,,",.'-A .: :, ,teI. rmi l ; pro ect in r at -
fulfillment ofthe r.4i4 rem etnt
- ..," ".' :.',,'" .,. , _. ,.
din- :':. a g the de q.
Masters b"-Arts in Architecture
by James Wm. Golde n
Graduate Committ ee: .. .
. .:: :: ,. _: .,., .. .". ,., .:; '... ,. . -.
.. ,. ,' fRonald' W. Haase.
Gary DI. idgill
.,-.---.. ..'Depart'met- t of Architeaetare
..... 4' .University of Flor ida
f :' Jurie 1980
A...i i ',. 71.:. :-A ".
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To my parents:
for not letting me quit,
when the world looked black
" ;c. `1
I would like to express my appreciation to the
following people for their assistance on this project.
Connie Mudano, for research and assistance
Kurt Youngstrom AIA, for assistance
Blair Reeves, for critique and suggestions
Donna, for typing
Joe, John, Mike and Mr Wilson, for encouragement
Table of Contents
S... . . . . ... . .
... . .. . ... .. .. .
....... ... .. ....... . .
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The objective of this project is to provide a program and design
for the Spottis-Woode Condominiums, to be located on Clearwater Bay,
three blocks south of the central business district of Clearwater,
Florida. This will consist of a master plan for the seven acre site
and the design of condominium units compatible with the existing gothic
revival mansion and its outbuildings. The area surrounding this site
is in a state of transition at the present time. To the north of the
site, high-rise condominiums have been constructed along the shoreline
from the central business district to within 500 feet of the estate's
northern boundary. To the east and south of the estate is located the
Harbor Oaks neighborhood. This is a stable, middle and upper income,
area of fine homes, many dating from the 1920's. The Spottis-Woode
Estate offers the potential of serving as a buffer between the high-
rise construction and the Harbor Oaks area.
The project originated during the summer of 1979 through contact
with Mrs. Frank Mudano of the "Volunteers in Preservation" organization
in Clearwater. Mrs. Mudano, who was at the time preparing a National
Register nomination for the site, informed me of plans that a developer
had for the estate. I contacted the developer, Mr. John Mancini of
Clearwater; and his architect Kurt Eric Youngstrom of Clearwater to
discuss the nature of their project. They informed me of their plans to
subdivide the site into single family housing lots with the manion on
one of the lots. Their plan would leave some of the mansion's outbuildings
as part of a commonly owned recreation area.
< / 12
.. ... i *SATH
HiAED AREA PF-,NOTES 7TFI CA4O ,oy
(.E I AeAL-.. !fo'o ,RAp- ALcBO ).
PAHE:S O'LINE INDICA7TE- -TF -E TO
3E REMO v.D (. FICU poeNK).
TREE CANOPY STUDY
TREE CANOPY STUDY
THE DEVELOPER'S PLAN
There exists in the Clearwater area a market for condominium
homes of high quality for people in the upper income brackets. The
potential clinetel may be retirees, empty nesters, or upwardly mobile
younger executive types who don't want the both of maintaining a private
home, but desire the privacy and security of their own home. This
project will try to meet the needs of this clinetel. This is to be a
luxury condominium with all the necessary amenities. Providing the
transition from the high-rise condominiums to the Harbor Oaks neighbor-
hood, while respecting the unique architectural character of the estate
will be the challenge.
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HISTORY OF CLEARWATER
Taken from Yesterdays Clearwater by Hampton Dunn
During the time of the Indian wars in Florida, early settlers
on the Pinellas peninsula found an attractive site for a community where
a spring of sulfated water gurgled into the Gulf of Mexico, leaving
its waters sparkling and crystal clear along the shore.
They called their new community Clear Water Harbor, a pretty
name that was in use for many decades. It was Clear Water Harbor when
the town was incorporated in 1891. According to the U.S. Postal
Service, "Clear Water" became one word on January 19, 1895, and Harbor
was dropped from the name on February 28, 1906.
But Clearwater's history goes back many centuries. What took
the white man a long time to discover, the Indians had enjoyed since
ancient times. There was an abundance of fish in the waters and game
in the woods, the climate was pleasant and healthful, the scenery and
surroundings were delightful.
The tranquil living pattern of the Indians was jolted on Good
Friday of 1528 when a greedy, arrogant conquistador by the name of
Panfilo de Narvaez set foot on the Point of Pinellas. Just where he
stepped first is not known and is widely disputed by scholars.
