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
Dixie Walesbilt Hotel
Dixie Walesbilt Hotel
115 North First Street
Built 1926
National Register Building

Originally named the "Dixie Walesbilt," the building now known as the Grand Hotel, a ten-story "skyscraper," stands as enduring testimony to the spirited optimism of the Great Florida Boom Period.

One of a small remaining number of historic skyscrapers constructed in Florida during the 1920s, the hotel, which originally cost $500,000, was financed through the local sale of stock in the enterprise. Its doors opened to the public in 1927, shortly after the boom had begun to collapse.

The building is an excellent example of a "three-part block," composed of a base, shaft, and cap, all noticeably divided. The original examples of the three-part building appeared in the 1850s when technology and rising urban land values created a need for harmonious design in high-rise architecture. By 1900 the style had matured, and it remained popular through the 1920s.

The Dixie Walesbilt has experienced little alteration. It symbolizes the dreams of residents who thought the Boom would last forever and that Lake Wales would become the great metropolis of the Ridgeland.

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