Preservation advocates voice concerns over demolishing historic home


WINTER PARK, Fla. - About 100 preservation advocates gathered to make their voices heard to city commissioners, and to try for a last minute reprieve to a historic Winter Park home Monday.

The so-called "City of Culture and Heritage" is set to demolish one of its oldest homes. That is not sitting well with dozens of preservationists, packing Monday's city commission meeting.

"It's important that we review how homes are demolished in the city," said resident Betsy Owens.

Any time after Thursday, the 128-year-old Capen House could be demolished.

The historic home at 520 North Interlachen Avenue recently sold for $2 million to a Winter Park couple.

The couple decided to tear it down and build anew.

"We all bear some responsibility for this perfect storm to take place," said Owens.

In 2007, Winter Park commissioners put the picturesque Capen House on the city's historic registry, but stripped the designation after it fell victim to foreclosure.

Without immunity from the register, there's nothing saving it from the wrecking ball.

Owens said she wants the city to change its rules for the sake of history.

"It's a dangerous precedent," said Owens.