History

Orlando’s historic districts: a history of protecting history


1980 started off as kind of a bleak year. Mortgage rates hovered around 16 percent, the country was hobbling in an economic malaise, and disco had officially been declared dead. Growth in downtown Orlando, like many southern towns, was focused on adding modern conveniences, with little regard to protecting significant historic architectural charms. Formerly glorious circa 1890 buildings were summarily […]

The way we were: Murder at the San Juan


“Three Orlando men, an ex-constable, an ex-convict, and a physician-chiropractor, were in the county jail last night after being held by a coroner’s jury for the first degree poison liquor murder of Dolores Myerly, 19-year-old transient ‘butterfly’…” This February 20, 1938 lead in the Sunday Sentinel Star newspaper, had all the trappings of an old television murder mystery. In the […]

Revisiting downtown Orlando’s sanitariums


Today, visitors and residents of downtown Orlando may not take notice of the unassuming three-story building at the southeast corner of Central Boulevard and Magnolia. But this 107-year-old building, currently occupied by the Stagger Inn, was long ago home to one of Orlando’s first hospitals, the McEwan Clinic. Dr. John McEwan moved to Orlando in 1906 to work for Dr. […]

Ralph Bagley: An Art Legend


Ralph L. Bagley is a household name for many art students growing up in Orlando. His passion for teaching art and his integral role in the community earned him the posthumous title of Art Legend of Orange County in 2015. Ralph Bagley was born in Missouri in 1913 and moved to Orlando with his wife Marianne in 1950. Once here, […]


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