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Sam Stoltz Brought a Storybook World to Life in Central Florida


This vintage country club clubhouse follows a woodland lodge style of architecture which was one of Sam Stoltz’s preferred styles.  The wood clad exterior, grouped windows, massive stone chimney, bold pecky cypress beams, and simple gable roof forms all contribute to an over-all restful and welcoming design.  The design includes the club ballroom, a generously sized room suitable for banquets and wedding receptions. The building is located in what was then and remains a close-in suburban Orlando location.  The design is in keeping with many of the College Park homes surrounding the club, some of which were also designed by Sam Stoltz. Together, they comprise a neighborhood with an historic architectural appeal.


Dubsdred Country Club, College Park, photo credit John Dalles


Dubsdred Country Club is of the “Woodland Lodge Style” of Sam Stoltz’s work.  One of three general aesthetics he chose to work in. The Woodland Lodge Style usually has wood siding, simple gable roof forms, stone chimneys, exterior porches, grouped windows and French doors  These are hallmarks of Dubsdred, as we see it today, as well as other notable buildings in this style: the Carl Dann Residence (AKA "Dann Ranch", 3206 Greens Avenue, Winter Park, Florida - 1935.) and Carl Dann’s vacation home at 25343 Troon Avenue, Mount Plymouth, Sorrento, Florida - 1926, among others.  Those who lived in or visited such structures were to have a sense of getting away from it all, in the dappled shade of the forest, amid the quiet and beauty of nature.

 

Stoltz loved using coquina stone as perimeter landscaping walls, or incorporated into the building itself.  At Dubsdred, the huge and handsome chimney is a fine example of this penchant for utilizing native stone as a natural, organic feature. 

 

In spotlighting the work of Sam Stoltz we want to look at a place that is easily accessible to the general public, both outside and in.  That is frankly hard to find.  Most of Stoltz’s work was residential and continues to be enjoyed by private owners today.  We would never recommend anything but a passing glance from the public street or sidewalk at these many private residences.  Be very respectful if you go out looking at them.  But Dubsdred welcomes diners to the clubhouse Tap Room grill, and if you ask very nicely, they will let you take a look at the ballroom, which is the best-preserved portion of the building from the Sam Stoltz era.



Sam Stoltz) was born in Nebraska to farming parents who had moved there from Pennsylvania.  His family’s Pennsylvania Dutch origins are evident in his surname, "Stoltz" which is a shortened version of the very familiar "Stoltzfus" of Central Pennsylvania.  Sam was uninterested in farming, and a gifted artist, who became nationally known for his lively and realistic illustrations of poultry. He wanted to do more with his artistic talent, and certainly did in the architecture he created in the Orlando area.

 

A larger-than-life character who enjoyed sporting plus fours with coordinated hose and vests, he and his wife Patti relocated from Chicago to Central Florida in 1925, and it was full steam ahead in creating fantasy homes for adventurous clients, often with his longtime client, Central Florida entrepreneur and developer H. Carl Dann.  Today, these homes contribute tremendously to the architectural heritage of the Orlando area.

 

College Park, Winter Park, and Mount Plymouth, Florida, are among the best-known communities that Carl Dann and Sam Stoltz left lasting impressions upon.  You can see many of Stoltz’s works in all three places.

 

People of today may be surprised to learn that such a skilled architect as Stoltz was never a member of the AIA.  Remember he was working in an era of, as one person said to me, “Gentlemen Architects” whose successes were not tied to being registered architects.  Others who fail into that category include America’s most famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.


Sam Stoltz was born in Nebraska to farming parents who had moved there from Pennsylvania.  His family’s Pennsylvania Dutch origins are evident in his surname, "Stoltz" which is a shortened version of the very familiar "Stoltzfus" of Central Pennsylvania.  Sam was uninterested in farming, and a gifted artist, who became nationally known for his lively and realistic illustrations of poultry. He wanted to do more with his artistic talent, and certainly did in the architecture he created in the Orlando area.

 

A larger-than-life character who enjoyed sporting plus fours with coordinated hose and vests, he and his wife Patti relocated from Chicago to Central Florida in 1925, and it was full steam ahead in creating fantasy homes for adventurous clients, often with his longtime client, Central Florida entrepreneur and developer H. Carl Dann.  Today, these homes contribute tremendously to the architectural heritage of the Orlando area.

 

College Park, Winter Park, and Mount Plymouth, Florida, are among the best-known communities that Carl Dann and Sam Stoltz left lasting impressions upon.  You can see many of Stoltz’s works in all three places.

 

People of today may be surprised to learn that such a skilled architect as Stoltz was never a member of the AIA.  Remember he was working in an era of, as one person said to me, “Gentlemen Architects” whose successes were not tied to being registered architects.  Others who fail into that category include America’s most famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.

 

Here is what was told to me by Sam’s brother Will’s great-grandson:

"Sam did not care for farming at all. He was artistic and wanted to be an artist.... Some place on most of these buildings you will find his mark. The cardinal bird was his accepted trademark."

 

If you have a Sam Stoltz building, you may know where the cardinal is.  If you live in a vintage Central Florida house with a cardinal signature, it is probably by Sam Stoltz.  Just imagine if every architect would sign their work in such a way. It would be of tremendous help to architectural historians.


A Sam Stolz designed house built in Mount Plymouth, Florida


Regarding Mount Plymouth, (Hanford) Carl Dann was the developer and Sam Stoltz, his friend, designed the lavish resort hotel (destroyed by fire many years ago) and 18 whimsical residences.  Some of the houses remain, some have been remodeled to the point of being unrecognizable, and some have been torn down to make way for newer, nondescript houses.  The Mount Plymouth Hotel was only open during the "season" (Christmas through Easter) - guests could arrive in style in private planes, using the private airstrip.  The hotel patrons were not only notable (such as Kate Smith, Connie Mack, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle), they were highly affluent; many were members of the Chicago “crowd” (the most infamous being Al Capone).   

Sam Stoltz knew that life is too short not to enjoy being out of the ordinary, and helped others to achieve that intangible goal with the choices they made for their homes and other buildings.  Whether in the Spanish Revival (Sam called it "Spanish Orlando" or "Florida Spanish"), or a Woodland Lodge Style (of which Dubsdred Country Club is a fine example), or his over-the-top picturesque storybook cottages (sometimes dubbed "Tudor Revival"), they were noticeable and popular in the 1920s and 1930s, and have remained so. It is not every client who will go for a flamboyant Sam Stoltz residence, but for those who do, every day is like a fairy tale.


The old Courthouse in downtown Orlando, now the Orange County Regional History Center, was designed by architect Murry King. The Beaux Arts Neo-classical composition of carved limestone has a heavily rusticated base, colonnaded courtroom level, with an attic story above the bold projecting cornice. He is notable also for receiving the first architect’s license issued by the state in 1915. He died during the construction, never seeing it completed, but his son worked with him and saw it finished. Murry King also designed many homes, as well as several tall brick and stone hotels and banks along Orange Avenue still operating today.



And the available ARCHITECTURE GUIDE TO CENTRAL FLORIDA with essays, maps, addresses and full color photos of 300 buildings throughout 6 counties is for sale on our website:


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1件のコメント


john smith
john smith
2月15日

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