Historical Reports

Florida's History Through Its Places

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Polk County

720 - Bartow
Bartow BARTOW DOWNTOWN COMMERCIAL DISTRICT 1887-1935. 27 buildings, 22 of historical interest. Masonry Vernacular and Classical Revival predominate. The oldest building in the district is the J.N. Smith House at 310 E. Davidson St. built in 1885. 6 buildings in the downtown commercial district survive from the 19th century. Public and Private. N.R. 1993.

722 - Bartow
Bartow NORTHEAST BARTOW RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT 1886-1925. 29 buildings, 27 of historical interest. Frame and Masonry Vernacular and various Revival styles. A concentration of old buildings east of Bartow's commercial center. Most buildings date from between 1905 and 1915. Most are little altered. Private. N.R. 1993.

723 - Bartow
Bartow OLD POLK COUNTY COURTHOUSE 100 E. Main St. 1908, 1926. Classical Revival. E.C. Hosford and Francis J. Kennard, architects. 3 stories. Projected Corinthian porticos and a Baroque dome. East and west wings, designed by Kennard, added in 1926. Located on the same site of two earlier courthouses. The major public building in Polk County from 1908 to 1987. Presently a local museum. Public. N.R. 1989.

724 - Bartow
Bartow SOUTH BARTOW HISTORIC DISTRICT 1885-1941. 242 buildings, 176 of historical interest. Frame and Masonry Vernacular, Classical Revival, Prairie School. Bungalow styles are common. District includes residences, churches, schools and clubhouses. Little changed from when the area was developed. An affluent area. Many buildings were designed by professional architects. Public and Private. N.R. 1993.

725 - Bartow
Bartow SOUTH FLORIDA MILITARY COLLEGE 1101 S. Broadway. 1895 (main structure). Frame Vernacular. 2 stories, at each end a 2-story octagonal tower. The college was founded in 1894 and was important in the early development of higher education in Florida. Closed in 1905. Private. N.R. 1972.

728 - Haines City
Haines City DOWNTOWN HAINES CITY COMMERCIAL DISTRICT 1913-1937. 25 buildings, 20 of historical interest. Masonry Vernacular, Mediterranean Revival, and other Revival styles predominate. The historic commercial area of downtown. Retains some of the city's commercial functions today, although much diminished from before World War II. Private. N.R. 1994.

731 - Haines City
Haines City POLK HOTEL 800-810 Hinson Ave. 1926. Italian Renaissance Revival. Frederick Wallick, architect. 9 stories. First skyscraper built in city and still one of the largest buildings. A reminder of economic development in the community during the land boom. Private. N.R. 1994.

732 - Haines City
Haines City ST. MARK'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH 102 N. 9th St. 1890. Late Gothic Revival. 1 story. Steeply pitched cross-gable roof. Oldest standing structure in the town. Private. N.R. 1994.

740 - Lake Wales
Lake Wales ATLANTIC COAST LINE RAILROAD DEPOT 325 S. Scenic Highway. 1928. Mediterranean Revival. 1 story. Barrel-tile roof. The only transportation building left from the town's early period. It is now a local transportation museum. Public. N.R. 1990.

744 - Lake Wales
Lake Wales FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH 338 E. Central Ave. 1923. Classical Revival. 2 stories. Considered an excellent example of its style. Monumental portico with colossal Ionic columns and pilasters. Private. N.R. 1990.

746 - Lake Wales
Lake Wales LAKE WALES COMMERCIAL HISTORIC DISTRICT 1913-1928. 21 buildings, 16 of historical interest. Masonry Vernacular and Revival styles predominate. The district is almost entirely composed of buildings associated with the early commercial development of the community between 1913 and 1928. Public and Private. N.R. 1990.

749 - Lake Wales
Lake Wales MOUNTAIN LAKE ESTATES HISTORIC DISTRICT 1920s+.101 buildings, 65 of historical interest. Classical Revival and other Revivals predominate. An exclusive residential area initially developed in the 1920s. Designed by Olmsted Brothers of Brookline, Massachusetts, near the highest point in Central Florida. Within the district are an 18-hole golf course and 2 properties earlier added to the National Register (El Retiro and the Colony House). Private. N.R. 1993.