Proud citizens of Pinellas very carefully explained that this
area, then, was discovered ninety-two years before the Pilgrims landed
at Plymouth Rock in 1620, seventy-nine years before the establishment
of Jamestown in 1607, thirty-seven years before the founding of St.
Augustine by Menendez in 1565, eleven years before Hernando de Soto
discovered Tampa Bay in 1539, and just 36 years after Columbus dis-
covered America in 1492.
In March of 1567, another Spanish visitor came here, Captain
Pedro Menendez, the discoverer and founder of St. Augustine. He came
to the Gulf Coast, searching for a water route across Florida to the
Atlantic. The ferocious Timucuan Indians and their Chief Tucobaga
were getting a little annoyed by now with the invasion of the white
man. Peace talks, however, brought on an uneasy quiet. Menendez
left a few soldiers to establish a fort, but in a few months the soldiers
were starving, and the Indians refused to give them food. In December
1567, Menendez sent a supply ship which found the fort burned and the
soldiers massacred. The Spaniards, in retaliation, burned the Indian
village and sailed away, leaving the Indians in sole possession of the
Florida west coast until the first half of the nineteenth century.
About that time, some fishermen ventured up this way from Key
West and attempted to grow citrus trees here. But the Indians harassed
them so much that they gave up.
The Pinellas peninsula's first white settler was Dr. Odet Philippe,
who had been tipped off to the wonders of this spot by a friendly
pirate. In the mid 1830s, Philippe established his St. Helena Plan-
tation on the present site of Philippe Park east of Clearwater. He
supposedly introduced the first grapefruit in the United States, and is
reported to have been the first grower to cultivate citrus trees in
rows. Dr. Philippe had been a surgeon in the French Navy under Napoleon,
a schoolmate of his. The site of Philippe Park was at one time known as
Florida had become a territory of the United States in 1821,
thus ending nearly three hundred years of Spanish rule (with the
exception of twenty years under the English from 1763 to 1783).
The confrontation between soldiers of the U.S. Army and Indian
warriors resulted in a seven-year war that began in 1835. It was a
costly, tedious conflict, and more than 1,400 American soldiers gave
their lives in battle. The Indians were finally driven into the
Everglades, except for those who surrendered and were transported to
reservations in the west.
The Army hastily built a network of defenses in many areas of
the state. Fort Harrison was erected at Clear Water Harbor on April
2, 1841. This site was selected primarily for its healthfulness.
Sick or wounded soldiers from other Florida forts were sent to Fort
Harrison to recoperate. An average of 340 commissioned officers and
enlisted men of the 6th United States Infantry were stationed at this
fort during its occupancy. It was built on the bluffs overlooking the
beautiful harbor. A large log building housed the soldiers, and it was
situated in the section now known as Harbor Oaks, at Druid Road and
Orange Avenue. This is the location of the Roebling Estate.
Fort Harrison was named in honor of General William Henry
Harrison, who was later to become President of the United States, The
Fort remained in existence only until November 1, 1841, when it was
abandoned, since the Seminole War was about over and did end early the
Even after the close of the War in 1842, some Indians were still
on the warpath. Congress enacted the "Armed Occupation Act" which gave
160 acres of land to settlers who would come armed to live on the land
for at least five years.
This act brought 24 claims from settlers in Pinellas County.
One of these was James Stevens who was to become known as the "Father
of Clearwater." Under his claim, he was awarded the lands and buildings
of old Fort Harrison. In 1848, he received title to the land from the
government, covering all the territory west of Fort Harrison Avenue,
from Drew Street south to Jeffords Street.
When these early settlers arrived, they found plenty of fish and
game. It is said that during the fall months, when the mullet were
spawning, they often came into the bay in such great numbers that at
low tide the men could walk out and kick them ashore, and the women
scouped up aprons full at a time. The roaring noise the fish made
was often heard across the bay.
But the pioneer had to work hard, and living in the area wasn't
easy. Natural disasters also marred the times. There was a vicious
hurricane in 1846 and another in 1848, which was called "The Gale of
'48." The storm came with destructive force from the southwest and
pushed the waters of the Gulf into Tampa Bay. All the islands and
keys along the coast from Sanibel, at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee
River, to Fayfort, thirty miles north of Tarpon Springs, were inun-
dated. Buildings were unroofed, and great damage was done in the Clear-
Communications with the outside world were poor and slow. Some
mail came by boat from Cedar Key. Most of it, however, was brought
from Tampa by anyone who happened to go there. People usually walked,
and often letters and papers lay for days in some households before
reaching their destination.
