The Existential Stakes For Windermere's Town Hall
August 26, 2023 at 4:00:00 PM
To the Editor:
How soon they forget ...
Windermere's historic Town Hall, fronting the finest remaining small village Main Street left in the state, was instrumental in sending an over-developer packing a number of years ago. Or don't you recall the
70,000 square foot existential threat to Windermere's Town Hall and Main Street that caused the National Trust for Historic Preservation to step in with a National Trust "Threatened Listing?"
I made the "Threatened Listing" submission as Founder of Friends of Windermere. It took the National Trust five years (5) to grant that "Threatened Listing." That's how deeply-embedded and masked the over-development interests were in vehemently opposing any check on their over-development plans.
Messing with the crown jewels of Windermere is not necessary. Please Google these exact words,
"Stakes For Windermere, Winter Park." No need for a name or publication. Just those exact words.
I haven't just learned about this existential threat to part of the DNA of Windermere because Historic
Preservationists have noticed deterioration of the Windermere Town Hall Physical Plant. I've learned about this because this isn't about fixing what's already there. It's about attempting to repurpose Windermere's Town Hall for weddings, extra Main Street bathroom capacity, etc. ... everything except its intended purpose, a small village Town Hall where local government operates in a deeply historic context.
The New York Times covered our 2016 wedding, which featured two Port-o-Lets due to historic plumbing. Our honeymoon Hotel, a former Vanderbilt residence, had no air-conditioning for Historic Preservation reasons.
The able-bodied have been helping the disabled attend Windermere Town Hall meetings since the original architectural plans took life. Feeding the "Watch Your Step" mentality will cost you the architectural heritage, scenic views, and historic context that have distinguished historic Windermere from the also-rans. I've had family members in wheelchairs who have expressed similar sentiments.
Leave Windermere's historic Town Hall as untouched as possible. The exception being genuine, rather
than partisan agenda "repair needs."
Founder, Friends of Windermere
Founder, Friends of Winter Park
Founder, Friends of Cypress Gardens
Founder, Friends of Florida's Coasts
Recipient of the Florida Trust's 2019 Individual Distinguished Service Award