9 facts about Winter Park: A small city with a rich history

Winter Park is city north of Orlando, famous for its parks, stately trees and quaint downtown.

WINTER PARK, Fla. — Below are some interesting facts about the beautiful city, according to Winter Park’s website,

1. Chartered in 1887, the city was originally developed as a winter resort for wealthy Northerners seeking refuge from the harsh winters and a tranquil place to rest and relax.
2. The city was originally named Lakeview in 1858 and renamed Osceola in 1870. Eleven years later, the name Winter Park was chosen by its founders. Loring Chase and Oliver Chapman, who during an informal discussion, decided they wanted the name to be something about a park in winter.
3. Rollins College, the oldest college in Florida, was founded in 1885 by New England Congregationalists who sought to bring their style of liberal arts education to Florida.
4. Famous children’s show host Fred Rogers was an alumnus of Rollins College. Rogers donated his famous sweater and sneakers to the college and spent his winters in Winter Park.
5. The Winter Park sinkhole, located west of Denning Drive and north of Fairbanks Avenue, nearly swallowed an entire city block, including automobiles and a house, in 1981. The city has since stabilized the shore of the sinkhole and has added landscaping so that the area resembles a small lake.
6. The city’s most prominent features include its lakes, tree canopy, bricked streets, shopping district on Park Avenue, Rollins College and Central Park.
7. The city is also famous for the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, which draws over 250,000 visitors each year to Central Park.
8. Actor Anthony Perkins, known for his role as Norman Bates in Psycho, is also a Rollins College alumnus.
9. Winter Park’s population is up from 22,339 in 1980, largely due to annexation. The city is 9 square miles in area, and its average elevation is 100 feet above sea level.