Winter Garden Heritage Foundation
In 1993, the City of Winter Garden joined forces with the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation to obtain a grant from the Florida Division of Historical Resources to conduct a survey of historic buildings in the municipality. The Division accepted the survey files, report, and National Register proposal in 1995.
Excerpts from the report, prepared by Historic Property Associates, Inc., include the following:
- Winter Garden, initially settled in the 1850s, began to grow significantly after the arrival of the railroad in the 1880s. Early settlement consisted of scattered farms and homesteads along the south shore of Lake Apopka. The local economy depended largely on citrus and vegetable production. By the turn of the century a small commercial district had emerged along Plant Street and residential neighborhoods began to appear.
- The historic development of the area spans from about 1890, the date of the oldest remaining buildings, through 1945. With few exceptions, the historic buildings in Winter Garden date between 1915 and 1940.
- The historic buildings of Winter Garden represent an important group of resources that contribute to the community's character and ambiance.
- The historic fabric of Winter Garden remains largely intact.
- Worthy of preservation efforts, these buildings provide a link between the old and new as Winter Garden enters the twenty-first century.
Historic Downtown Overlay District
In 2009, the City Commission created an Architectural Review and Historic Preservation Board to advise and make recommendations on new construction, demolitions, renovations and upgrades of buildings within the district. On January 11, 2010, the City Commission adopted Ordinance10-05, which established a Historic Downtown Architectural Overlay for the designated area in the City’s Historic Downtown District. The area is approximately 116 acres and includes 270 residential and commercial properties. The architectural overlay ordinance provides the standards and guidelines for major improvements to existing structures, renovations, redevelopment or new construction.
To learn more about the City of Winter Garden's history, please click here.