Bob and I like to ride our bikes on the weekends. We chose an area we want to ride to and explore, sometimes including a lunch stop or Starbucks visit. On one of our rides sometime in the last two years we happened upon a most unusual house - it had a deep sloping roof with other unique details, but looked to be abandoned (we did finally notice a car in the driveway). One of our first comments was how neat the the house would be if was renovated to its original condition. We passed the house on a few other occasions and always made the same remarks and observations.
A few months later started my slight obsession with exploring more of the architecture of James Gamble Rogers II. If you remember in this original post I mentioned that I had compiled a list of the addresses of the homes he designed, and we proceeded to ride our bikes or take Sunday drives to visit them. Most are located within Winter Park, however a few exist in Orlando proper. One in particular was listed on Laurel Road, which is a street in Winter Park. I couldn't find the address on Laurel Road and crossed it off my list assuming it had been torn down. After telling my mother about my James Gamble Rogers II adventures, she gave me this book:
This book is rich with details and history about our town of Winter Park, Florida - which, of course, includes the work of James Gamble Rogers II. I read through the book a few times, taking in the photos and stories of this great town. What happened next was my big aha moment. I had compared my list of addresses with the houses in this book to make sure I hadn't missed any, but one detail caught my eye - the address for the Dr. Ingram house listed it as being on Laurel Road in Orlando. I wondered if that was a misprint, or if there was a Laurel Road in Orlando. I quickly Googled it and discovered there was in fact a Laurel Road in Orlando - and I knew exactly the area. No sooner did I finish that discovery when it hit me that the house we had originally discovered months before was this same house. I flipped to the page in the book with the picture and knew it had to be the same house. I jumped in my car to prove it to myself. I was right. The house that we dreamed could be beautiful again, was a James Gamble Rogers II gem built in 1937. The story goes that the Ingram family wanted a home identical to the McAlester home (pictured on the cover above), but Rogers II refused to copy it exactly. Instead, he used the same floor plan, however incorporated French Provincial details on the exterior. I don't know the history of the home or how it arrived in its present state, but I dream of the day it will be lovingly restored. Here is the original photo of the home:
The Dr. Ingram house
842 Laurel Road
Below: The side view
Below: Another side/back view of the driveway area
Also see my post on Rollins College and James Gamble Rogers II's influence on the architecture.