Florida Guide > Florida History
A walking tour of Historic Orlando
Downtown Historic Orlando is 8 blocks of buildings that tell the commercial and local government story of this City. The buildings were constructed between the 1880s and the 1940s
This area has been designated a Historic area which has served to preserve this place against the encroaching sky scrapers. Tax breaks are awarded to the present owners to assist them with the preservation as needed.
Many different architectural styles are represented here. These include Art Deco, Queen Anne, Beau Arts, Mrditerranean revival, Twentieth Century Commercial Style and Art Moderne. The buildings replace the wooden buildings that got destroyed by fires.
Among the buildings are banks, shops, hotels and The Courthouse.
During the building boom of the 1920s, elaborate buildings were constructed often with meditteranean stuccoed fronts.
By the late 1920s, the bubble burst and all buildings constructed after this date tended to be simpler in style.
The tour is about two and a half hours long and you can choose to take it all or cherry pick the areas of interest to you. Log on to www. downtownorlando. net/historic which has a walking map to print out.
Here are some of the highlights that would give you a variety of styles.
Old Orange County Courthouse.
This was completed in 1927 and the architect was Murray S King. Otherwise known as the million dollar courthouse it now houses the Orange County Regional History Center. This building is a good example of Beaux Arts architecture.
This is an example of Queen Anne architecture and this was built by Gordon Rogers. Gordon was a Brit who when he cane to Orlando in 1886 had the place built to hold theatre performances and dances for ex pat English people
This was also the work of the aforementioned Murray s King, but this time in the Twentieth Century Commercial style. He built this in 1923 and was one of the best hotels in Orlando.
First National Bank
This is an Art Deco building influenced by Egyptian culture. Howard M Reynolds was the architect and he saw the bank go under very shortly after they took residence.
Ebenezer Methodist Church ia a replacent to the old wooden structure. This church is an example of the Gothic Style and was the first Afro/ American Church in Orlando.
Victorian house and cottage is just what it says on the tin. There are few Victorian buildings in this area and this is one of them. It is noted for the carved fret work and turned columns.
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