City of Lake Wales Florida
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City of Lake Wales, Florida Depot Museum
0Terms & Definitions
1CSX Historic Corridor
2Atlantic Coast Line Depot
3Crystal Lodge
4Seaboard Air Line Depot
5Stuart-Dunn-Oliver House
6Old City Hall
7Dixie Walesbilt Hotel
8U.S. Post Office
9Lake Wales Town Clock
10Rhodesbilt Arcade
11J.T. Rhodes Building
12Western Union Building
13Lake Wales Pharmacy
14Caldwell-Temple Building
15Gibson Building
16Lake Wales State Bank
17Scenic Theater
18Bullard Building
19Crystal Lake Park
20Alexander Studio - Johnson Funeral Home
21Scott-Leeks Houses
22Stuart Park
23Bok Tower
25Chalet Suzanne
26Kirkland Gymnasium
27Tillman-Dowling House
28Johnson-Matteson House
29Jones-Sprott-Busbee House
30First Baptist Church
31Bullard-Rumfelt House
32Holy Spirit Catholic Church - Lake Wales Arts Center

note: this is a slightly abbreviated version of the Historic Architectural Tour. For the full tour, please visit the Depot Museum and pick up a detailed brochure


Historic Architectural Tour
Terms and Definitions

National Register Building

The National Register is the official list of culturally significant historic resources in the United States. The list is maintained by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Initially authorized by Congress in 1935 for the purpose of recognizing important federally-owned properties, the National Register was expanded in 1966 to include distinctive state and local properties as well. Nominated properties must gain acceptance at both the state and federal levels.

The criteria for selection emphasizes a building's quality of significance in American history, architecture, and culture. To gain acceptance for listing in the National Register, a building must be associated with historical events or people, exhibit distinctive stylistic character, represent the work of a distinguished architect or builder, or promise to yield important information about our common past.


BungalowThe Bungalow first appeared in the United States around the turn of the century, an import from southeast Asia, where their low-pitched roof lines, wide overhanging eaves, expansive porches, and bands of windows fitted the tropical climate. California, then Florida, initially adopted the style which quickly became popular throughout the country.

The typical Bungalow is small in size and almost exclusively used in residential design. Common traits include tapered porch posts, knee brackets beneath the eaves, and exposed rafters. The Bungalow became the popular favorite of middle class urban and small town dwellers who in the early twentieth century began using mortgage loan financing to acquire family homes.

Colonial Revival

Colonial RevivalThe Colonial Revival style became popular in the late 19th century and suggested a conscious attempt to imitate the historically significant buildings of colonial America. The style, which originally appeared in the Philadelphia Centennial exposition of 1876, gained further popularity amid a contemporary national effort to preserve several notable buildings. By the turn of the century, the style had become highly popular, especially in residential design.

Of the two approaches adopted in imitation of colonial buildings, the favored one emphasized attention to symmetry, proportion, and consistency of material in design. These buildings display a feeling of permanence, stability and confidence in the future.

The plan of a Colonial Revival building is generally rectangular, offering a symmetrical two-story facade beneath a gable or hip roof. Dormers often appeared on one or three slopes of the roof. Windows were frequently paired or flanked by blinds. The central doorway, the focal point of the main facade, was either protected by a small portico or contained within a full length or sweeping veranda.

Frame Vernacular

Frame VernacularThe stylistic description Frame Vernacular is used to describe buildings constructed of wood that have no defined or discernible style. The term "vernacular" means, literally, "by the people," and in architecture refers to buildings designed and generally constructed by lay or self-taught builders. The buildings did not represent major sylistic trends of the time. Instead, they reflected in their character and appearance the response of owners and builders to the local environment and their use of local materials.

Frame Vernacular buildings are usually rectangular in shape and covered by gable or hip roofs steep enough to accommodate an attic. Early examples of the style generally rested on brick piers, offering space beneath the building for circulation of air and protection from insects. Horizontal wood siding was the most common exterior fabric. The houses often featured porches or verandas. Decoration on the buildings was sparse, limited to ornamental woodwork such as patterned shingles, turned porch columns, or brackets that appeared to support the eaves.

Mediterranean Revival

Mediterranean RevivalThe Mediterranean Revival house was characterized by a low-pitched gable or hip roof covered with red tile that came in several forms. Flat roofs, often exhibiting a curved or stepped parapet, covered some Mediterranean buildings. Their exterior walls were invariably stuccoed. Porches provided an integral element of the style, frequently arcaded with semi-circular arches that took the form of a loggia with columns. The Mediterranean Revival building was usually one or two stories in height and contained at least one feature with vertical emphasis.

Building styles reflecting Spanish influence became widely popular in Florida during the 1920s. The Mediterranean influence initially appeared in St. Augustine in the 1880s, though most architectural historians ascribe its beginning to California. The style gained wide popularity during the Panama-California Exposition in San Diego, held in 1914 to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal, whose grounds featured buildings cast in the Spanish Renaissance style. Architects, builders and developers in Florida particularly favored the style because of the state's Spanish heritage and Mediterranean-like climate.


NeoclassicalThe Neoclassical style imitates the building styles of ancient Greece and Rome. The 1893 World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago generated great national interest in a revival of classical styles of architecture.

