Today was SO hot that I knew I should have started biking way earlier than I did. But I left the house at 11:45 and it was like walking into a wall of soup– and not gazpacho. More like boiling pea soup. So you go slow– two-wheeled ambling rather than racing, which is impossible to do in this town anyway what with the traffic and the thousands of parked landscaping and delivery trucks crowding the streets during the day. “How nice and quiet it must be when you bike ride,” people say to me. Wrong. I am serenaded by an orchestra composed of lawnmowers and those damned exhaust-belching, shrieking leaf blowers.
Today wasn’t so bad. I went west into Winter Park, mostly along the Aloma-Osceloa-Brewer-Fairbanks route, and then the little streets over in Hannibal Square. Here are some shots which I decided to post in black and white, just to see what some of my the sites look like when the hot sun bleaches all the color out of them. And then, some things still with us from the past are made to be seen in black and white…
This very old house is on Aloma Avenue, built in 1901. I hope I don’t jinx it by showing it because it seems like the sort of house that the town likes to tear down to replace with a little cement palazzo. (There are no historic districts in Winter Park.)
I’ve always loved this house on the Aloma-Brewer curve. Built in 1926, it’s being gutted by the current owners; only a few exterior walls are standing.
Here’s another ancient beauty. It’s at the south end of Bonita Drive. Originally called Eastbank, it was built in 1883– one of the oldest homes in town.
The central areas of Winter Park are laced with canals connecting the big lakes. The boat tour takes you along some of them.
A tiny gem from 1935 on Osceola Court.
All Saints Episcopal (1925).
A church in Hannibal Square, the traditionallyAfrican-American west side of Winter Park.
A house in Hannibal Square, from 1902.
Looking out across Lake Virginia from Dinky Dock at the south end of Ollie Avenue.
On Osceola Avenue, just near the end of the bike ramp that plunges off Brewer hill. From 1935.
Much more respectable these days, this beauty from 1899 was owned by a tax evader / drug smuggler sometime in the 1970s. To get this photo, one has to bike down a short stretch now marked “Private Drive.” One of these days I am going to be set upon by the hounds!
A view toward the chapel at Rollins College, from Lake Virginia.
When I returned home and started looking up the facts on some of these houses, I found a lot of brochures I’d been saving. A little booklet that the Junior League produced in 1980 features a lot of historical buildings that are no longer around. While I realize that the bulldozers of progress roll inexorably on, I also lament the permanent, irretrievable loss of those beautiful structures.