Rally held to save historic Capen House in Winter Park

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WINTER PARK, Fla. - Supporters of Winter Park's Capen House rallied on Saturday to raise public awareness about their efforts to save the historic home from demolition.

The 1880s-era home on north Interlachen Avenue in Winter Park was sold in March and scheduled to be torn down. But the owners were met with widespread resistance from local residents and efforts were quickly arranged to save the house.

In July owners of the Capen House agreed to allow the home to be moved to the Albin Polasek Museum, just a few blocks away and across Lake Osceola. Since then, supporters have been working to raise funds to cover the cost of moving the house to the museum's grounds, which would be done using a barge.

A rally was held Saturday at nearby Central Park to raise funds and spread awareness about the historic house. More than two dozen supporters of the initiative gathered for the rally that included children's activities, music and community speakers.

The entire project comes at a price tag of about $650,000, but the move alone is just $400,000 and advocates said they've already raised half of that. The group is hoping to raise the remaining half by October 1 in order to hire more than 10 subcontractors to do the job.

"Now, more than ever, we need the people of this community, the corporations and the small businesses to contribute to save an irreplaceable part of our Winter Park heritage," executive director of the Polasek Museum, Debbie Komanski, said.

To move it to the museum, the Capen House will need to be separated from its foundation, cut in half and placed on a barge on Lake Osceola. Once there, museum officials hope to renovate the house for public use.