Lake Eola Heights


Designated as a Local Historic District in 1989, before being lifted up in the US Historic District on January 16, 1992, the Lake Eola Heights is the most recognized neighborhood in Orlando.

It's probably the oldest and most architecturally diverse neighborhoods in the city. The neighborhood is bounded by Hillcrest Street, North Hyer Avenue, Ridgewood Street and North Magnolia Avenue.

The former owner of the Lake Eola Heights was Jacob Summerlin, who was named as the first child born in Florida after the land was surrendered by the Spanish. The name Lake Eola was decided by his sons after a lady they simply knew. When Orlando was incorporated under the law of Florida in 1875, Jacob Summerlin became its first City Council President.


lake eola heights historic district in orlando

In this two hundred acre neighborhood was a plantation of citrus groves in the late 1800s. The owner of the, Mr. Summerlin have to brave away the big freeze that happened in 1894 to 1895 that yielded to the decision of transforming half of the land into a residential area, thus the formation and erection of various vernacular clapboard farmhouses. These houses which were built between 1890 and 1911, with styles of diversity emerged in the following years. Minimal Traditional, Mission revival, Craftsman, Colonial Revival and Art Deco are some of the designs that have graced the neighborhood. Aside from the architecturally-magnificent homes gave rise to the establishment of schools, religious institutions and commercial buildings that have continually served the residents of the city.

Lake Eola consists of 487 historic buildings. Among the most popular one is the house in 421 East Amelia Street. This house built Craftsman style in 1923 is well-known for its full width front porch. The Mediterranean Revival Atha Apartments, situated at 411-415 East Livingston street are another noteworthy examples of Craftsman-inspired works. The religious buildings would also serve as jaw-dropping and uniquely tailored structures. The Evangelical Lutheran Church has a Gothic feel, while the Broadway United Methodist Church is Neoclassical in form. These churches were built in 1926 and 1922, respectively. A school, on the other hand, pictures a perfect reference to Mediterranean Revival Style. It's the James Cathedral School that was built in 1928. It's well-known for the bell tower.

Property owners who would be deciding to make exterior refurbishments must first ask permission, the Certificate of Appropriateness, from the Historic Preservation Board. However, these changes must only minimally impact the appearance of the property. Such alterations that would require landscaping and repainting may not be approved. In return, the residents will receive benefits for preserving a Historic structure: the Federal tax credit that would give back 20% of the expenditures made by the resident for the preservation, the Revolving Law Fund that entails owners to borrow $5,000 for five years to undertake the exterior projects and the Property Tax Exemption.