The Architectural Styles of Lake Park
Lake Park retains the original layout planned by the Olmstead brothers and Dr. John Nolan from the early 1920s. It is a series of rectangular blocks, most are oriented north-south except along the Intercoastal Waterway, and a few angular streets in the north center of the town. The majority of the buildings face north or south.
The distribution of business, industrial and residential areas remains largely the same as the original plan, with industry west of the railroad and Old Dixie Highway, and residential blocks stretching east to the Intracoastal. The major change is along US 1 (Federal Highway) where commercial buildings have replaced residences. 918 Park Avenue is the only original historic building remaining in the commercial area; all new development around this building is commercial.
The Town's historic buildings represent three phases of development: Florida Land Boom of 1920-1929; Depression/New Deal Era of 1929-1941; and World War II to post-war period of 1941-early 1950s. Sixty-three buildings remain from the initial settlement of the town; 15 buildings from the Depression Era; and 23 buildings from the dates 1941-1950. 92% of the recorded historic structures were built as private residences.
The Land Boom buildings are dominated by the Mediterranean Revival, Mission, Spanish Eclectic and Craftsman Bungalow styles. The subsequent periods are represented by the general category of Masonry and Frame Vernacular, but this includes specific examples of styles like Ranch and Minimal Traditional houses.
The original model homes built by Harry Kelsey were in the Craftsman Bungalow style, which originated in the late 19th century and was popularized by the publisher of Craftsman Magazine, Gustave Stickley. The style is most often seen in frame buildings, although masonry construction is sometimes used. In many cases, the lower walls are masonry while the upper walls are frame with clapboard, shingles or stucco. Plans are irregular in shape, with a general horizontal feel. The style is characterized by low-pitched gable roofs with wide overhanging eaves, often with decorative beams or braces under the gables. The rafter ends are usually exposed.
Porches extend either partially or totally across the front, supported by tapered square columns, frequently supported by pedestals extending to the ground. The pedestals and chimneys are often stone. Windows are usually grouped; they are sash style, frequently with multi-pane upper sashes. Rows of small single-pane windows and transoms over windows and doors are common. Ornament includes decorative beams and rafter ends, as well as false half timbering.
The Mission style originated in California in the 1890s, influenced by the California mission churches of the 18th century. Buildings are marked by the distinctive Mission-shaped dormers or parapets, red tile roofing, and stuccoed walls. Flat roofs with parapets are typical, often with tiled copings, scuppers or vents near the roofline. One-story porches are supported by large, square piers with arches above. Visor or pent roofs cantilevered out from the walls over windows and doors are common. Windows range from wood-framed sash types to multi-pane casements. The facades can be either symmetrical or asymmetrical. Decorative quatrefoil (4-lobed) windows are common and patterned tile, carved stone or other decorative details are occasionally used. Larger examples of the Mission style may include bell towers.
The Mediterranean Revival style shares many of the Mission characteristics, although it tends to be somewhat more ornamented. It also originated in early 20th century California, and was heavily influenced by Latin American architecture. The style was well suited to Florida's climate and remained popular between 1915 and 1945. The style is characterized by low-pitched red-tiled hip roofs and stucco exteriors. Buildings range from one to 2 stories. Major windows and doors are marked by semicircular arches. Doors are wood and may be ornamented with tiles, carved or cast stone, or pilasters. Focal windows are sometimes tripartite with stained glass. Wrought iron or wood balconies or window grilles are common. Other features may include decorative tiles and exposed rafter tails.
Masonry Vernacular and Frame Vernacular
Vernacular is not really a style; rather, it describes a category of simple, largely unornamented structures built from readily available materials. It includes a number of variations or styles within the category, including the Ranch house, and the Minimal Traditional house. Concrete block is the most common material used in the Lake Park area for this category, although it is sometimes stuccoed. In some cases, decorative stucco or brick bands are present, particularly under or over windows and around doors. Decorative vents are used at the attic level and decorative concrete block walls are used along walks or at entries. Windows may be metal casements, fixed plate glass or bays. Roofs tend to be low-pitched gable or cross gables, although hip roofs are also used. Roofing is composite shingles.
The Minimal Traditional form has little eave overhang and often includes a large chimney and a front-facing gable element. These houses are built of a variety of materials or combinations, but have little ornamentation.
The Ranch is a wide, low form with a low-pitched gable roof. They tend to be asymmetrical and can be built in a variety of materials. Decoration tends to be limited to porch supports and shutters. Both ribbon windows and large picture windows are common, as are partially enclosed courtyards or patios in the rear of the house.