Florida Architect Donovan Dean

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Florida Architect Donovan Dean

Florida Architect Donovan Dean

by:
jtracy
January 12, 2017

Donovan Dean, one of the foremost architects in the state of Florida in the 1940's and 1950's... "during his lengthy career he designed more than 1000 buildings, including some 200 in Lakeland. Among the buildings he designed in Lakeland were the Lake Mirror Civic Center Auditorium, the Florida Citrus Mutual Building and the corporate headquarters of Publix. He also designed more than 60 Publix shopping centers and more than 100 churches throughout the state" see: Donovan Dean Collection.

Listen as his son, Patrick Donovan Dean, describes his father's work here in Orlando in this excerpt from an oral history interview at The University Club of Orlando on June 23, 2016.

LISTEN Part II (19:57)

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...

Saint James Cathedral

Yeah, my dad did it. He was the architect. We traveled all over the country when I was, the summer between 8th and 9th grade, mom and dad took me on a driving trip through all the states east of the Mississippi up into Canada looking at churches. We studied churches. We stopped everywhere looking at these big cathedrals and dad came back, that was in '49 and in '52 the dedication of the church here. [Saint James Cathedral Church] It was one of the first churches in Florida, Catholic churches, that had a sloping floor. But dad did over a hundred religious facilities, oh yeah, churches, and manses. San Pedro Camp, I worked on that. Camp Good Counsel, the summer camp for kids in Inverness. He did that....

Photo courtesy of the Donovan Dean Archives.

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