and include a fee. 227 E. Kennedy Blvd., Eatonville. 407-647-3188. Donations accepted.

LECTURES Winter Park Institute. The institute, affiliated with Rollins College, presents lectures, readings and seminars by thought leaders in an array of disciplines. Adam Braun,

an entrepreneur and activist in educational programs for underprivileged children, finishes up the institute’s eighth season on April 5 at 7 p.m. with Ordinary Person, Extraordinary Change: How to Affect the Masses, in the Bush Auditorium on the Rollins campus. Institute events are free and open to the public; parking is available in the SunTrust parking garage, 166 E. Lyman Ave., Winter Park. 407-691-1995.

MARKETS Maitland Farmers’ Market. This year-round, open-air market — held each Sunday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. — features fresh produce, seafood, breads and cheeses as well as plants, all-natural skin-care products, and live music by Performing Arts of Maitland. The setting on Lake Lily boasts a serene boardwalk, jogging trails, a playground and picnic areas. 701 Lake Lily Drive, Maitland. Winter Park Farmers’ Market. The region’s busiest and arguably most popular farmers’ market is held every Saturday from 7 a.m.-1 p.m. at the old railroad depot that houses the Winter Park History Museum. The open-air market offers baked goods, produce, plants, honey, cheese, meat, flowers, crafts and other specialty items for sale. After shopping, make a morning of it with a stroll along nearby Park Avenue. Dogs are welcome to bring their people. 200 W. New England Ave., Winter Park. Market to Park. This mini-version of Winter Park’s Saturday Farmers’ Market is held on the first Tuesday of each month from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and the first Thursday of each month from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in Hannibal Square’s Shady Park. It’s basically one big food truck stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables. Upcoming dates are April 5 and 7, May 3 and 5, and June 2 and 7. 407-599-3334.

MUSIC Music at the Casa. The Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum regularly presents Sunday afternoon acoustic performances from noon to 3 p.m. in the home’s main parlor. Upcoming performers include: harpist Christine MacPhail on April 3, flamenco guitarist Luis Garcia on April 10, classical guitarist Brian Hayes on April 17, and Joshua Glenn Wilson and friends on April 24. Performers for May and June hadn’t been announced at press time. Admission is free. 656 N. Park Ave. (adjacent to the Winter Park Country Club golf course). 407-6288200. Bach Festival Society of Winter Park Choral Masterpiece Series. On April 16-17, artistic director John Sinclair conducts Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and the world premiere of Music, Awake!, written by Paul Moravec and Terry Teachout in honor of Sinclair’s 25 years of service to the Bach Festival Society. Saturday’s concert starts at 7:30 p.m., Sunday’s begins at 3 p.m. Knowles Memorial Chapel. Rollins College Campus, 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park. 407-646-2182. Get Your Jazz On. The Alfond Inn continues its concert series May 20, with live jazz under the stars that includes not only music but roast chicken, smoked pig, a vegetarian alternative, wine, beer, cocktails and cigars. The outdoor event (which moves indoors if it rains) runs from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are $45 in advance, valet parking included. Alfond Inn, 300 E. New England Ave., Winter Park. 407-998-8090.

