Winter Park, Florida

Winter Park, Florida

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Winter Park, Florida
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settlement_type = City
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mapsize = 250x200px
map_caption = Location in Orange County and the state of Florida

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subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = flag|United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = flag|Florida
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = noflag|Orange
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leader_title = City Manager
leader_name = Randy Knight, C.P.A.
leader_title1 = Assistant City Manager
leader_name1 = Michelle del Valle
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area_magnitude = 1 E8
unit_pref = Imperial
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area_total_km2 = 22.4
area_land_km2 = 19.0
area_water_km2 = 3.4
area_total_sq_mi = 8.7
area_land_sq_mi = 7.3
area_water_sq_mi = 1.3
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population_total = 24090
population_density_km2 = 1267.0
population_density_sq_mi = 3281.6
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timezone = EST
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
latd = 28 |latm = 35 |lats = 46 |latNS = N
longd = 81 |longm = 20 |longs = 48 |longEW = W
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 28
elevation_ft = 92
postal_code_type =
postal_code =
area_code = 407
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 12-78300GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0293428GR|3
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Winter Park is a city in Orange County, Florida, United States. The population was 24,090 at the 2000 census. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2006 estimates, the city had a population of 28,083. The city is home to Rollins College, Full Sail University and the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, which houses the largest collection of Tiffany glass on Earth. Winter Park enjoys more parkspace per capita than any other city in Florida.

Winter Park was founded as a resort destination by wealthy New England industrialists before the turn of the 20th century. It is recognized as the first centrally planned community in Florida; its main street includes not only public civic buildings and retail, but also art galleries, a private liberal arts college, museums, a park, a train station, a golf course country club, a historic cemetery, and a beach and boat launch. Winter Park is celebrated for a sense of place and history, uncommon to many parts of Central Florida. Many structures are more than 100 years old. The scenic "Olde Winter Park" area is punctuated by small, winding brick streets, and a canopy of old Southern Live Oak and Camphor trees, draped with Spanish Moss. The city draws thousands of visitors to annual festivals including the Bach Festival, the nationally ranked Sidewalk Art Festival, and the Winter Park Concours d'Elegance.


The site was first inhabited by Europeans in 1858, when David Mizell Jr. bought an eight-acre homestead between Lakes Virginia, Mizell and Berry. A settlement, called Lake View by the inhabitants, grew up around Mizell's plot. It got a post office and a new name -- Osceola -- in 1870.

The area did not develop rapidly until 1880, when a South Florida Railroad track connecting Orlando and Sanford was laid a few miles west of Osceola. Shortly afterwards, Loring Chase came to Orange County from Chicago to recuperate from a lung disease. In his travels, he discovered the pretty group of lakes just east of the railbed. He enlisted a wealthy New Englander, Oliver E. Chapman, and they assembled a very large tract of land, upon which they planned the town of Winter Park. Over the next four years they plotted the town, opened streets, built a town hall and a store, planted orange trees, and required all buildings to meet stylistic and architectural standards. They promoted it heavily. [ Facts taken from a copy of the original Seminole Hotel promotional brochure.] During this time, the railroad constructed a depot (1882), connected to Osceola by a dirt road.

In 1885, a group of businessmen started the Winter Park Company and incorporated it with the Florida Legislature, Chase and Chapman sold the town to the new company. In a land bubble characteristic of Florida history, land prices soared from less than $2 per acre to over $200, with at least one sale recorded at $300 per acre.

In 1885, the Congregational Assembly of Florida started Rollins College, the state's first four-year college. The following year saw the opening of The Seminole Hotel on Lake Osceola, a grand resort complete with the luxuries of the day: gas lights, steam heating, a string orchestra, a formal dining room, a bowling alley, and long covered porches. It was the largest hotel in Florida and President Chester A. Arthur called it "the prettiest place I have seen in Florida" [] Presidents Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison visited The Seminole Hotel in the following four years, cementing the place of both hotel and town as a fashionable winter resort.

The Winter Park Sinkhole

In May of 1981, during a period of record-low water levels in Florida's limestone aquifer, a massive sinkhole opened up near the corner of Denning Drive and Fairbanks Avenue. In a single day the hole widened to convert|320|ft|m and to a depth of convert|90|ft|m, destroying an import car dealership, a public pool, and large portions of Denning Drive. In addition, the sinkhole "ate" an entire two-story home. The deepest part of the limestone cavern must have been directly under the house as not even the peak of the roof of the house could be seen after the sinkhole stabilized. Fortunately, no one was in the house at the time the cavern roof collapsed. City engineers managed to stabilize the sinkhole, which drew national attention and became a popular tourist attraction during the summer of 1981. A carnival-like atmosphere arose around the area, with vendors selling food, balloons, and t-shirts to visitors. Eventually the novelty wore off as the city repaired the damage and turned the sinkhole into man-made Lake Rose, seen in [,-81.361495&spn=0.002327,0.005032&t=h this] aerial view.

The Langford Resort Hotel

The Langford Hotel (opened 1955, closed 1999), was the first enclosed, air conditioned luxury resort hotel in 20th century Central Florida, predating the resorts of the Disney area by nearly 20 years. The Langford, with its famous themed rooms, backlit-in-red grotto bar, Empire Room dining, heated original pool, and Chinese pagoda spa served as a gateway to 'Old Florida' attractions in Central Florida and a community social hub for decades.

Famous guests included Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Larry King, Hugh Hefner, John Denver, Langford winter resident Lady Bird Johnson, and President Ronald Reagan and his wife, First Lady Nancy Reagan who celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary there.

