Thursday, April 26, 2018

Walesbilt #AtoZChallenge #Blogboost

In my "R" post, I featured the Rhodesbilt Arcade.  Now, it's time for some more vintage Lake Wales, Florida.

On a January midweek afternoon, my spouse and I walked around downtown Lake Wales, Florida.  It was quiet.  Perhaps a little too quiet.

But the architecture drew us in.  I am no expert in architecture, but I enjoy old buildings.

Back in the 1920's, developers had high hopes for Lake Wales.  There was a land boom in this and other parts of Florida, a boom that eventually started to bust in the late 1920's, especially after the Great Depression took hold.

One of the distinctive buildings of that era was the Dixie Walesbilt Hotel, a 10 story building that opened in January of 1927.  Part owners in the building included actresses Gloria Swanson, Clara Bow and Mary Pickford.

But the building has sat, abandoned and rotting, for many years, as the building passed from one owner to another.  At one point there was a plan to turn this building into condos, but that was abandoned.  One can hope that the latest efforts at renovation result in the promised reopening of a boutique hotel, which will be called the Walesbilt.

A website called Abandoned Florida has pictures of the interior as the building undergoes renovation.  Imagine, interior archways built from Cuban mahogany.  Wood doors made from Tidewater Red Cypress. Terra cotta friezes. (It's enough to make me want to take a course in old historic buildings.)  If all goes well, this will reopen (this year?) as the Walesbilt Hotel. 

Day 26 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost.

"W" day in the #AtoZChallenge.  My theme "Florida outside the theme parks".


  1. Wow! I love that folks are rehabbing older buildings like these and keeping them true to their time. We have several in St Louis that have been saved. So many more needing it.

  2. I don't know much about old buildings, either, but I LOVE them! Gorgeous old hotel! Can't wait to see how the rest of the renovation goes . . .

  3. It's so sad when buildings such as these sit abandoned. I'm glad they're doing something with it now.

  4. I am always interested in the old buildings. I love this

  5. Alana,

    I hate seeing the deterioration of such a beautiful old building. I hope someone picks the renovation project up. It would make great condos. In downtown Knoxville, developers have turned many old businesses into upscale apartments and condos which attracts a lot of young people. Thanks for sharing and for stopping by!

    ~Curious as a Cathy
    A2Z iPad Art Sketch 'W' Water Glass


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