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firemick

History of Orlando

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tHIS IS A MUST SEE WEBSITE. A glimpse of Orlando throughout the decades, with pics and profiles of all the important buildings back in the day to present. MUST SEE :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

http://www.cfhf.net/orlando/overview.htm

Old San Juan Hotel

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Old 1892 Orange County Courthouse and Lake Eola in background.

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Angebilt Hotel (10th and 11th floors caught on fire in 1983 but were successfully doused by OFD)

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San Juan Hotel and the Beacham Theatre

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Wow, that's beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

However, I'm saddened by the pictures of the San Juan Hotel on Orange Ave. That old hotel was as solid as a rock -- there was absolutely no excuse to tear it down. I heard that it took forever to be demolished because it had been built so well.

I believe it dated back to the 1890s. Solid brick, I think. What a shame.

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It doesn't mention it in the profile but it actually was severly damaged by a fire around the end of the 70's and beginning of the 80's (unsure the exact date)and was subsuquently torn down in 1981. Now there were two parts of this hotel, there was the 5 story part that was on the NW corner of Orange and Central built in 1886 and a second part being an 8 story tower facing Orange north of the 5 story part built in 1922. This 8 story tower sat next to Beacham Theatre (now Tabu). It is truly a shame as i would trade the (Wachovia) First Union tower back to this in a heartbeat.

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These pics are great. As a fairly new resident (4 months), what locations do you think still have the historic magic in town? Not residential projects - the commecial/industrial/retail lots. The way new builds are coming to light, where are the old places that should be preserved/restored? What is left that you felt should be saved?

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^ I've been to the History website before and I think it's great but ... Orlando and Orange, IMO, do a very poor job of promoting its history. Yep there is a website and there is the history center for those who take the time to see what is locked away there. But I'd like to see more history for everybody ... especially for those who aren't history buffs ... and who wouldn't take the time themselves to seek it out.

I'd like to see a statue of the mythological Orlando Reeves being slain by the indians along Lake Eola's shore as he tries to warn the soldiers. ... Can anyone confirm whether the Reeves House Condo on the shore of Lake Eola is named after Orando Reeves?

There should be statues of Bumby and Summerlin, early settlers. And Chaney, who had the first road built connecting Orlando to the coast (thus Old Cheney Highway). They have named roads for these people, but to most they are Road names, not people names.

There are some old facades downtown that should be preserved, but we shouldn't go overboard protecting everything just because it's old. Well done architecture should be preseved (first National, Kress) but some old stuff should be knocked down. The sense of history doesn't necessarily come from having old stuff all around but from knowing what went on before.

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^ agreed. As i've said many times, perhaps Orlando's most important historic figure is Zora Neale Hurston and yet the city has done little to promote this (granted a building is named after her and the Eatonville Festival is a success, but largely most people don't even know who she is). Why not have a large statue of her outside city hall instead of the stupid soccer thing, or even somewhere else around the downtown area, outside the new Federal Courthouse, or maybe in front of the library. Afterall, she wrote important books and short stories/plays about Orlando (and Florida folklore), and if people really want to know the history of this place then they have to look no further than Their Eyes Were Watching God (which she wrote in only seven weeks) or The Eatonville Chronicles. She pretty much set up the dramatic arts dpt at Rollins and Bethune Cookman as well.

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John Young?

In September 1962, Young was selected as an astronaut. He is the first person to fly in space six times from earth, and seven times counting his lunar liftoff. The first flight was with Gus Grissom in Gemini 3, the first manned Gemini mission, on March 23, 1965. This was a complete end-to-end test of the Gemini spacecraft, during which Gus accomplished the first manual change of orbit altitude and plane and the first lifting reentry, and Young operated the first computer on a manned spacecraft. On Gemini 10, July 18-21, 1966, Young, as Commander, and Mike Collins, as Pilot, completed a dual rendezvous with two separate Agena target vehicles. While Young flew close formation on the second Agena, Mike Collins did an extravehicular transfer to retrieve a micro meteorite detector from that Agena. On his third flight, May 18-26, 1969, Young was Command Module Pilot of Apollo 10. Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan were also on this mission which orbited the Moon, completed a lunar rendezvous, and tracked proposed lunar landing sites. His fourth space flight, Apollo 16, April 16-27, 1972, was a lunar exploration mission, with Young as Spacecraft Commander, and Ken Mattingly and Charlie Duke. Young and Duke set up scientific equipment and explored the lunar highlands at Descartes. They collected 200 pounds of rocks and drove over 16 miles in the lunar rover on three separate geology traverses.

