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The Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum, like the Capen-Showalter House, was transplant ed from its original site on the shores of Lake Osceola. Architect ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� as it was then known, was arguably the iconic architect’s masterpiece. Suffice it to say, there was quite the civic hoo-ha in 2000, when a new owner bought the property with plans to tear down the now-neglected structure and replace it with a brand-spanking new mansion on the valuable waterfront lot. Preservationists raised more than $1 million to move the home, not by lake but by land, 300 yards across Interlachen Avenue to a city-owned site adjacent to the Winter Park Golf Course. Rather than barges, an array of 20 pneumatically leveled dollies were employed. Betsy Rogers Owens, executive director of the Friends of Casa Feliz, has spent the past decade overseeing the house her grandfather designed. But she introduces it to a visitor with the admiration of someone who has just discovered its simple splendor. Come see its intimate courtyard, lined with bricks recovered from an old Orlando armory, she says. Note the “human scale.” Appreciate its “wonderful, shaggy appearance,” with a broken archway designed to simulate aging. On behalf of the Friends of Casa Feliz, Owens has fostered an appreciation of the city’s architectural heritage by promoting such events as the James Gamble Rogers II Colloquium on Historic Preservation, held each May. And she’s usually leading the charge for strengthened historic-preservation requirements. Whenever Owens needs a reminder of why any of this matters, she can walk from her tiny office on the second floor to a downstairs room, where her grandfather’s sturdy drawing table occupies a corner and images of his graceful homes and other buildings adorn the walls. “What appeals to me about my grandfather’s architecture is his artistry and attention to detail,” she says. “Nowadays people build to impress. He didn’t. His homes were built to nestle into the surrounding neighborhood rather than jut out from it.” 38 LIVING IN WINTER PARK Casa Feliz, which sits just south of the Morse, hosts “Music at the Casa,” a series of free acoustic concerts, Sundays from noon to 3 p.m. The museum is also open Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to noon, although private tours of 10 or more guests at other times can also be arranged. Admission is also free. Call 407-628-8200 or visit casafeliz.us for more information. That’s our rundown of the inner circle of Winter Park Museums. Now let’s buckle up and take in a quick driving tour. Here’s a look at three noteworthy cultural attractions just a short drive from Park Avenue. ENZIAN Central Florida’s only art-movie house is just beyond Winter Park’s city limits in the neighboring community of Maitland. Drive south on Park Avenue to where it dead-ends into U.S. 17-92 and turn right. Enzian is just a couple of blocks down. We’re including it in this list because it’s a museum, of sorts — one that just happens to curate films rather than paintings. Indeed, this is no strip-mall multiplex. It’s one of Central Florida’s most cherished cultural landmarks — one that resembles an understated country club more than a movie theater, with an outdoor restaurant situated between towering live oaks and an intimate, cabaret-style movie theater just inside. (Two more small theaters are on the way, thanks to a proposed $6 million expansion.) Enzian is a non-profit establishment with a Winter Park connection: It was developed by the family of John Tiedtke, a philanthropist who for decades ran (and mostly funded) the storied Bach Festival Society of Winter Park. The big event of the year at Enzian is the Florida Film Festival, which every April brings dozens of the world’s best independently produced new features, documentaries, animated films and shorts to Central Florida. On a more modest level, Enzian partners with the City of Winter Park to present its “Popcorn Flicks in the Park” series on the second Thursday of each PHOTO BY WINTER PARK PICTURES


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