The Langford was toasted in one memorable last late night party in late 1999, closed, and was demolished. A portion of the former Langford Property (as of late 2006) has been developed into luxury mid-rise condominiums. The remaining parcel is now vacant and for sale.

The Temple Grove

An orange grove, known as The Temple Grove, stood on the south side of Palmer Avenue just east of Temple Drive. The temple orange was grown on the old Wyeth grove on Palmer Avenue (later Temple Grove) owned at the time by Louis A. Hakes, whose son was the first to notify Temple of the different quality of the new orange. The orange was introduced and cataloged by Buckeye Nursery in 1917, the year W. C. Temple died. Myron E. Gillett and his son D. Collins Gillett later went on to plant the largest Temple orange grove in the world (convert|5000|acre) in Temple Terrace, Florida in 1922.


Winter Park is located at coor dms|28|35|46|N|81|20|48|W|city (28.596231, -81.346531).GR|1 The city is northeast of and adjacent to Orlando. Elevation ranges between 66 and convert|97|ft|m above sea level.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.4 km² (8.6 mi²). 19.0 km² (7.3 mi²) of it is land and 3.4 km² (1.3 mi²) of it (15.14%) is water. It is nestled among the Winter Park Chain of Lakes, a series of aquifer fed lakes interconnected by a series of navigable canals, which were originally created for flood control and to run logs to a sawmill on present day Lake Virginia. The lakes are popular for boating, watersports, fishing and swimming.

The city is traversed by the old Orlando-Oviedo ("Dinky Line") railroad bed, which until the 1960s had a stop at Lake Virginia/Rollins College at the city park now known as Dinky Dock. Much of this right of way has been converted to a rail-to-trail pedestrian/biking path - in the form of the Cady Way Trail, which leads from Cady Way Park toward the Baldwin Park neighborhood and downtown Orlando, and in the opposite direction to Oviedo and beyond (via the Florida trail), thanks to a new pedestrian bridge spanning Semoran Boulevard (SR 436) in Orange County.

Currently, CSX operates a rail line through Winter Park on the former Atlantic Coast Line, with an Amtrak Station in downtown's historic Central Park.

Due to its close proximity of Orlando, Winter Park is a city which many commuters traverse to access downtown Orlando. These commuters come from outlying suburban areas such as, Oviedo, Winter Springs, Maitland, Altamonte Springs and Casselberry. Winter Park's municipal government has combated speeding and aggressive driving in its downtown core and residential areas by lowering speed limits to 20 MPH in some areas, adding textured traffic-calming brick roads, and aggressively enforcing the law within the city limits. These measures have contributed to some traffic congestion, but preserve the quality of life for residents and encourage pass-thru commuters to seek alternate, more appropriate high-speed routes to downtown (such as SR436/Semoran Blvd, Lake Howell Road, US17-92/Orlando Ave, Interstate 4, and the 408/East West Expressway and 417/Greeneway toll roads).Fact|date=February 2007


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 24,090 people, 10,722 households, and 5,864 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,267.2/km² (3,281.6/mi²). There were 11,431 housing units at an average density of 601.3/km² (1,557.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.90% White, 10.52% African American, 0.16% Native American, 1.32% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.94% from other races, and 1.14% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.31% of the population.

There were 10,722 households out of which 21.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.2% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.3% were non-families. 38.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.10 and the average family size was 2.80.

In the city the population was spread out with 18.5% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 25.0% from 25 to 44, 23.8% from 45 to 64, and 22.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 83.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $48,884, and the median income for a family was $73,697. Males had a median income of $50,975 versus $32,066 for females. The per capita income for the city was $38,791. About 5.0% of families and 7.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.0% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over.

Due to its heavy emphasis on the arts and its scenic charm, Winter Park has traditionally attracted an eclectic mix of residents - wealthy Northerners, patrons of the arts, Old Florida families, artists, students, vacationers and idealists.

Notable residents

* Amanda Bearse, actress
* Carrot Top, Comedian
* Kevin Beary, sheriff
* James Bonamy, country musician
* Delbert Black, naval officer
* George Brett, general
* Meg Crofton, executive
* Nick Faldo, Golfer & Broadcaster
* Louis Frey, Jr., congressman
* Paula Hawkins, politician
* Gina Hecht, actress
* Orel Hershiser, baseball player
* Davey Johnson, baseball player
* Arielle Kebbel, actress
* Matt Kuchar, golfer
* Michael James Nelson, writer & actor
* Summer Phoenix, actress
* Albin Polasek, sculptor & educator
* Doc Rivers, basketball coach of 2008 NBA Champs; Boston Celtics
* James Gamble Rogers IV, folk musician
* Allen Trovillion, politician
* Fred Tyler, swimmer & coach
* Darius Washington, Jr., basketball player

Educational institutions

* [ Brookshire Elementary School]
* [ Crealde School of Art]
* Full Sail University
* [ Geneva School]
* Glenridge Middle School
* [ Lakemont Elementary School]
* Rollins College
* Trinity Preparatory School
* Winter Park High School
* [ Winter Park Tech]

ites of interest

* All Saints Episcopal Church
* Edward Hill Brewer House
* [ Casa Feliz Historic House Museum]
* Comstock-Harris House
* Cornell Fine Arts Museum
* [ Fleet Peeples Park]
* Hannibal Square
* Kraft Azalea Park
* [ Mead Garden]
* Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
* Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens
* [ Winter Park Historical Association & Museum]
* Woman's Club of Winter Park


* Winter Park (Amtrak station)

ee also

* Charles Hosmer Morse


External links

* [ City of Winter Park, Florida]
* [ Winter Park Public Library]
* [ Winter Park Citrus Grove History]

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