The Civil War had much impact in Clearwater, and the young men
responded to the call to duty. Every man living in Clearwater and
the surrounding countryside joined a company called the Home Guards
organized in 1861. It was later disbanded and the men joined other
Florida companies. During the war, several gunboat raids occurred
here with the invaders carrying away provisions and supplies. Here,
as in other southern states, the women and children had, to a great
extent, to provide for themselves.
After the Civil War, local residents settled down to living in
peace-time conditions. The reconstruction era was hectic here with
many new residents settling in the area.
As the decade of the 1880s began, Clearwater got its first hotel
when M.C. Dwight arrived and bought some property to build the Orange
Bluff Hotel. This hotel, along with several cottages built in connection
with it, opened Clearwater as a resort of sorts, and a few tourists
began to come.
The most important development of the decade was the coming of the
railroad to Clearwater and the Pinellas peninsula. It was the Orange
Belt Narrow Guage Railroad which ran all the way from Sanford to St.
Petersburg. At the time of the coming of the railroad to Clearwater,
only about eighteen families lived here. There were no paved streets
and no improvements. A public dock had been built at the foot of
With the coming of the gay nineties, the people in Clear Water
Harbor were ready to organize. The town was incorporated and received
a special charter in 1897.
In 1895, the only paved streets were Cleveland Street from the
harbor to the Orange Belt Railroad station, and Fort Harrison Avenue
from Cleveland to a point south of the Methodist Church. These streets
were paved with shell removed from an old indian mound near the harbor.
In 1896, Cleveland Street was widened from 40 to 80 feet, and a clay
road was built that year from the end of the shell paving on South Fort
Harrison Avenue to the entrance of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel grounds
It was in 1895, that the Orange Belt Railroad became part of the
Plant System. Plant changed the name of the Orange Belt to the Sanford
and St. Petersburg Railroad and, in 1897, installed standard guage
Henry Plant was recognized as one of Florida's greatest nine-
teenth-century railroad developers and, more than any other person, was
responsible for the growth of central and western Florida. Plant was
responsible for one of the most attractive landmarks in the Clearwater
area, the fantastic Belleview Biltmore Hotel.
At the turn of the century, several things happened around
Clearwater besides its incorporation. J.N. McClung built the first
ice factory here, in 1900, and this was to become the beginning of a
water system for the community. In 1910, the city purchased the system,
and one year later voters approved $40,000 in bonds for waterworks and
sewerage. Telephone communications began in Clearwater in 1900, and
in 1905, the city was illuminated when an electric franchise was
granted to J.N. McClung.
All these years, the Pinellas Peninsula had been part of Hills-
borough County, widely separated from the county seat of Tampa and with
poor transportation facilities. After several years of lobbying the Flo-
rida Legislature passed a division act, and Pinellas County formally
started operations on January 1, 1912. After a fight between interests
in Clearwater and St. Petersburg over which city should serve as county
seat, Clearwater finally won out and a courthouse was constructed in
CLEARWATER IN 1925
The city got a public library in 1916, under a grant from Andrew
Carnegie. Morton F. Plant (Henry's son) was the benefactor who spurred
the erection of a first class hospital in Clearwater. In March 1914,
Plant put up a $100,000 endowment for such an institution, provided
the city invest $20,000 more. The citizens raised their share, and the
building was completed in 1915, named in honor of Morton Plant.
Pinellas County did its share toward winning World War I by
giving men to the service, oversubscribing Liberty Loan and War Savings
drives, generously responding to the calls of the Red Cross, and making
other necessary sacrifices.
With the decade of the twenties, happy days were here again as
the zany Florida real estate boom became the next happening in these
parts. Clearwater, like St. Petersburg and most other sections of
Florida, was "active" as speculators began developing and selling
property. Fortunes were made overnight. Streets, sidewalks, and other
improvements were quickly installed. Tourism increased, as did the
But the big boom was short-lived. Its collapse was followed by
the Wall Street crash, and then came a decade or more of hard times, an
economic depression felt around the country, as well as in St. Peters-
burg and Clearwater. There were bank closings, and unemployment and
soup lines and WPA and Emergency Relief projects of all sorts.
World War II had its impact on Clearwater. The magnificent
Belleview Biltmore Hotel was leased to the Air Force in 1942, for use
as an auxiliary barracks for MacDill and Drew Fields in Tampa. As many
as 3,000 Air Force personnel were housed at one time on the premises.
A significant contribution to the war effort came from a prominent
Clearwater resident, Donald Roebling, a multi-millionaire philanthropist
and grandson of the builder of the Brooklyn Bridge. He was the inventor
of the "Alligator" amphibian vehicle which was used extensively during
President Harry S. Truman honored Roebling in 1948, by awarding
him the Medal of Merit "for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the
performance of outstanding service to the United States. .conceived,
developed, and perfected an amphibian vehicle capable of traversing
both land and water, presented it to the government of the United
States and released it for manufacture without compensation."