EVENTS 31st Annual Taste of Winter Park. Sample all the best food that Winter Park has to offer on April 20 starting at 5 p.m. Restaurants and caterers bring their best noshes and drinks to “Winter Park’s ultimate foodie festival.” Tickets range from $35 to $50. Winter Park Farmers’ Market, 200 W. New England Ave., Winter Park. 407-644-8281. Earth Day in the Park. This free, fun-filled April 19 event in downtown Winter Park’s Central Park includes an Arbor Day tree giveaway. Presented by the city’s Sustainability Program and by Keep Winter Park Beautiful, activities at this 11 a.m.-3 p.m. celebration the Sunday before Earth Day include a kid’s zone, the tie-dyeing of T-shirts and, in collaboration with Crealdé School of Art, do-it-yourself art. There’s also yoga, live music, food and drink, environmental demonstrations, a bike rodeo and free composters from Compost Orlando. Florida Writers Association/Orlando/Winter ParkArea Chapter. The group meets the first Wednesday of each month from 6:30-8:30 p.m. for a guest speaker and discussion organized by Rik Feeney. Upcoming dates are April 6, May 4 and June 1. University Club of Winter Park, 841 N. Park Ave., Winter Park. Summertime Sip, Shop & Stroll. On June 9, the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and the Park Avenue Merchants Association invite you to sip, stroll and experience the charm of the region’s premier shopping district.. Discover new merchants while checking out the latest fashions, gift ideas and seasonal menus, all while enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvres offered at participating locations from 5-8 p.m. Cost is $25; check in at the corner of Park Avenue and Morse Boulevard between 5-7 p.m. to receive your wine glass and “passport.” 407-644-8281. Winter Park Garden Club. The club’s annual meeting, held April 13 at 10 a.m., features a talk by Emily Huff of the Holistic Living School. Her topic is Wisdom of Weeds: Edible and Medicinal Plants Growing Around Us. Mead Botanical Garden, 1500 S. Denning Drive, Winter Park. 407-644-5770. Wednesday Open Words. Free, open-mic poetry readings hosted by Curtis Meyer take place every Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Austin’s Coffee, 929 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park. 407-975-3364.

ISSUES CoffeeTalk. These free gatherings, sponsored by the City of Winter Park on the second Thursday of each month, offer an opportunity to discuss issues and concerns with top city officials. Coffee is supplied by Barnie’s Coffee Kitchen. Upcoming topics and guests: April 14, Planning and Community Development; May 12, Assistant City Manager Michelle Neuner and Finance Director Wes Hamil. The hour-long sessions start at 8 a.m. at the Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 W. Lyman Ave., Winter Park. 407-644-8281.

BUSINESS Good Morning Winter Park. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, these monthly gatherings attract those who enjoy coffee and conversation about an array of community issues. Typically sched-



EVENTS uled for the second Friday of each month; upcoming dates include April 8, May 13 and June 10. Networking begins at 7:45 a.m.; each month’s program begins at 8:15 a.m. Admission, which includes a complimentary continental breakfast, is free. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 W. Lyman Ave., Winter Park. 407-644-8281.

Thank You, Thank You,

Thank You!

To all who contributed your time and talents in this campaign, I am sincerely grateful. Person to person, door to door and on the phone you encouraged 5,702 residents to VOTE Cooper. Thank you Winter Park VOTERS…for validating my record and continuing to believe I share your commitment to this community. Placing your trust in me to make decisions on your behalf is a responsibility I take seriously. I will continue to cautiously consider every vote, research the issues, seek your input and vote independently. I am counting on you to stay informed and be willing to get involved when necessary. In 2016, the most critical issue will be the review and amendment of our Comprehensive Growth Management Plan. This document not only determines the size and density of our buildings, it establishes the levels of service for such things as water, sewer, transportation and parkland. All land-use codes the city enacts and all developments approved must comply with the Comprehensive Growth Management Plan. As your representative, I will make sure you have an opportunity to be informed and involved in any proposed changes to this very powerful governing document. Thank you for your VOTE of confidence. Together we can ensure the Winter Park of tomorrow continues to be a community of distinction.

Carolyn Cooper

Winter Park Executive Women. These monthly lunches, hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, host guest speakers and provide networking opportunities for women business owners. Topics revolve around leadership development, business growth and local initiatives of special interest to women. Typically scheduled for the first Monday of most months. On April 4 is a talk titled From Teller to CEO: Karen Dee, during which the former Florida and mid-South regional president for Fifth Third Bank will share lessons learned as she climbed the corporate ladder. The topic of the May 2 lunch was pending at press time. Those attending the June 6 event are asked to bring their business cards for a speed-networking session. Admission is $20 for members, $25 for non-members; reservations required. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 W. Lyman Ave., Winter Park. 407-644-8281.