Many of the best known architects of the day designed buildings for the Exposition based on classical precedents which ranging from monumental copies of Greek temples to small models which drew heavily from designs of Adam, Georgian, and Early Classical Revival residences built in the United States during the eighteenth century.

The Exposition was well attended and publicized and soon the Neoclassical style became an important stylistic trend. The complex nature of the style made it particularly suited to large scale applications. The most exuberant designs are found on public, institutional and religious edifices.


The significance of the Shotgun house owes more to its social history than to its architectural design. Its name derives from an elongated rectangular shape: supposedly, a shotgun blast fired through the front door would emerge from the rear without hitting the walls. The style originated in Africa, immigrated to the West Indies, then entered the United States by way of New Orleans.

The context is invariably simple, three or four rooms strung along a single axis, long and narrow in shape. The buildings were frequently constructed on railroad lots and set in rows. To avoid repetition, subtle variations in the facade design emerged that included turned posts, special treatment of the lintels, different positioning of windows and doors, and perhaps an addition of cornice detailing.

Shotguns were constructed in number throughout the South, often as worker housing, and many failed to survive even the first generation. In some cities, notably New Orleans and Louisville, the Shotgun has become an object for rehabilitation.

Spanish Mission

Spanish MissionThe Spanish Mission style was conceived in the late 19th century as an imitation of the mission churches constructed throughout Spain's colonial territories in North America. The style originated in California and gained attention when the Southern Pacific Railways adopted it for station houses and resort hotels throughout the West. Mission style buildings are found almost exclusively in states that share a Spanish colonial heritage.

Curved parapets, bell towers, quatrefoil or arched windows, and arcaded entry porches constitute the signal elements of a Spanish Mission style building.

The Spanish Mission style was widely employed throughout Florida during the boom years of the 1920s. The style was adapted for a variety of building types, ranging from grandiose tourist hotels to two-room residences. The Spanish Mission style, together with the related Spanish Eclectic and Moorish Revival styles, came to symbolize Florida architecture.

Tudor Revival

Tudor RevivalThe Tudor Revival style enjoyed popularity from about 1900 to 1930. The design drew inspiration from Medieval English buildings, ranging from thatched roof folk cottages to grand manor houses. Most Tudor houses in Florida date from the 1920s.

Typical features of the style include steeply pitched roofs (usually side-gabled) often sporting intersecting extensions, decorative half-timbering, and massive end chimneys attached to an exterior wall. Often the chimneys appeared on the front facade of the residence.

Miscellaneous Terms Used in the Tour

Arcade - a continuous series of arches carried on piers, pilasters, or columns; or a commercial building containing an arched breezeway dividing rows of shops

Arcuate - curved like a bow; arched

Barrel tile - an interlocking semi-cylindrical roofing material made of fired clay

Bracket - a decorative support feature located under eaves or overhangs

Capital - the decorative, crowning feature of a column

Carillon - a set of stationary bells rung by hammers operated from a keyboard or by a mechanism

Corbel - successive courses of wood or masonry which are stepped upward and outward from a wall surface

Cornice - a projecting ornamental molding along the top of a wall; in classical architecture, the upper projecting member of an entablature

Cruciform plan - a floor plan or footprint of a building which forms a cross

Curvilinear parapet - the top of a wall which rises above the roof surface and offers a curved outline

Dentil - one of a series of small blocks forming a molding, often under a cornice

Dome - a semi-spherical structure on top of a building

Dormer - a secondary feature of a building housing a window or vent which is set upon the slope of a roof surface; dormers may provide ventilation, lighting, or auxiliary living space

Dropped cornice - a decorative molding forming a band across the facade of a building

Eaves - a portion of a a sloping roof that extends beyond the wall

Elevation - a side, front or rear view of a building

Entablature - the uppermost member of a classical order or columnar system consisting of an architrave, frieze, and cornice

Gable roof - a sloping roof which forms a triangular section where it meets the vertical wall surface

Half-timbering - a series of partially exposed structural or decorative wood beams spanning a gable end with stucco or masonry material

Hip roof - a roof with sloping ends and sides

Oculus window - a circular window, ususally non-operable, with multi-pane lights

Parapet - a wall, often used as a decorative feature, which rises above the roofline

Pediment - the low pitched triangular gable above a door, window, portico or entrance porch

Piers - masonry supports usually employed in a building foundation, or used as an elevated base for porch posts or columns

Pilaster - a rectangular support or pier projecting partially from a wall and treated architecurally as a column with a base, shaft and capital

Porte cochere - an open structure with a roof attached to a building, primarily used as a shelter for motor vehicles

Portico - a one-bay porch or entrance way which projects from a building that has classical columns, topped by a pediment or an entablature

Quatrefoil window - a window with an arched top

Quonset - a building shaped like a longitudinal half of a cylinder resting on its flat surface

Sidelight - a glass window pane located at the side of a door

Stepped parapet - a wall that rises above the roofline in a series of steps to a peak

Stucco - a masonry mortar-like material used as an exterior wall fabric

Transom - a window pane located above a door

Veranda - a continous porch which wraps around two or more elevations of a building

~ Historic Lake Wales, by William R. Adams
Southern Heritage Press, © 1992