Orlando’s Historic Districts – Colonialtown South

By Scott Sidler October 25, 2011

Neighborhood Facts

 

  • Established as a historic district in 2000
  • Developed mainly between 1883 and 1945

In the 1910s and 1920s H. Carl Dann Sr. was a prominent real estate developer in the Orlando area. And it was his hand that developed some sixty early subdivisions in Orlando including parts of Lake Lawsona, Lake Eola Heights, Brookhaven, Colonial Park, Dubsdread Country Club, and Colonialtown South. Bounded roughly between Mills Ave on the West, Robinson St. on the South, Hillcrest St. to the North, and Altaloma Ave to the East, the first parts of the neighborhood were platted in 1883, but the largest area was developed starting in 1913 by Dann.

This was one of the last neighborhoods to follow traditional development processes in Orlando. Until WWII, most developments were purchased by a developer and individual parcels were sold off to individuals who either built their own home or brought in their own builder. When the GIs returned from the war, the massive housing need caused that model to change. Wide swaths of land were purchased, developed and quickly built out by a single builder with nearly identical houses. Speed was of the essence!

The neighborhood is mainly composed of residential structures built during the Florida Land Boom of the 1920s and contains examples of several styles including, Bungalows, Mission, Tudor Revival, Prairie, and several Minimal Traditional homes. Due to its long development and widely differing architectural tastes of its original residents the neighborhood has an almost eclectic feel as you walk through it. The variety of buildings that were once the height of residential design, creates a beautiful backdrop for this quiet neighborhood that is so close to downtown. The differing economic times that encompass its development from boom years to the depression to the Second World War are evident in the varying size and detailing of each of its homes showing the building patterns of lean years and lush years alike.

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