Almost as soon as the War ended, the west coast, including Clear-
water began a fabulous growth and development that hasn't slowed down
even into the 1980s.
Pinellas County, which has been dubbed "Little Florida" because
it is a sub-peninsula within a peninsula in 1970, had more than a half
million population, of which Clearwater had more than 52,000--and both
are still growing.
A far cry, indeed, from the beginning days when this lovely
spot on the west coast of Florida was known as Clear Water Harbor.
1917 SANBORN MAP
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the Sanborn Map
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PLACE CONDO. I.
S. ." 60' 60' 60 '
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// .,10-2S 0 3 9
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g19.g-PINELLEAS-hQ UNTY TAX MAP B 32 I 30 20
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
Taken from National Register
Nomination prepared by Volunteers in Preservation, Clearwater, Florida
The Roebling-Todd estate is significant because of the man who
built it and lived in it as well as the architecture of the building.
Donald Roebling, the youngest son of John August Roebling II
and Margaret Mcllvaine Roebling, was born in New York City November 15,
1908. His early education was by private tutelage and later he attended
the Stuyvesant School in Virginia. He did not follow the family
tradition of going to college but instead entered Bliss Electrical
School in Washington, D.C.
Donald Roebling lived with his parents in Bernardsville, N.Y.
until he married and moved to Clearwater in 1929 at the age of 20. He
built his "dream house" on seven acres of land overlooking Clearwater
After witnessing one of the several severe hurricanes to South
and Central Florida in the late 20's and early 30's (1926, 1928, 1933,
1935)2 his father suggested that Donald develop a vehicle which could
cross both land and water to reach victims of future hurricanes. Donald
set up a workshop on the estate in 1935 and hired a work force of six
men. By April 1936, he had a 4-ton3 prototype (tested for buoyancy in
his Olympic-sized swimming pool) which would do 18 mph on land and 3
1 Clearwater Sun, March 12, 1929, "$90,000 Home to be Built by Roebling."
2 Beach Life Magazine 9/74, History of LVT, U.S. Navy 12/45.
3 Beach Life Magazine, 9/74, "Mr. Roebling and his Alligator," p. 38.
January 11, 1943
.iigators by Roebling
Sulking, 3oo-lb. multimillionaire, twice-
ivorced Donald Roebling never set out
to be a munitions inventor. Grandson of
Brooklyn Bridge Builder Washington A.
Roebling, he could have raced fancy cars,
captained yachts, cavorted on his Clear-
wat-er, Fia. show-place estate for a life-
time. But last week amphibious tractors,
invented by 34-year-old Donald, were
rolling off the production lines of four big
U.S. manufacturers, were the pride & joy
of the U.S. Navy, were one of the reasons
for U.S. successes at Guadalcanal.
The Hurricane. It all started back in
1935 when a disastrous hurricane
screamed through the Florida Everglades,
left young Donald convinced that an
amphibious vehicle could have saved
many lives. So he built an expensive, well-
equipped machine shop on his estate,
hired experienced workers, on the fourth
try put a lumbering boxlike four-ton
monster through its paces. With a ter-
rible roar it clambered through mangrove
swamps, crunched eight-inch trees,
splashed over bayous. Donald promptly
named his new machine Alligator, went to
work on bigger & better models.
He did so well that in February 1941
.~~ -- A~~
Al P. au-J
ROEBLING & ALLIGATOR *co
... he was started by a hurricanet-
the Navy ordered Alligators worth over
$3.oo,oo000. Their job: to haul men, muni-
tions and supplies from battleships and
transports on to enemy shores, thus speed
and simplify dangerous invasion jobs.
Donald looked around for a manufacturer,
finally handed the order to near-by Food
Machinery Corp. (spray pumps, fruit
washers, etc.), which normally makes
nothing more deadly than a peach pitter,
but had made parts for Roebling's ex-
perimental models. Today Food Machin-
ery alone has orders for over $5o,ooo,ooo
worth of Alligators, and hundreds of oth-
ers are being made by Borg-Warner,
Graham-Paige Motors and St. Louis Car
Co. More than zoo Alligators already
have been in service; the Navy has set up
two schools to train Alligator drivers.