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I remember in the late 70's there was a massive fire at the San Juan and for several years before it's demolition it was a major blight on the skyline with it's burnt up roof. I believe in it's last years the San Juan was a similar location like Parliament House with a gay nightclub and seedy accomodations. The Orange court Motel was really cool looking, sad to see that torn down, glad that sight is now being developed....opposing Tangerine Bowl teams would stay at the San Juan and Angebilt back in the day..

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History of Orlando? How about the history of all of these threads today. Welcome Metrowester. I'm just bustin balls. Its always good to have new members.

Thanks for the welcome, orlandonative! Been following ya'lls discussions for a couple of months now, decided to join in! :)

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Does anyone know anything about the history of African Amreicans in the Orlando area? I know that because there were no plantations in the region the traditional Southern economy never took a foothold. That being the case what were the conditions like for African Americans in the area?

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Does anyone know anything about the history of African Amreicans in the Orlando area? I know that because there were no plantations in the region the traditional Southern economy never took a foothold. That being the case what were the conditions like for African Americans in the area?

I know the town of Eatonville was settled by African Americans. My mom says that growing up in the 50's Orlando had the typical southern "whites only" and "coloreds only" laws. According to the Orlando Sentinel there were rarely any racial tensions in the city and the city had a prosperous african american neighborhood called Parramore that housed the "South Street Casino" where famous black musicians would perform. I believe the www.orlandosentinel.com has a special section that tells the history of Black Orlando. That's about all I know or can remember. Good Luck!!

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It's sad that old courthouse and library are gone ... those were probably the two coolest buildings in downtown and where ripped out to build two of the ugliest buildings in downtown...

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It's sad that old courthouse and library are gone ... those were probably the two coolest buildings in downtown and where ripped out to build two of the ugliest buildings in downtown...

albertson1.jpg

That library is really nice. I like our current library, though, albeit the current design may work better as a museum.

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That library is really nice. I like our current library, though, albeit the current design may work better as a museum.

Never thought about that, but you're right. I don't like it as a library, but what a great building for a museum.

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I remember in the late 70's there was a massive fire at the San Juan and for several years before it's demolition it was a major blight on the skyline with it's burnt up roof. I believe in it's last years the San Juan was a similar location like Parliament House with a gay nightclub and seedy accomodations. The Orange court Motel was really cool looking, sad to see that torn down, glad that sight is now being developed....opposing Tangerine Bowl teams would stay at the San Juan and Angebilt back in the day..

one of my cohorts has the doors of the san juan in her house. she and her husband lived there (and i thought owned a portion or had an investment) when the big fire happened. she has the funniest story about the drag queens coming out of the building and them all standing there watching the flames. sounds like something out of the birdcage.

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I know the town of Eatonville was settled by African Americans. My mom says that growing up in the 50's Orlando had the typical southern "whites only" and "coloreds only" laws. According to the Orlando Sentinel there were rarely any racial tensions in the city and the city had a prosperous african american neighborhood called Parramore that housed the "South Street Casino" where famous black musicians would perform. I believe the www.orlandosentinel.com has a special section that tells the history of Black Orlando. That's about all I know or can remember. Good Luck!!

I once read a book about a fictional family in an African American town in Florida, which closely resembled Eatonton. In the book the characters had never experienced contact with white people, and one of the characters never encountered racism until she went to Jacksonville. It's been so long ago and I cannot remember the name of the book. I'll try to think of it later.

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Let's resurrect this thread a little. As downtown changes it's important to remember what was here when discussions revolved around whether there was a glut in log cabins. :)

Here's a link to walking tour of downtown and Thornton Park.

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Re: the old San Juan Hotel - Back in the gay days of this place it was called Grand Central Station, and was wildly popular up to the fire. There were lots of rumors at the time that the fire was arson (developers, you know).

I wouldn't really call the accommodations there seedy, just pretty basic. On the weekends, there was never any vacancy. The place really gave the P-House a run for it's money.

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Re: the old San Juan Hotel - Back in the gay days of this place it was called Grand Central Station, and was wildly popular up to the fire. There were lots of rumors at the time that the fire was arson (developers, you know).

I wouldn't really call the accommodations there seedy, just pretty basic. On the weekends, there was never any vacancy. The place really gave the P-House a run for it's money.

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I once read a book about a fictional family in an African American town in Florida, which closely resembled Eatonton. In the book the characters had never experienced contact with white people, and one of the characters never encountered racism until she went to Jacksonville. It's been so long ago and I cannot remember the name of the book. I'll try to think of it later.

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