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A rt of The Vine. Those with a sense of style and culture will want to eat, drink and be colorful at the 15th annual Art of the Vine, which pairs amazing food and fine wine with great art and radiant colors. The April 15 event benefits New Hope for Kids, which helps Central Florida children coping with life-threatening illnesses or grieving the death of loved ones. Tickets are $85 in advance, $100 at the door. Fields BMW, 963 Wymore Road, Winter Park. 407-331-3059 Ext. 12. Ice Cream Social. Enjoy an assortment of ice cream from 1-5 p.m. at the Rachel D. Murrah Civic Center on April 17 during an event that benefits Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida. In addition to ice cream there’ll be live entertainment, face painting, a cake walk, games, door prizes, a silent auction and more. Tickets are $6 in advance or $8 at the door ($6 for seniors at the door). Children under age 3 are admitted free. Tickets are on sale at both Ronald McDonald houses in Orlando. 1050 W. Morse Blvd., Winter Park. Run for the Trees: Jeannette Genius McKean Memorial 5K. This popular foot race, held April 23 at 7:30 a.m., begins at Showalter Field, 2525 Cady Way, Winter Park. But the last mile and the finish are along a privately owned and wooded portion of Genius Drive that’s open to the public only once a year, for this event. Shuttle buses return runners to the starting line and parking lot; all finishers receive a young tree to plant. Registration, which ranges from $28 to $35 per person, is limited to 1,800 people. Funds raised from the event support the Winter Park Tree Replacement Fund. 407896-1160. Orlando Take Steps Walk. This April 30 fundraising and public-awareness walk around Lake Lily benefits the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Central Florida Chapter. It starts at 3:30 p.m. at Lake Lily Park, Maitland. 646-203-1214.

January 23, 2016

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[ Formerly Run Around the Pines ]

February 13, 2016

Showalter Field, Winter Park

March 12, 2016

Park Avenue, Winter Park

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April 23, 2016 Showalter Field, Winter Park

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July 4, 2016

Park Avenue, Winter Park





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The annual colloquium inspired by iconic Winter Park architect James Gamble Rogers II (above left) this year hosts historic preservation expert Donovan Rypkema (above right).


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W I N T E R PA R K M A GAZI N E | SP RI N G 2016

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The keynote speaker at this year’s James Gamble Rogers II Colloquium on Historical Preservation would approve of SunRail and the development interest it has generated — but only to a point. “I’m for density, and I’m for public transportation,” he once stated. “But when you have a single fulcrum upon which everything else falls subordinate, then [you sacrifice] affordable housing, historic preservation and smallbusiness incubation.” Donovan Rypkema, an entertain­ing and provocative expert on preservation issues, is the featured speaker at the 10th annual James Gamble Rogers II Colloquium on Historical Preservation. The event is sponsored by the Friends of Casa Feliz to recognize the importance of protecting Winter Park’s architectural and historic resources. Rogers (1901-1990), a noted local architect, designed the Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum, once a private residence and now a civic space listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Through its annual colloquium, the Friends of Casa Feliz seeks to raise public appreciation not only for Rogers’ work, but for all buildings that contribute to the region’s rich architectural heritage. At this year’s May 21 colloquium, Rypkema’s topic is Historic Preservation and Economics: Recent Lessons from Home and Abroad. He’s a principal of Place Economics, a D.C.-based real estate consultancy, and teaches a graduate-level preservation-economics course at the

University of Pennsylvania. Rypkema’s book The Economics of Historic Preservation, is a how-to manual for community leaders looking to revitalize their downtown business districts. In 2012, he received the Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s highest honor. “The most dense neighborhoods for hundreds of years have been historic neighborhoods,” Rypkema has been quoted as stating. “If we really need to densify, then let’s go to the crappy ’60s and ’70s suburban neighborhoods that were never dense and densify them.” The colloquium’s morning session will take place in the Tiedtke Auditorium on the Rollins College campus, starting with registration at 9:30 a.m. In addition to Rypkema, the morning program will include presentation of the Winter Park Historic Preservation Board’s annual awards for excellence in local rehabilitation projects. After lunch in Rollins’ Skillman Dining Hall, participants will depart for a bus tour of the “Grande Dames of Winter Park”— five of the oldest and grandest landmark homes in the city, including the Geer-Van den Berg House (1876) and the Gary-Morgan House (1927). The cost is $75 for the full day, lunch included; $55 for the morning session and tour (lunch on your own); or $25 for the morning session only. The presenting sponsor for this year’s event is Lamar Design, a Winter Park-based architecture and design firm. Registration is offered online at


