Victorian Charmer

138 Detmar Drive, Winter Park, FL

This historic property, built in the early 1880's is thought to be the most Victorian cottage still standing in Winter Park and the finest example of Victorian architecture in the area.  Some of the architectural features include remarkably steep rooflines and ornamental trim.  Over time, the home has been carefully restored, expanded and masterfully renovated with modern touches, still retaining its historic character.

The beautiful property includes a 3 bedroom, 4 and a half bath main house; a detached 3 car garage with 4th private guest suite or office above; and a complete 2 bedroom, 1 bath guest cottage -- all amid towering oaks on almost 1 acre of lushly landscaped grounds in the heart of town.  The home with soaring ceilings features the original heart of pine wood floors throughout.  The large gourmet kitchen is a cook's dream with custom cabinetry, stone counters, dual Sub-Zero refrigerators, sinks, and dishwashers with a gas stove and oven.  Entertain a large group in the impressive dining room with lovely fireplace.  Each bedroom has its own private bath.  The master suite has dramatic his and her baths, his with a large spa tub and walk-in shower and hers with a clawfoot tub and spacious dressing room and antique chandelier.  Covered and wraparound porches offer extensive outdoor living space for solitude, relaxation and entertaining.  Enjoy the resort-like backyard with refreshing pool, cabana with a summer kitchen and another half bath, expansive brick patio and fireplace.

The house was built in the early 1880's for Dr. Ira Burris "J.B." Geer, an Allopathist from Chicago thought to be Winter Park's first doctor.  He was recruited from the North as Winter Park was rapidly becoming a popular resort spot for wealthy New  Englanders.  The home was used both as his residence and his office.  Typically Victorian double parlors shared the first floor with the doctor's office and waiting room.

The property changed owners over the years and fell into disrepair.  Owners acquiring the property in 1974 at a bank auction made extensive renovations, restoring the home to its original flavor.  New plumbing, wiring, heating and air conditioning were added.  There were several additions doubling porch space and adding a much more extensive two story addition.  Several rooms took on new uses.

With historic research the home was carefully restored, updated and expanded again starting in 2003.  The roof was replaced and major electrical, air conditioning and plumbing systems were updated.  The kitchen was enlarged and fitted with Wolfe Sub-Zero appliances.  Two new bathrooms were added.  As Brewer Avenue (the original address) became busier, the front of the house and back were switched as the property stretched from Brewer Avenue to Detmar Drive.  The area of the original driveway became the space for a pool and patio.  The original gazebo became a cabana with an additional half bath and outdoor shower.  A 3 car garage was added with a guest suite and bath above.  It is currently used as an office.  One garage bay is air conditioned and used as an exercise room.  The 2 bedroom/1 bath guest cottage, believed to have been built in 1920 remains on the property.  All together the property has 6 bedrooms, 6 full baths, and 2 half baths.

The current owners have erected a lovely 6 foot brick privacy wall around the back of the property, added a summer kitchen to the cabana, expanded the brick patio and added the large outdoor fireplace, and added extensive landscaping.
The house is not on the National Register of Historic Places.

Location, Location, Location - Walk to tony Park Avenue in charming downtown Winter Park, home to Rollins College and known for its beautiful lakes and parks, world class museums, trendy shops, fine dining and cultural events.  Winter Park is a neighbor to Orlando, easily accessible to major tourist attractions and only a short trip to Florida's beautiful beaches on the east and west coast.   Escape your harsh winters and enjoy the benefits of a warm climate.

If you are considering a move, learn more about Winter Park by checking the websites below:

Winter Park Chamber of Commerce Visitors' Guide --

All about Winter Park, New Comers' Guide, History, Arts & Events

Charles Hosmer Morse Museum (world's largest private collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass)

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