Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Overgrown in Old Volusia



On my recent visit to De Leon Springs, I returned to the Strawn Citrus Packing House to show my friends and see how it was holding up. This collection of buildings in West Volusia County, on the National Register of Historic Places, is also on the most threatened list of historic structures in Florida. As you can see by the photos, it's falling into increasingly worse shape: more broken windows and it looks like more trespassing has occurred. The property still appears to be for sale and is obviously not being maintained.

I found vintage photographs of the packinghouse in the State Archives that show the buildings in their prime. Shots on Flickr of the interior show it littered with wooden crates like the ones stacked in the bottom picture. It would have been nice to preserve some of these artifacts of Central Florida's agricultural past, but I'm sure they've all been stolen or vandalized.

The Volusia County website says this about the property:
"The 12 contributing buildings and three contributing structures that comprise the packinghouse complex retain their original architectural integrity to a high degree and represent the largest citrus-related historic district documented in Florida. The sawmill is one of few examples left in Florida of an early 20th century timber processing operation. All the buildings and structures associated with this listing are in an advanced state of deterioration." The question is does anyone care enough to stop the deterioration?

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