The Rewards. However vital to. the
war effort, Donald Roebling is not making
a penny from his alligators. He turned
the whole invention over to the Govern-
ment, -waved aside all commissions, even
got Food Machinery to cut its contract
price. To Donald this is his contribution
to the war and he is glad to make it.
mph on the water. By 1940, through extensive testing at many lakes,
ponds and marshes in and around Clearwater and the Gulf of Mexico,
Roebling redesigned and refined his alligator three more times to do
29 mph on land, 10 mph on water, climb 55 degree grades and carry 7,000
Ibs. of cargo. Anticipating our entry into World War II, in February
1941, the U.S. Marine Corps ordered 200 '"Alligators" worth over
$3,000,000.4 Their job; to haul men, munitions and supplies from
battleships and transports on to enemy shores, thus speed and simplify
dangerous invasion jobs. "The development of amphibian tractors, or
LVT has revised the whole concept of landing operations in this war. .
They have obviated the necessity for unloading men and supplies at the
water's edge under fire. ."5 There were 34 major amphibious operations
in which LVT's were used, mostly in the Pacific but also French
Morocco, Belgium and the Rhine Crossing. Some of the reports on the
performance of the LVT: "LVT's, probably more than any other single
piece of equipment, contributed to the success of the campaign."
"This operation would have been impossible without the LVT's", etc.6
Roebling looked around for a manufacturer and decided on the
nearby Food Machinery Corp., which normally makes nothing more deadly
than a peach pitter, but had made parts for Roebling's experimental
models. Soon the Army ordered 600 "Alligators" and by the end of WWII,
over 18,000 such vehicles had been built.7
4 Beach Life Magazine, 9/74," Mr. Roebling and his Alligator," p. 38.
5 History of Landing Vehicle, Tracked, 12/45, Sec'y of the Navy, p. 1.
6 History of Landing Vehicle, Tracked, 12/45, Sec'y of the Navy, p. 2.
7 History of Landing Vehicle, Tracked, 12/45, Sec'y of the Navy, p. 6.
Roebling chose not to take profits on the "Alligator" beyond the
first two orders; he turned his patent over to the U.S. Government free
of charge as his way of helping the war effort, and even encouraged
Food Machinery Corp.--the major manufacturer of the "Alligator"--to
reduce its price. President Harry S. Truman presented Roebling with
the Medal for Merit in December 1948. Copy of certificate attached.
A multi-millionaire at birth, Donald Roebling's generosity did
not begin or end with the "Alligator." As early as 1929, when he first
moved to Clearwater he began a lifetime of sponsoring the educations of
intellectually promising young people (his only stipulation was that
they never reveal the identity of their benefactor.8 They say in
1931 while the town of Clearwater was beset with bank runs, he
dramatically pushed his way through the crowd at the People's Bank of
Clearwater (now the First National Bank of Clearwater), stook up on a
table and announced that he was making a large deposit because he had
faith in the bank.9 Other men followed suit, their confidence bolstered
by Roebling's bold demonstration.
One Saturday morning in 1947, Donald learned after a casual chat
with Chief Elliott that the Clearwater Police Force had a serious
deficit of weapons. Later that day, Roebling's car backed up to the
entrance of the Police Dept., literally spilling over with pistols and
rifles.0 Donald was generous in many areas. He bought the property
north of Peach Memorial Church and built the Gym and Roebling Hall (a
8 "Plant Pulse" published by Morton Plant Hospital, article entitled
"Yesterday," August-Sept. 1976. Information for the article taken
from the files of Morton Plant Hospital.
9 Same as above.
10Same as above.
a ______ .
DONALD ROEBLING ESQ. ,.
CL.'.R TER --.- .
0----- -- - - -- --
1948 SITE PLAN
by Roy Wakeling
VIEW TO SAY
$ W i u oo-zA c ;I i .
'-[ --^ -' .. ...../^ ----I *-
L1 1RARV LIVING ROOM DINING ROO.. PANTRY KITCHEN |J/ T I [
RANDND HALL HALLWAY ASSAGI ,CARETA RS
COURTYARD OfNl 0 ORTH
- tif-f.~Z~- M0--AIN HOISE-LIVINO AREA
GROUND FLOOR OF MANSION
.i ~ .5 5~ *,*d
SPOTTIS-WOODE VIEWED FROM THE WEST
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wing to the Church) in 1929.11 He also built the Boy Scout Log Cabin
on Highland Avenue in Clearwater.12
Mr. Roebling was elected to the Board of Directors of the West
Coast Hospital Association, which is the governing body of Morton F.
