Keep The Capen House: Move It Or Lose It!
The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens, in partnership with the Friends of Casa Feliz and the Winter Park Historical Association, along with a leadership committee comprised of preservation-minded citizens, announce the official launch of a fundraising campaign to preserve the historic Capen House of Winter Park.
The official kick-off event for the fundraising campaign has tentatively been slated for Thursday, August 8, at the Polasek Museum at 12 noon.
The Capen House was built in 1885 by one of Winter Park’s founding fathers, James Seymour Capen. The plan is to transport the home from its current location on Interlachen Avenue to a large lakefront lot on the Polasek Museum property. The current owners, who delayed the demolition of the house at the request of community members, have accepted a letter of intent and will receive the final fundraising campaign proposal in the coming weeks.
“Relocating the Capen House to the Museum property is a mutually beneficial solution for the current owners, Winter Park residents, and the greater Central Florida community,” says Debbie Komanski, Executive Director of The Polasek. The Polasek Museum property, with a sweeping lawn to the water, can easily accommodate the 6,000 sq. ft. house which will be used for public events and education offices for the Museum. Moving the home by barge, not an unusual event in Florida simplifies the relocation effort and significantly reduces project costs.
Museum officials recently discovered that the Capen House and the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens are linked by friendship and family ties. Members of J.S. Capen’s family and Albin Polasek were close friends. The Museum owns sculptures of Capen descendants created by Polasek during his career in Chicago beginning in 1916.
According to Komanski, a rapidly growing contingent of community leaders and citizens are joining The Polasek, Friends of Casa Feliz, and the Winter Park Historical Association for the campaign. Saving the historic home has attracted interest throughout the U.S., with stories appearing in major newspapers and on preservation blogs. This is Winter Park’s most ambitious preservation project since the moving of another historic home, Casa Feliz, in 2001, to its current location on Park Avenue.
The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens is a 501 C 3 organization. If you are interested in donating to the APF/Capen House Campaign, visit www.polasek.org, call 407 647-6294, or mail your check to 633 Osceola Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789.by