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Hester P
August 26, 2015

Funny, I recall “shade trees, outdoor cafes, and (a) well-articulated pedestrian environment ” on the Avenue before 1994. Perhaps some emphasis in the article is overstated.

This strikes as a classic (historic?) definitional problem. “Historic” obviously means different things to different folks. Evidently, for some, it even connotes an emotional response or perception.

A patina of authenticity, perhaps… if not elevated social status at particular social gatherings.

In much the same way, describing the grassed-over parking lot by the PO as “inspired by” FLO strains the bounds of architectural poncery. Alas, if it takes such imaginative provenance to satisfy the credentialists and other snobs, so be it.

What it really is, is event space, for the Fashion Week stage, the ice rink, the art show vendor trucks, etc., evidenced by the removal of mature, healthy old-growth oaks “in the way” of the glorified, parking-lot-cum-green space, when it was “repaved” with sod.

It must be a bore to be a uni instructor or professor and to only encounter obsequious banter and unblinking praise (or worse). Hence the lack of new ideas, true progress in thinking, and a confining return to worn of precepts of historicalism.

Pitt Warner
August 23, 2015

If you think the founding of Rollins College compares to the legacy of Phil., Boston and Plymouth , MA. then good for you. My original comment started with “I consider…” because in my opinion, WP is not historic. The website explains our history. A town’s history does not make that town historic. If you think it does, then good for you. But without Plymouth, Boston, Philadelphia, there would be no WP. Again, my opinion.

“Historic” does not jump into my mind when asked to describe WP. Beautiful, cultural, unique….

August 20, 2015

From the Winter Park Land Company website:


The Muscogee people were the first residents of the area. They had earlier resided with other indigenous people, such as the Choctaw. The Europeans came in 1858, but the area didn’t see any real development until 1880 when people began to realize that choosing from the many Winter Park Properties came with a number of benefits. The people also realized that there was a lot of growth potential, especially when the Winter Park Company was started in 1885. It was after this that real estate in Winter Park soared from just a couple of dollars per acre to up to $300 per acre. In 1885, Rollins College would be started as the first four-year college in the state. In 1886, Lake Osceola would be graced with the Seminole Hotel. In 1904, The Winter Park Land Co. was born out of the original development company.

August 20, 2015

What a GREAT article by the professor. Yes, Rollins is beautiful and much so because they have not forgotten their past. What has happened to our Winter park city: too many politicians who do not know the art of government means when you forget the past you do not know where you are going, thus confusion.

Pitt Warner
August 19, 2015

Is Winter Park “historic”? I consider Philadelphia, Boston, Plymouth, to be historic. Winter Park, is charming, unique, cultural, beautiful. When we have a couple dozen actors strolling around in 1895 garb attracting tourists to their demonstrations of refining pine tar or squeezing oranges, then I think we can label ourselves historic. Until then, let’s stick with charming, cultural…..

Politics of Visioning
August 19, 2015

“Visioning,” while promoted as a way for residents to determine what the future of Winter Park will look like, has already been morphed into the image of its City politician creators. So, it comes as no surprise that “history” was not even included on the survey. The former mayor used to squirm whenever it was suggested that a sign be put on I-4 to direct tourists to Winter Park’s “Historic District.” Maybe that’s because his business that occupies a Winter Park historic building is now requesting a 30% expansion.

Everyone understands that times change. Hula Hoops give way to Roller Blades which then are then replaced by iPhones. We get that. But there’s something about something old that people really like, and always will. And while the “Visioning” deck is clearly stacked in favor of “Out with the old and in with the new,” like it was some kind of New Year’s Eve party, it’s high time for residents to get together and hold a “Residents Summit” simultaneously to create a RESIDENTS VISION for Winter Park that doesn’t have the politicians “putting their thumb on the scale” when the final report is issued.

A former Soviet Union dictator once said, “It doesn’t matter who votes. What matters is WHO COUNTS the votes.” Do you know who’s tallying the results of Winter Park’s “Visioning” surveys that will ultimately be used to justify the conclusions of Winter Park’s “Visioning” project? It’s not an independent committee of Winter Park residents. The “counters” of your surveys are strangers who the Winter Park politicians hired to do it.

Brian Furey
August 18, 2015

I participated in the initial “visioning” exercise. I was underwhelmed! Too generic, and structured such that the data input could result in a multitude of conclusions. I know it was preliminary, but I expected an interview, and the opportunity to share my perspective on the future direction of the city.

Seemed like a generic consultant model. Hope I’m wrong on this assessment…

August 17, 2015

What an incredibly well written and informative article. I hope our City Commissioners and Historic Preservation Board are listening! Thank you Bruce!

Kim Allen
August 17, 2015

Well said Professor!

Martha Williamson
August 17, 2015

Where is this survey to be found and why isn’t history on it?

Hugh McMillan
August 17, 2015

Thank you Dr Stephenson for your brilliant column in the Winter Park Voice. I only wish that it were much longer with more illustrations. I hope it is given the attention that it deserves. Again, thank you.

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