Our History

A Gracious Winter Park Landmark

Historic Winter Park

The city of Winter Park was originally developed in the late 1800′s as a winter resort for wealthy Northerners seeking refuge from the harsh winters and a place to rest and relax. Rollins College, the oldest college in Florida and the nation’s premiere liberal arts college, was founded here in 1885. In 1886 the Seminole Hotel opened on New Year’s night. It was a grand lakeside resort with gaslights, steam heat, and a formal dining room.

Years later there was a need for a more modest hotel close to the Rollins campus. Built in 1922 by architect Peter C. Samwell, the hotel lobby is still a snapshot of vintage elegance. Originally the Hamilton Hotel, the Park Plaza Hotel became so after being purchased by the Spang family 40 years ago, and undergoing a major renovation in the late 1970′s.

Today the Park Plaza Hotel, the only hotel on Winter Park’s famed Park Avenue, is still the premier destination for those visiting Winter Park and Central Florida.

Click here to learn more about Winter Park’s rich history.