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August 6, 2009

Casa Feliz Historical Restoration Project

From the Casa Feliz website:

Casa Feliz, or “Happy House” in Spanish, is the signature residential work of noted architect James Gamble Rogers II. Initially known as the Barbour Estate, this Andalusian-style masonry farmhouse has significantly influenced the architectural and cultural aspects of this community. In 1932, when Massuchusetts industrialist Robert Bruce Barbour commissioned Rogers to design a home on the shore of Lake Osceola, the young architect described it as a “dream come true.” Barbour offered Rogers unheard-of freedom for an architect; “Design it any way you like. If I don’t like it, I’ll sell it.” Thus, perhaps more than any of Rogers’ buildings, Casa Feliz bears his imprimatur. Built during the Great Depression for a cost of $28,000, the house was Rogers’ only project at the time. He set up hid drawing board on site, rolling up his shirt sleeves to help with the carpentry and masonry.

If you lived in Central Florida at the time, you will remember the battle for the preservation of this home. It was in the news locally for months.

In 2000 the home was going to be destroyed. Local outcry led to protest which led to fundraising which ultimately led to the preservation of the Casa Feliz home.

The entire home was moved about three hundred yards to its present location on Park Avenue in Winter Park, Florida. Read more about it here http://www.casafeliz.us/index.html

The home has been entirely restored, except for the kitchen area.

Now, in conjunction with National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) and Omega cabinetry, S & W Kitchens has been selected as the Kitchen Remodeling Company to bring back the original styling’s and finishes of this living piece of history.

Using copies of the original Blue Prints circa 1933 we have undertaken the task of this restoration. The home is currently a museum and hosts private parties.We are currently working with the caterer that has exclusive use of the working kitchen, the Board of Director’s of the Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum and the son of the original Architect, Jack Rogers. Please check back for updates on this project.

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