Monday, August 31, 2009

Founded in 1923

Ye olde genealogy database brought it to the attention of yours truly that it was on this date back in 1923 that his great-grandparents were married in Orlando, Florida.

A little internet surfing revealed that was a banner year for new beginnings around this little corner of heaven, not just the next chapter in the Morgan family history.

1923 also saw:

* The construction of Orlando's first public library building, thanks to the donation of a generous winter resident named Albertson.

* The opening of Dubsdread Golf Course in College Park.

* The completion of the State Bank of Orlando building downtown.

* The first spring training game at the new baseball field named for local legend Joe Tinker, of "Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance" fame.

* The founding of an impressive municipal utilities complex along the south shores of Lake Ivanhoe.

Unfortunately, all of these foundations proved somewhat shaky over the long run. My great-grandparents' marriage ended abruptly and tragically in 1927. And, the municipal institutions didn't fare much better:

* The original library was replaced by one of the most hideous structures in the country, and dropped the generous Mr. Albertson's name in the process.

* Dubsdread failed during the Great Depression and had to be taken over by the city government.

* The State Bank of Orlando doesn't exist anymore.

* Tinker Field has for years been sitting largely unused in the shadow of the Citrus Bowl during Spring Training.

* And, the municipal utility building was long ago taken over by the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

Kinda makes you wonder what the fate will be of all the big brainchild projects currently underway in The City Beautiful, doesn't it?

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