Winter Park FL
“City of Culture and Heritage”The venerable, moss-draped oaks of the Olde Winter Park district are in themselves a testament to the rich history of this Central Florida city. Lying in their sun-dappled shade are buildings that date back around a hundred years and more, evoking the feel of a long-gone age and time that – here, at least – feels as near as yesterday. Practically every major American architectural movement from the 1800s to the turn of the 20th century is represented here, from the Queen Anne, Gothic, Late Gothic, Classical and Colonial Revival styles of the late 19th century to the Mission and Craftsman styles of the early 1900s.
The first European to live in the area that would become Winter Park, FL was one David Mizell, Jr. who purchased an eight-acre plot of land near Lakes Berry, Virginia and Mizell (which was named after him). Eventually this lone homestead would grow into a settlement called Lake View which, at the advent of a post office in 1870, would go by the name of Osceola (the Seminole war chief, a popular figure in Florida history).
The area remained relatively quiet until a track of the South Florida Railroad was laid down near Osceola. Not long after that, a couple of wealthy New England businessmen got off the train and discovered themselves in paradise. They bought land and planned the town that would become Winter Park, FL. It was the first centrally planned community in the state and became a favorite vacation spot of well-heeled Northeners escaping from the chill of winter (hence the name).
Today, Winter Park, FL remains a destination city, filled to the brim with natural and cultural attractions that have been drawing people back year after year.