Tuesday, December 2, 2014

4th Annual IGUIDB Walkabout - S Beach/Palmetto Area

I love Daytona Beach.  There is a history here that most people over look, and it is easy to miss if you are not walking slowly and taking note of what is here.  The city is so much more than the crime statistics, the reputations borne of Spring Break, speedweeks or the motorcycle events.  The city is more than the beach.  It is the people who live here, and the places they live, and the landmarks from years gone by, either left to tell the story, or forgotten and overlooked.  Each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I take a group on a stroll thru a section of town to look for the lost memories of the past, and see what the future holds.  

For 2014, I chose the corridor bordered by S.Beach St, Bellevue, Live Oak and Segrave.  

We met at 1030am at Bethune Point Ball Fields.  That was the former site of the old Palmetto Airport, and also where many of our walkers had gone to the circus.  There were just short of 30 of us walking.  We headed out at 11am, east to S. Beach and then north on Beach St.  That corridor took us past lovely original homes from a day when S. Beach street was a thriving residential area just south of the main downtown commercial area of Daytona.  This is an old part of town that was thriving even in the late 1800s, and we have several pics from the turn of the century of that area.  

South Beach from Gardiner Street, facing North...

S. Beach looking south...

So, we made our way along S. Beach heading North, taking note of the great homes that are still standing, both restored, and neglected.  

We took note of the apartments and condos that arrived in the 60s and 70s, displacing some of the historic structures and changing the landscape of S. Beach street.

Info about the Windsor site, where the Windsor apartments are now. 


We made our way as far as Live Oak, heading west away from the Yacht Basin.  Along that road there are still some fabulous buildings that have aged quite well, as well as some older homes that have been converted into apartments and allowed to decay somewhat.  In years past this neighborhood had become very sketchy with drugs, prostitution and crime a bit out of control.  I have to say that it has cleaned up quite a bit.  I think most of the criminal element has been run off to other areas as gentrification and restoration has begun, and other parts of the city have aged enough to become more accessible to lower income folks.  

This house at Live Oak and Palmetto is calling my name...and it is for sale.  WOW...

We made our way up to US-1 and crossed over, having a peek at Olds Hall, as well as a mansion once owned by Ransom Olds, as well as a former city attorney Mr. Arroyo.  (Arroyo St is just behind the mansion to the North).  It changed hands and fell into disrepair over the years, ultimately becoming a county owned office.  Eventually it was put on the market and bought by owners who have removed all the trappings of a commercial building and restored it to a single family residence.  The lot encompasses all from Ridgewood to Segrave.   In the back yard they have a pen with huge turtles roaming the grounds.  


Segrave south to Loomis, where we visited the site of the Loomis Grocery...currently occupied by tenants in the upstairs apartments.  Loomis back across US-1 to Palmetto.  More great pre-turn of the century homes...

Palmetto to South Street yields views of amazing houses you would never know were there unless you were walking by...driving past, they would be lost in a blur...

This pic of the Coquina Inn is my favorite pic of the bunch, because their dog Sasha came out to the fence to visit with me, then photo bombed Charles' pic. Look at that smile...  

Heading west on South Street brings us to  six houses built by Thomas A. Snider of Hamilton,Ohio, that are known as the Snider bungalows. He was the owner of tomato farms, the Snider Catsup Co. and orange groves in California. Snider, who was 52 at the time, built the main house at South and Ridgewood for his young, 26-year-old bride.  A move his family was not happy about. So moving her to Florida was probably a good idea. Unfortunately on the way to their new home, the Stutz Bearcat in which they were riding was struck by a train and they were killed.
      The family was interested in learning who died first, to determine whether they, or her heirs, would inherit the property. We're not sure how that turned out, but we do know the property has gone through a succession of owners before we purchased it nearly 20 years ago.

The most magnificent of the bungalows is the house on the corner of South and Ridgewood, which is currently the home of the law offices of Seitz and Tresher.  

South on US-1, we visited the site of the old South Ridgewood Elementary, which has been painstakingly restored and repurposed as office space.  Across the street at the corner of Bellevue and Ridgewood is another magnificent bungalow from the early part of the century...  Next time you drive in the area, observe all the amazing houses nestled away between Wilder Blvd and Orange Avenue on Ridgewood, Palmetto and S Beach. 

We clicked on down US-1 to Hepburn, then back to Palmetto to Fremont, to S. Beach, where we ended our walk at Waldens Bar.  Now 3rd generation owned by the grand daughter or Ed, Daughter of Barry.  She posed in a pic with some of us.  

This concluded another walkabout!  There were far more sights than I have listed here as I did not take a lot of pics.  The pics here were culled from shots contributed by myself, Charles Griffin and Sue Warters.  

THANKS to those who came along, and we will do it again next year. 

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