Plant Hospital, soon after he came to Clearwater. A few years later he
became Board president and remained in that capacity until 1952. He
was an active board member until 1954 when he was made an honorary
permanent board member. He encouraged many to give financial support
to the hospital and make generous donations to the hospital throughout
the years, including building the Roebling Wing in 1941 and a bequest
of $1,000,000 in his will at the time of his death on August-29, 1959.13
Donald Roebling was born into the fourth generation of wealthy
and famous Roebling engineers.14 Donald's great grandfather, John
Augustus Roebling was born in Muhlhausen, Prussia in 1906. He received
a degree in civil engineering from the Royal Polytechnic Institute in
Berlin in 1826 and worked for three years as a road builder for the
Prussian government. Looking for another homeland where conditions
were politically freer and the opportunities for advancement were less
restricted, John and his brother Karl immigrated to the United States
in 1831 and established a farming settlement, Saxonburg, near Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania with other colonists from Germany. Roebling became an
engineer for the state of Pennsylvania in 1837. Working primarily on
Clearwater Sun, page 1, January 15, 1929.
12 Telephone interview of July 1979, by VIP member and news articles
of May 1976 and September 1974.
13 Records of Morton Plant Hospital.
14 Schuyler, H., Roeblings, A Century of Engineers, Princeton Univ. Press
canal projects, he recognized the need to replace hempen canal cables
with stronger, more durable cables made of wire rope. By 1841 he
manufactured the first wire rope in the United States and by 1848-49
the demand for wire rope and cable was so great that he removed his
factory to Trenton, N.J.
He was issued 11 different patents between the years 1842 and
1867 and laid the foundation of the wire-making industry represented
today by the present huge plants in Trenton and the adjacent town of
Roebling where thousands are employed.
John Roebling designed the first suspension aqueduct in the U.S.,
to carry the Pennsylvania State Canal across the Allegheny River near
Pittsburgh in 1844. His success won him commissions to build suspen-
sion bridges of increasing size. He built the Niagara Falls suspension
bridge in 1851-55, the first railroad suspension bridge in the world.
He built the Cincinnati-Covington Bridge which was the longest wire
cable suspension bridge in the world at the time of its completion in
1865. In 1867 John Roebling was appointed chief engineer for the
design and construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. He sent his son,
Colonel Washington Augustus Roebling, to Europe to study the principles
of caisson foundations. He stayed a year, studying in England, France
and Germany, where his son and only child, John A. Roebling II was
born. John Roebling prepared the original plans and specifications
but, owing to his death in 1869, it was built and finished by Washing-
Colonel Roebling ruined his health by working in compressed air
for great lengths of time during the early construction of the Brooklyn
Bridge. Confined to his home where he could observe construction through
a telescope, he wrote out the most minute and exact directions for
making the cables and the erection of all the complicated parts which
compose the super structure. When he was too weak to talk to his men
his tactful and capable wife relayed his instructions. He remained
active in the Roebling company, reassuming the presidency in 1921 and
remaining in that capacity until his death at 89 years of age. John
Roebling II remained in the industry only for a brief period, being
engaged at the mill in making independent experiments and researches.
After he severed his connection with the company he devoted his leisure
to scientific investigations mainly in the realm of chemistry conducted
in his private laboratory.14
All four generations of Roeblings were liberal contributors to
local charities and institutions.
The architectural significance of the home is without equal in
the Clearwater area and probably the whole West Coast of Florida. It
is a classic example of the imposing yet graceful Tudor style. It is
the only remaining residence of its stature in all of Pinellas County.
The site of the house was carefully chosen and it dominates the
highest bluff area in the Southeastern United States. The grounds of
the estate are meticulously designed and cared for with great attention
to the many very large and very old (estimated to be between 300 and 400
years old) Southern Live Oak trees. The architectural details are not
overpowering and are a delight to the observer whose immediate reaction
is one of "discovering" something. Such as the small square ceramic
tiles that are used to "connect" the large tiles along the 72' long
Schuyler, J., Roeblings, A Century of Engineers, Princeton Univer-
sity Press, 1931.
terrace that extends across the west front of the house. Each tile is
different and hand painted with every kind of animal, reptile, bird,
whimsy, etc., such as the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, the
knight in armor of the middle ages, etc.
The detail of the individual designs on the face of the "collec-
tion boxes" such as those on the main house itself have stamped in the
design of the Tudor Rose, the ones on the boat house have the designs
of boats on them. The hand painted ceramic tiles representing the floor
of the ocean on the walls of the ladies pool bath house and the frieze
of mosaic dolphins in the men's pool bath house. And, of course, such
luxuries of each bathroom has not only a tub but a separate shower
stall in which there are nine shower heads placed in each of the
corners and at different heights. The use of the sleeping porch off
the master bedroom almost always on the second floor and whenever
possible located to receive the breezes off the water. This feature
was used by the architect, Roy Wakeling, A.I.A. almost exclusively in
all of the larger homes he designed in this area (Clearwater to St.