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y day she’s a research librarian, helping college students plow their way through the science of DNA, the mysteries of macroeconomics and the thoughts of Greek philosophers. But what she does at night, she does alone, by candlelight. “Something about lighting a candle is a comfort,” says Dorothy Mays. “That, and a pot of decaf coffee.” Mays has been burning the midnight oil for more than a decade, dividing her time between her day job at Rollins College’s Olin Library and her solitary nighttime vocation: writing romance novels. There’s a lot more synergy between the two vocations than you might think. In fairness, it took Mays a while to figure that out, too. I assumed I had a vaguely racy she leads a double life story on my hands when I heard that Rollins had a librarian on its staff writing what people used to call bodice-rippers — pulpy potboilers that always had a heavy-breathing scene on the cover and lots of purple prose within. It didn’t take long for Mays to disabuse me of that notion when I tracked her down at her Olin office. She was dressed in black slacks, a white blouse and sensible shoes — a look I thought of as studious and crisply professional, and one she described as “hopelessly plain.” “I’d rather sit in a dentist’s chair than go shopping,” she explained. Then she slipped right into a chipper reference-desk groove and proceeded to straighten me out. “We’re still living down those Fabio covers of the seventies,” she said, noting that publishers once assumed that covers of genre fiction novels had to scream like carny barkers to sell: blazing six-guns and thundering hooves on westerns; googley-eyed aliens on sci-fi; luxuriant chest hair and heaving bosoms on romance. These days, said Mays, covers are less lurid, readers more perceptive, prose not nearly as breathless. The genre has shifted, and her own path to success is proof, though it didn’t happen right away. First came the struggling-writer story.


W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | SP RI N G 2016

If you’re a fan of romance novels, you may know Rollins librarian Dorothy Mays by her pen name, Elizabeth Camden. A dogged researcher, Mays prides herself on the historical accuracy of her work.

The one you’ve heard before. There’s the hopeful beginning: “I thought: ‘Who wouldn’t want me?’” The dashed hope under a tsunami of rejection letters: “Actually, it turned out that hundreds of people didn’t want me.” And finally, the smack-your-forehead, find your bliss, breakthrough moment: “I thought: ‘I’m a librarian. I love research.’” And that’s been her hook, the key to her success. Writing under the pen name Elizabeth Camden, she began setting everything she could churn out in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She works in a home office where the walls are covered with vintage city maps. (“You don’t want your characters walking across a bridge if that bridge hasn’t been built yet.”) She extensively researches the time period and the setting of her books while creating plot-

lines that revolve around historical events: the Chicago fire of 1871, the quest to cure tuberculosis, the rise of the opium trade. In 2013, one of her novels, Against The Tide, won a RITA award for Most Inspirational Romance Novel. (The much-coveted RITAs are presented by the Romance Writers of America.) Mays — or Camden — has had eight romance novels published over the past few years. And on any given evening she’s working on three books at a time, each one in a different stage of completion. All of her stories revolve around a female protagonist who’s drawn into a challenging profession. Not surprisingly, most of her readers are women. But not all. Her husband, Bill Mays, a tough-as-nails former Air Force officer who taught physics at Evans High School as a retirement job, is a loyal follower. He used to prominently display her works in his classroom. “The students would always ask him what a guy like him was doing with all these flowery books,” Mays said. “He’d say, ‘Oh, she’s my favorite novelist.’ Then, at the end of the year, he’d tell them: ‘She’s also my wife.’” Now, that’s romantic.    And speaking of romance: There’s no matching the passion of opera, whether it’s what happens on stage or the fervor of its fans. Local loyalists have regrouped under a new name: Opera Orlando. Formerly known as Florida Opera Theatre, the new organization will stage its first major production April 22-23 at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Mozart’s The Impresario and Francis Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirèsias are the latest offerings from a grassroots organization that sprang up after the demise in 2009 of Orlando Opera (not to be confused with the newly minted Opera Orlando). Visit for more information. Michael McLeod is a contributing writer for Winter Park Magazine and an adjunct instructor in the English department at Rollins College.





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