733 - Lakeland
Lakeland BEACON HILL/ALTA VISTA RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT 1923-1940. 102 buildings, 77 of historical interest. Frame Vernacular, Bungalow and Colonial Revival are the predominate styles. The area contains single-family dwellings of 1 to 2 stories. Most are modest in scale. The majority were constructed in 1920s. Private. N.R. 1993.

734 - Lakeland
Lakeland EAST LAKE MORTON RESIDENTIAL AREA 1900-1940. 296 buildings, 215 of historical interest. Frame Vernacular, Bungalow, Mediterranean Revival styles predominate. Most of the buildings were built as residences, although there are schools and social clubs in the district. An early middle-class neighborhood. Public and Private. N.R. 1993.

735 - Lakeland
Lakeland FLORIDA SOUTHERN COLLEGE ARCHITECTURAL DISTRICT 1937-1955. 13 buildings. 7 structures designed by the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright and 2 by a student (Nils Schweizer), 1 Classical Revival structure. The 7 structures by Frank Lloyd Wright were designed during his organic period. These 7 Wright buildings are significantly different from his other works. In addition the site plan which Wright developed for the campus reflects the only tangible expression of his planning concepts as idealized by his "Broadacres City" plan. Private. N.R. 1975.

737 - Lakeland
Lakeland OLD LAKELAND HIGH SCHOOL COMPLEX 400 N. Florida Ave. Collegiate Gothic Revival. W.B. Talley and E.C. Hosford, architects. 4 buildings. The original main building, designed by Talley, was built in 1902 but burned in 1925. Replaced by a building designed by Hosford in 1926. Auditorium was constructed in 1924, gymnasium in 1926. Public. N.R. 1993.

739 - Lakeland
Lakeland SOUTH LAKE MORTON HISTORIC DISTRICT 1900-1942. 760 buildings within approximately 50 blocks. Almost without exception, the buildings are residential and of frame construction with wood siding or stucco, with 1- or 2-story front porches. Craftsman Bungalow style is common. The area is significant because of the large share of Bungalow-style structures (60 percent) followed by Frame Vernacular (25 percent). N.R. 1985.

750 - Vicinity of Lake Wales
Vicinity of Lake Wales BOK MOUNTAIN LAKE SANCTUARY AND SINGING TOWER 2 mi. N of Lake Wales. 1922. Gothic motif. Milton B. Medary, architect. 205-foot tower, steel frame, coquina stone, and marble facing, sculpted pinnacles, balcony, pointed arched entrance, elaborate carved screens, friezes and ornamentation depicting fables and natural and human scenes, large imported carillon. Conceived by Edward W. Bok, editor of Ladies Home Journal. The sanctuary consists of approximately 130 acres and was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. Private. N.R. 1972.

721 - Bartow
Bartow BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HOLLAND HOUSE 590 E. Stanford St. 1895. Frame Vernacular with Shingle-style elements. E.R. Wharton, architect. 2 and a half stories, frame, gabled roof sections, 1-story wraparound screened entrance porch. One of the finest examples of Shingle style in Florida. Boyhood home of the late U.S. Senator Spessard L. Holland. Private. N.R. 1975.

726 - Bartow
Bartow JOHN J. SWEARINGEN HOUSE 690 E. Church St. 1923+ . Colonial Revival. B. Clayton Bonfoey, architect. 2 stories, brick, monumental Ionic portico, 1-story gallery across the entire 1st-floor entrance facade. John J. Swearingen was a leading Florida attorney and a member of the state senate. One of the finest examples of Colonial Revival style in Polk County. Private. N.R. 1982.

727 - Fort Meade
Fort Meade CHRIST CHURCH (Episcopal) 526 N. Oak. 1889. Frame Vernacular with Gothic Revival elements. J. H. Weddell, architect. 1 story, gabled tin roof, off-center side-entrance porch, 2-story corner tower, stick-work belfry. Probably the oldest religious structure in the county. Considered an unusual example of Carpenter Gothic in its use of horizontal drop siding. Private. N.R. 1974.

729 - Haines City
Haines City OLD CENTRAL GRAMMAR SCHOOL 801 Ledwith Ave. 1925. Mission Revival. E.C. Hosford, architect. 2 stories. 5 main bays on front facade. It was the first modern educational facility erected in the city. Presently used as a cultural arts center. Public. N.R. 1994.

