Will City Hall Be Designated a Historic Landmark?
Commission Will Vote on Resolution at Jan. 26 Meeting
by Anne Mooney / January 23, 2022
The Historic Preservation Board has brought forward its unanimous recommendation that the City of Winter Park add Winter Park City Hall to its Register of Historic Places. The Commission will vote on the resolution at the January 26 meeting. Readers are urged to let Commissioners know their thoughts by writing email@example.com
Designed by Unique Architects Collaborative
Built in 1964, Winter Park City Hall was designed by the Winter Park Architects Collaborative, a group of local architects with national reputations. They were George Tuttle, Jr., John Langley, James Gamble Rogers II, Nils Schweizer, Gordon Orr, Jr., Clifford Wright and Fred Owles, Jr.
Mid-Century Modern Architecture
The City Hall building is a classic example of Mid-Century Modern architectural style. The two-story scale is compatible with the village scale of Park Avenue. Generous setbacks from Lyman and Park Avenues mirror the open green space of Central Park.
Roof Raised in 1978
Originally, the west wing of City Hall was one story, but in 1978 that structure was increased to two stories by raising the 80-ton roof some 14 feet to create the City Hall we see today.
City Hall Meets the Criteria for Historic Designation
To be designated a historic landmark, a building must possess “a quality of significance in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture. . . .” The building also must fit at least one of the following additional criteria:
- An association with historic events, or
- An association with the lives of significant persons, or
- Possess high artistic values, or
- Represent a significant and distinguishable entity . . . .
A great deal of history has been created within those walls over the past 57 years. The Architects’ Collaborative is a unique effort and the style of the building they created is significant, especially to those of us who live in Winter Park.
Honestly it is the ugliest building in the Downtown area. Reminds me of the old Barnett Bank Building.
Totally disagree…..were you born and raised here?
I hope this resolution will be passed. Often, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Whether Beautiful or not…this building has played a significant role in our past and plays one in our present. Its historical significance will only grow. If lost, we can never get it back. A resolution is a good start. But resolutions about the post office have done little to move the needle for that acquisition. We must also possess the will to protect our historic assets.
I think it’s a unique design that adds eclectic pattern to a distinctive Euro-village scale. It’s unexpected, like the Guggenheim Museum or Dali’s Alice in Wonderland.
Comparing it to the old Barnett Bank building, the one and only high rise, isn’t a good analysis.
As we build more box-like architecture, think Landmark and these white box houses, these interesting mid-century modern structures with unusually deep set backs will remain distinctive. I’m a yes vote.
Furthermore, it was designed by notable architects!
I would appreciate hearing the views of local architects independent of the same old crowd.
Thank you HPB advisors.
I agree with Mike. It is so ugly and unattractive. How could it possibly fit in with Park Avenue. Mary Langley
I personally like the look of the building. If the building meets the criteria, which likely is does since it passed the the Historic Preservation Board unanimously as well as staff recommending approval, then there does not seem to be a reason to not grant the status to the building to me. There are a series of nice pictures of the building here: https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/1207496/City_Hall_pictures.pdf
I’m for keeping our City Hall. It has always and is a nice “balance” at that spot. The building speaks as an Official
For once the City Commission is putting the residents first.
NO NO NO Too many restrictions for future needed upgrades. There’s nothing special about the interior or exterior of the building. Location critical for possible NEW city hall building
Sometimes old buildings just need to go away. This is one of those times.
I love it. This building is an unexpected and distinctive structure with a beautiful setback. I support this endeavor. As the continued growth of big white boxes marches on, unusual architecture gives more meaning to our authenticity.
This Commission’s legacy will be these immeasurable actions, like designating a historical building designed by renowned architects, creating urban parks and enacting good laws like super majority that will stand the test of time and protect the quality of life we enjoy.
Thank you to the HP advisory board and Commission- IF they approve this worthy endeavor. I hope they will.
Is a certain educational institution eyeing our city hall now as well as our library (supposedly)? Not particularly a fan of the building, but much less a fan of the takeover of the city one little piece at a time.
I support designating City Hall as a Historical Landmark due to its unique architecture and lovely green space created by the deep setback and also for the history which has taken place there past and present. The scale of the building also blends well with that of Park Avenue.
It is a classic building of the past and a bridge to the future. I know some want to build a Wally World or Mini Mall or Hipster Burger Joint, but that would be a short term thing. Let’s hold on to a small piece of history. New is not better. Just look at the buildings going up around Winter Park now-big box ugly!
I like that it is set back from the street. Now they build right up to the sidewalk creating a canyon effect. Historic preservation isn’t just for “pretty” buildings.
A road trip though Florida exposes one to many vistas. Concrete, strip malls, apt. complexes, etc.. Winter Park has five differentiating features: Brick streets, Scale, Oak trees, Lakes, and Attractive old buildings, mostly homes.
Many buildings present to all that pass a scale and balance born of not just an ambitious young designer, but an architect seasoned in the art. If you take the time to look, you can see it. For any detractor, walk around, go inside. Preserving space matters. Space matters. Open space really matters.
What if it is rebuilt in the vein of a top heavy building like the library having no Winter Park history or look?
Keep setbacks and scale but this structure is not worth saving
Not so fast. In addition to the Historic Preservation Board, this would have been an ideal mission for EDAB along with a recommendation on the former library site. Since significant upgrades will be necessary for the duration, will any of the HP guidelines be overly restrictive to allow what will need to be done? Personally, the building doesn’t merit the HP designation. Are we just too timid to consider a redevelopment option?
Other than being a collaborative design by Winter Park architects with “national reputations”, the Winter Park City Hall became an increasingly awkward building to handle the growing needs of Winter Park. Unlike our train station, that was rebuilt with charm and practicality, our city hall was “renovated” with a scattered respect for inner operations and outside functionality or symbolism. I find it difficult to see any identity in its present revised appearance that could be described as “charming” or “symbolic.” This building’s present design could be best described as “generic” and its likes found in many Florida cities…
I propose that this 1964 building, meets the criteria of “historic” primarily by age. Secondly, that it was designed by a “collaborative” of architects of reputation does not mean it was an important design or particularly representative of our City. With regard to what criteria constitutes the basic qualities of local historic preservation. I found the following on the internet:
They help preserve the character and quality of the community over time,
They give property owners more confidence in the long-term stability of the neighborhood — which means they’re more likely to make investments in their property to the benefit of the entire community,
They promote pride and appreciation of the character and history of the community, and
They help property owners begin to see themselves not only as owners but stewards of history.
Perhaps our City Hall is adequate as it is, or should be rebuilt to better reflect the City of Winter Park, like the Train Station or our new Library. My point is that the design, rather than the designer, is the important variable. If rebuilt, the present greenspace could be preserved in a more useful way, rather than resembling a front lawn. Then, after 50 years, our new, more functional City Hall could be properly designated as “historic.”.
Thus is not what I think of when considering a historic landmark. There is nothing aesthetically pleasing or special about the building in my opinion.
Rollins’ website shows Noel’s player statistics when he was on the men’s basketball team.
Rollins is showing that Noel played only a total of 13 minutes during his entire basketball playing days on the Rollins team.
Yet during his campaign Noel frequently boasts that he “played basketball at Rollins on a (partial) scholarship.”
Sometimes he says partial. Sometimes he leaves it out.
Almost all Rollins students are on a partial scholarship.