The Historic Winter Garden initially settled in the 1850s. It began to grow significantly after the arrival of the railroad in the 1880s. The Early settlement consisted of scattered farms and homesteads along the south shore of Lake Apopka. The local economy depended largely on citrus and vegetable production. By the turn of the century, a small commercial district had emerged along Plant Street and residential neighborhoods began to appear.
Take a stroll down the red bricked streets and listen to live music, while you take in the history or toss a coin into the water fountain. Walk into the lobby of the Edgewater Hotel est. 1927 and run your hands across the original wood countertops or marvel at the fully operational 1926 Otis elevator. Once a popular destination for businessmen and celebrities, Winter Garden is now a popular destination for people to live and visit with a penchant for small-town charm.
To the south, Winter Garden Village provides an array of chain retail and dining establishments. The 1,100,000 square feet open-air shopping center, located along Daniels Road just north of SR 429, is anchored by a Super Target, a Best Buy, and a Lowe’s.This area remains mostly rural but is quickly developing because of the nearby toll road.
East Winter Garden will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of East Winter Garden’s streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces. The Plan will set policies and identify specific actions to create a vibrant neighborhood for East Winter Garden following a vision defined during a Public Design Charrette.
Winter Garden parks offer many opportunities for a wide range of passive and active leisure activities. The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation operates two museums in Winter Garden:
The Heritage Museum, located at the corner of Plant Street and Main Street, houses an extensive collection of over 5,000 artifacts documenting the area’s past.
The Central Florida Railroad Museum showcases the influence the railroad has had in the development of Florida and is located at 101 South Boyd Street.
The Winter Garden Art Association‘s community arts center operates from the SoBo Gallery located in the heart of downtown Winter Garden on 127 South Boyd St. Once a firehouse, this historic building has been transformed into an art gallery and art center. Serving the community with monthly art exhibits, art workshops and a location for special events and studio space for aspiring and professional artists.
New developments are underway headed by the Dover Kohl design team. The five big ideas were creating one Winter Garden (more connections to downtown Winter Garden, additional jobs, and businesses in east Winter Garden This would increase affordable housing options; adding to health and recreation, safety and security; allowing new destinations within walking and biking distance; and continuing support for initiatives underway.
King and his team created a design plan that would reconfigure the intersection of 10th and Plant streets with public space framed by new buildings. Additional development along 10th Street would offer a variety of housing types: mixed-use, live-work, apartments, townhomes and small to large homes.