Architect Donovan Dean

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Architect Donovan Dean

Architect Donovan Dean

December 22, 2016

Architect Donovan Dean describes his career path to Central Florida in this excerpt from an oral history interview with the Orlando native at The University Club of Orlando on June 23, 2016.

LISTEN Part II (19:57)

Came down here in '71 the month that Disney announced, well Disney opened in October of '71. Schweizer Associates in Winter Park, we grew from 30 to 120 people while I was there. It was a major growth spurt. Lived in a rented house in Winter Park for two and a half years and when we left we had a pile of rent notices, throwing money down the drain so we bought a house in Orlando. Opened an office, worked out of my third bedroom for a year and a half.

Then moved into an office in Loch Haven Park. Left Schweizer in '73. And then '75 came along with a fuel crises, oil crunch. Terrible times for the economy here. And so we survived that on our own. And I said if we can survive that we can survive anything. I was in practice until 2009. So from '73 to 2009, whatever that is, thirty something years. Little small architect, had my office on North Magnolia Avenue. 615 North Magnolia for a while. It's now been renovated. I think it's a vet clinic now. Then I moved to 740 N. Magnolia which I just sold the building. It's a one story building, Art Deco built in '47. 

I said Dad was an architect here in Orlando for years. He did the Saint James Church and the Orlando Sentinel, the first major building for The Sentinel.  All that one story stuff across the street, west of The Sentinel on Orange Art Deco kind of building just north of Firestone. He had offices in Orlando, Cocoa, and Lakeland. He had little small offices. So I grew up here part of the time in Orlando....

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