College Park

This distinct neighborhood within the city of Orlando, Florida, takes its name from the numerous streets within its boundaries that were named after institutions of higher learning such as Princeton, Harvard, and Yale. College Park is a distinct neighborhood within the city of Orlando, Florida, taking its name from the many streets within its bounds that were named for institutions of higher learning such as Princeton, Harvard, and Yale.

Because of its close proximity to downtown, it has been a favorite residential neighborhood for elders and young professionals for more than a century. According to the 2000 census, the majority of people are of working age (between the ages of 18 and 49) and own their homes. Households with no children account for 65.5 percent of all households.

College Park was founded by citrus grower John Ericsson, who built the first recorded home in the area at 19 West Princeton, in the center of what was then an 80-acre (320,000 m2) citrus plantation. A number of other settlers followed, particularly with the advent of the South Florida Railroad in 1880, including: Adam Given, Mr. Grover, Marshall Porter, James Wilcox, Algernon Hayden, John W. Childress, and George Russell, among many others.

The Great Freeze of 1894-1895 froze development in the neighborhood for more than a decade, causing it to become known as “The Ice Box.”

More and more residents began to arrive in huge numbers during the real estate boom of the 1920s, as the City of Orlando extended its northern limit north to Par Street, thereby incorporating the neighborhood of College Park. Several of the most well-known subdivisions in the area were developed during this time period as well.

Even though College Park experienced a brief period of prosperity during the Great Depression of the 1930s, successful businessman Welborn C. Phillips took advantage of the situation by purchasing a large number of the remaining vacant lots, particularly those west of Edgewater Drive, and positioning himself for the post-World War II boom.

When John Young was growing up in his parents’ house on West Princeton Street, the neighborhood was also home to beat generation writer Jack Kerouac, who lived at 1418 Clouser Avenue at the time his masterpiece ‘On the Road’ was published, as well as when he wrote his follow-up novel ‘The Dharma Bums.’

The house is now operated as a non-profit organization known as the Kerouac Project, which serves as a sanctuary for aspiring writers. Not only is it a one-of-a-kind tribute to Kerouac, but it also helped to put Orlando on the literary map around the world.

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