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Tribute To A Departing Landmark

American Federal Building002_600

Thanks to HuntonBrady Architects, the Orlando Business Journal has posted an archive of old photos of downtown’s iconic “round building,” the American Federal Building.

Amer Fed Bldg

The building is being dismantled to make way for new development adjacent to the soon to be opened Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center. Preservationists were unsuccessful at saving the structure, but the precast screen wrapping the second and third floors is being saved for repurposing to honor the memory of the beloved landmark.

The original building was built in 1963 by Jack Jennings & Sons. Sometime thereafter the upper glass section was added. Frank Sheehy worked on the design of this building as a young architect, working for Bob Murphy, a Charleston, SC native and Harvard graduate. The firm he founded still exists today under the name, HuntonBrady architects. Bob settled in Orlando in 1947 upon retiring from the Army Air Corps. He was educated under Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus school and one of the pioneering masters of modern architecture.

Here is a link to a great article by Richard Bilbao of the Orlando Business Journal on the American Federal Building. It includes a photo Gallery including pictures of when it was only 3 stories, and also when when the upper glass tower was added:

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