Petersburg). And having been the only architect practicing in this
area from the middle 1920s until after WWII, Mr. Wakeling was respon-
sible for the majority of the finer and larger homes in this area. Most
of which were designed for very prominent people. The Roebling-Todd
house being probably the finest example of his work.
The highlight of the architectural features of the house has
got to be the banister of the staircase leading to the second floor and
the ornately carved newell posts (a total of eight) atop of which is
the carved likeness of each of the craftsmen that worked on the con-
struction of the house and each is holding a tool of their trade.
The newell posts are of carved oak. Mr. Roebling had each of the
craftsmen photographed, front view and profile and the carving done
reportedly by a sculptor from New York State15 after the construction
of the house had been completed. After many inquiries, research and
discussions with members of the staff of the National Trust for
Historic Preservation and Trustees of the National Trust it is our
opinion that this is the only residence in the country of its promin-
ence to honor the craftsmen in such a manner. We understand that it
has been done before in some commercial buildings, i.e., the Woolworth
Building in New York City where the likenesses of the craftsmen are
carved in stone, but we feel certain that once again the architect
and owner of the Roebling-Todd Estate have treated the viewer to a
very unique and lovely architectural detail. Again pointing out the
uniqueness of the man who had this lovely home built and the sensiti-
vity and talent of its designer.
15 The present owner, Mr. A.J. Todd has told the VIP members that when
she and her husband bought the estate from Mr. Roebling he had told
them about the craftsmen, what trades they represented and the manner
in which it was executed but she does not remember him telling her
who the sculptor was nor who the craftsmen were (See Statement of
Present and Original Appearance).
THE ENTRY HALL
THE LIVING ROOM
THE DINING ROOM
7 7 i *- "
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DETAILS ON EAST FRONT OF MANSION
PRESENT AND ORIGINAL PHYSICAL APPEARANCE
Construction of the Tudor style home was begun in 1929 and was
completed in 1931.1 It was built to last for "three generations"
according to Donald Roebling. He used steel beams, precast gypsum
tongue-in-groove block roof decking, concrete, brick and 18 inch thick
walls. The window frames are bronze with lead strips soldered at the
joints to hold the glass panes in place. The outside of the house is
running bond brick with decorative brick trim. The brick over the main
entrance, as well as under some of the gables, is divided by half-
timbered beams into areas of five different patterns of brickwork. The
windows and eaves are accented by stone plaques with designs of reptiles
and birds common to Florida. The gutters, straps, downspouts and
collection boxes, are lead. There are different designs on the collec-
tion boxes, the ones on the boat house having an anchor. The roof is
also constructed with steel trusses supporting precast gypsum tongue-
in-groove block roof decking topped with Ludowici flat tile.
The main entrance is an umbrage with a carved solid wood door.
There is a chandelier in each of the four groins of the gothic arches
in the main hall on the first floor. The carved fireplaces in the
living room and library, as well as the Roman arches between the rooms
of the first floor, are of Indiana limestone. Each wood beam of the
living room ceiling is carved to look like a bundle of rods with a hand
carved leaf or root motif at each end and along the sides of the beams.
1 Clearwater Sun article 3/12/39 announcing the building of the house,
its cost, etc. and the architects drawings and landscape plans of
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BRICKWORK IN FORECOURT
BRICKWORK IN FORECOURT
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The dining room and library ceilings are molded plaster. There
is a wood plate rack around the dining room walls about two feet below
the ceiling. All of the rooms on the first and second floors face the
bay with a bay window in the dining room and one in a bedroom. The
rooms are connected by a hall on the east side of the house with
windows placed to provide cross ventilation. The walls in the library
are panelled with mahogany. The area over the mantel is divided into
six equal rectangular sections for six carved and painted family crests
of Donald Roebling's first wife--Florence Spottswood Parker, for whom
the estate is named--"Spottiswoode." There is a spherical bronze
chandelier with the signs of the zodiac on it in the library.
