The History of College Park in Orlando, Florida

College Park has long been one of Orlando’s traditional, family-oriented neighborhoods, but has in recent years, taken on the cachet of “cool, hip and trendy.” This unique community, located just northwest of Downtown Orlando, is filled with bungalow style homes built in the early 1900’s, lakes, shops, restaurants and so much more. You’ll notice from a casual drive along its brick-lined streets that many of the streets have been named after famous colleges like Princeton, Harvard and Yale – just another quaint aspect to this one-of-a-kind neighborhood. College Park, while well known as a shopping and dining destination, is now considered a trendy and popular place to call home.

Citrus grower John Ericsson built the first known home in College Park at 19 West Princeton, in the middle of what was then an 80-acre grove. Other settlers soon followed, especially after the arrival of the South Florida Railroad in 1880, including: Adam Given, Marshall Porter, James Wilcox, Algernon Hayden, John W. Childress, and George Russell.

The Great Freeze during the winter of 1894-1895 halted growth in the neighborhood for over a decade.

New residents began arriving in large numbers during the real estate boom of the 1920s, when the City of Orlando expanded its northern boundary north to Par Street to include College Park. It was during this decade that many of the neighborhood's best-known subdivisions were platted, including:

  • Walter Rose's Rosemere in 1921.
  • H. Carl Dann's Dubsdread in 1923.
  • J.P. Holbrook's Edgewater Heights in 1924.
  • Frank L. Anderson's Anderson Park also in 1924.
The boom turned into a bust during the Great Depression of the 1930s, but savvy businessman Welborn C. Phillips began buying up many of the remaining vacant lots in College Park—particularly those west of Edgewater Drive—and was well-positioned for the post-World War II boom.

During the post-war years, the neighborhood was home both to astronaut John Young, who grew up in his parents' home at 815 West Princeton Street, and beat generation writer Jack Kerouac who lived at 1418 Clouser Avenue when his masterpiece 'On the Road' was published as well as when he wrote the follow-up, 'The Dharma Bums'. The house now operates as a non-profit called the Kerouac Project, a haven for up-and-coming writers. Not only is it a unique tribute to Kerouac, it established Orlando on the international literary map.


College Park is quickly and easily accessed from Colonial Drive by heading North on Edgewater Drive,

and from I-4 by taking the Princeton Exit (#85) and heading West to Edgewater Drive.



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College Park Neighborhood Association 

A group of residents who actively work to support and enhance the College Park Community.

They have events like Sunday In The Park, Historic Homes Tour and more. 

Visit their website: CPNA Website


College Park Community Paper 

We have a wonderful community paper that delivers the good news happening in College Park each month.

Check out their website: Community Paper




CONTACT US

College Park Main Street
648 Dartmouth Street
Orlando, FL  32804

(407) 392-1717

information@collegeparkmainstreet.com

 


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