730 - Haines City
Haines City OLD HAINES CITY NATIONAL GUARD ARMORY 226 S. 6th St. 1932. Colonial Revival. 2 stories. Parapet-gable roof and pilasters that vertically divide the building. The only historic facility in the community that is related to the state militia and U.S. National Guard. Public. N.R. 1994.

741 - Lake Wales
Lake Wales CHALET SUZANNE 20 buildings, 15 of historical interest. Eclectic styles. A complex of distinctly eclectic buildings clustered around a collection of natural and man-made landscape features. The restaurant was opened in 1925 and long has had a national reputation. The Chalet is one of Central Florida's oldest and most important tourist attractions. Private. N.R. 1990.

742 - Lake Wales
Lake Wales CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT 1099 Hesperides Rd. 1927. Spanish Mission. P.C. Samuell, architect. 1 story. Considered a superb example of its style. Sold to the city of Lake Wales by the Catholic Diocese in 1989. It now is a local museum. Public. N.R. 1990.

743 - Lake Wales
Lake Wales DIXIE WALESBILT HOTEL (Grand Hotel) 115 N. 1st St. 1926. Masonry Vernacular with Mediterranean Revival elements. Fred A. Bishop, architect. 10 stories. One of the few historic skyscrapers in Florida. Hotel completed at the end of the Florida land boom and never realized its hopes. Still in use. Private. N.R. 1990.

745 - Lake Wales
Lake Wales LAKE WALES CITY HALL 152 E. Central Ave. 1928. Masonry Vernacular with Mediterranean Revival elements. George Jacobs, architect. 2 stories. Low, pitched hip roof with barrel tiles. The first building in the town to serve the local government. Completed at the end of the community's boom period. Public. N.R. 1990.

Lake Wales LAKE WALES MULTIPLE PROPERTY LISTING Lakeshore Blvd and Sessoms Ave. 1914-1916. Colonial Revival. 2 stories. 3 highly representative examples of Colonial Revival. Bullard House (1914), 644 S. Lakeshore Blvd; Johnson House (1914), 315 E. Sessoms Ave; Tillman House (1916), 301 E. Sessoms Ave. Residences of some of the most important early residents of the town. Private. N.R. 1990.

748 - Lake Wales
Lake Wales MOUNTAIN LAKE COLONY HOUSE 1916, 1921, 1925. Mediterranean Revival. Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. and Charles R. Wait, architects. 3 stories. Pergolas, loggias, balconets, and a barrel-tile roof. Original architect Olmsted was the son of one of the nation's most famous landscape architects. In its day one of Central Florida's most fashionable resort hotels. Still in use. Private. N.R. 1991.

736 - Lakeland
Lakeland LAKE MIRROR PROMENADE Lemon St. and Lake Mirror Dr. 1926-1928. Eclectic Classicism. Charles W. Leavitt, architect. Finely detailed, reinforced concrete seawall extending 2300 yards around lake, 540-foot concrete retaining wall, vaulted arched loggia, and numerous other structures. The promenade is a prominent example of the City Beautiful Movement in Florida. It has become an integral part of the city's comprehensive plan for civic improvement. Public. N.R. 1983.

738 - Lakeland
Lakeland POLK THEATER AND OFFICE BUILDING. 121 S. Florida Ave. 1927. Italian Renaissance. James E. Casale, architect. 4 stories. Typical of large theaters constructed in the 1920s. The interior conveys a Mediterranean atmosphere. Still in use. Private. N.R. 1993.

751 - Vicinity of Lake Wales
Vicinity of Lake Wales CASA DE JOSEFINA U.S. 27A, 2 mi. SE of Lake Wales. 1923. Eclectic with Italian, Spanish, Gothic, and other elements. Edward B. Stratton, architect. 1 and 2 stories, flat roof, with crenelated parapets, 2-story central pavilion with arcaded wings, decorative balconies with wrought-iron detail. Built as a residence for Polk County banker and realtor Irwin Arthur Yarnell. Private. N.R. 1975.

752 - Vicinity of Lake Wales
Vicinity of Lake Wales EL RETIRO U.S. 27A, at Mountain Lake. 1930-1932. Mediterranean Revival. Charles Wait, architect. 2 stories, masonry, stuccoed, windows and entrance cast stone, wrought-iron balconies. One of the last Mediterranean-Revival-style estates built in area before the Great Depression. The community in which the building is situated was designed to attract the nation's business elite. Private. N.R. 1985.

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