Another neighborhood in Downtown Orlando is pursuing historic district status. A portion of the Lawsona/Fern Creek Neighborhood called “Forest Manor” has begun the process to gain the protection and recognition that comes with the City’s historic district designation. Resident Dominic D’Amato recognized the character and historic importance of the area, and so he and his wife moved into the neighborhood four years ago. Jarrett Bradbury moved in two years ago and became involved with the Lawsona/Fern Creek Neighborhood Association along with D’Amato. Together, they are spearheading the historic district effort.
A few years ago, they began to notice that many homes in the area were being torn down and rebuilt with new construction. While appealing in certain fashions, in their eyes it was stripping the neighborhood of its history and how it came to be. They decided to speak with Orlando’s Historic Preservation Officer, Richard Forbes, to learn more about the process of creating a historic district. The Lake Lawsona Historic District ends at Hampton Avenue and Central Boulevard on its eastern side. D’Amato and Bradbury felt the bungalows and mid-century modern homes in the remaining part of the neighborhood had more historic significance than some might know.
The Orlando Executive Airport, which was built in 1928 as the Orlando Municipal Airport, was later converted in 1940 to Orlando Army Air Base and was used as a training facility for the military. The homes in Forest Manor housed those who were stationed and worked there during and after the war.
Their ultimate goal is to preserve the historical value of this area and the homes that were part of that era. Much of the property was originally owned by a single family for many years, but was sold in the 1930s to a developer who in turn named this area “Forest Manor.” Thus, they are seeking to add the “Forest Manor Historic District” to the City of Orlando’s six existing districts.
The proposed area would be south of Washington Street, west of Glenwood Avenue (including the east side of Glenwood), north of South Street, and east of McJordan Avenue. Forest Manor joins Lake Davis/Greenwood in their pursuit of Historic District status.
To move the process forward for a property review by the City, the group needs to obtain petition signatures of 15 percent of the affected owners, and are close to having that. The Lawsona/Fern Creek Neighborhood Association also voted a year ago to support the group’s efforts. If you would like to learn more and sign the petition, you can visit surveymonkey.com/r/SMLB3BX.