The large open staircase is lined with a hand carved oak banister
and lighted by an auriel window to the East. As is the custom in
European countries, the workmen and their craft are illustrated by hand
carved statues on the balustrades (newell posts). From the first to
the second floor they represent the Architect Roy Wakeling, Builder
John Philipoff, Plasterer Edison Lippincott, Head Foreman Fred Wyllie
(the reason he is depicted on crutches is that he broke his leg while
working on the job), Surveyor Leo Butler, Carpenter Ed Dalton, Electri-
cian Ralph Robinson, Plumber Ralph A. "Gus" Gourieux. The ceilings
over the staircase on the second floor and over the first floor at the
base of the staircase are both hand carved oak but of different patterns.
Originally there was a 72' open terrace across the west of the
house with a ceramic tile deck. There are small square tiles that seem
to "connect" the larger hexagonal tiles. The small square tiles are
all handpainted with figures of Florida animals, birds, cats, dogs, all
other animals and many mythical and story book characters. The terrace
was closed in with plate glass windows, in contrast to the casement
windows used throughout the house.2
There are five bedrooms on the second floor each with double
doors opening onto the hall, one louvred wood door for cross ventilation
and one solid wood door. Each bedroom has a complete bathroom with a
tub as well as a tiled stall shower. Each of the shower stalls has a
total of nine shower heads. Two placed in each corner about three
feet apart and one in the normal place. The master bedroom suite at
the head of the stairs adjoins the next bedroom through the two bath-
rooms. The first bedroom of this suite has an enclosed porch to the
west. It was originally intended to be an open but screened sleeping
porch. It was later closed in.2
The floors of the house are concrete; the first floor is covered
with asphalt tile and the second floor is covered with maple flooring.
The attic is unfinished and shows the construction of the house. The
windows are gabled on this floor.
There is a full basement divided into several rooms. The main
recreation or billard room has eight sets of tables and benches that
fold into two of the walls so that they are hidden in the wainscoating
when folded. The fireplace at one end of the room is of Indiana lime-
stone with a painted wood mantel. At this level there is also a 5' X
16' vault, a storage room and workshop. There is a three zone furnace
2 We believe the terrace was closed in sometime prior to 1935. This
assumption is based on the fact that Mr. Roebling became very in-
volved with the design of the alligator after 1935 and there is a
very early post card of the house showing the terrace open and a
later card showing additional growth to the landscape but the
terrace closed in but it doesn't show the tunnel entrance near the
pool and the tunnel was built in 1939-40.
which provides the house with gas heat. This furnace and the one
that was in the old courthouse were said to have been the largest in
Clearwater at the time Mrs. Augustine Todd bought the estate in 1956.
There is an auxiliary generator in the furnace room that can provide the
estate with electricity in an emergency. The basement windows have
light wells to provide light as well as fresh air for the basement.
The three car garage is attached to the house. There are four
bedrooms and two bathrooms over the garage for the servants and the
chauffeur. (The north wing was added later to provide additional
rooms for guests.3) The four numbers of the year the house was built
(1929) are in stone at the top of the four pillars of the garage en-
trance. The bricks of the driveway which leads from the house to the
main gate of the estate on Orange Avenue are in a herringbone pattern.
There is a brick wall surrounding the circular forecourt and a brick
wall surrounding the property. The brick wall screening the estate
from the bay has been heightened.4 There are several5 very large live
oak trees on the estate, one of which is now estimated to be approximately
450 years old. All of the others are between 300 and 400 years old.
Mr. Roebling was frequently making changes and additions to the
estate. The original roof of the boat house obstructed the view of
the sunset so he had the high ridge removed sometime between 1945 and
3 See architectural drawings for addition of the north wing dated
1946. And the master site plan of July 1946 shows the addition.
4 We are unable to determine as of yet when the wall was heightened
but it is obvious because of the line separating discolored brick
and obviously much newer brick.
5 The master site plan of July 1946 includes every tree, planting,
etc. and is keyed to a list of the name of each.
GRIFFEN LIGHT FIXTURE ON BOATHOUSE
.A\ % tlI.
1947.6 In 1940 he added a 1,000 lb. elevator that goes from the
attic to the basement and originally went to the subbasement where
there is a 140 ft. tiled tunnel which comes out to the pool. It is
now closed off because of water intrusion. Just north of the tunnel
entrance near the pool, and built into the side of the bluff, is the
entrance to the two dressing rooms for the pool with showers and
lavatories.8 The men's dressing room is open with pink Georgia
marble shower/dressing stalls (four) and a frieze of mosaic tile
dolphins decorating the top border of the tiled walls. The hand
painted tiles on the walls of the ladies dressing room create a
picture of undersea life with fish, plants, etc. There are four
dressing/shower stalls of the same pink Georgia marble.
Mr. Roebling had a study/office built for himself opposite the
south entrance to the main house and attached to it by a covered brick
walkway. He built a workshop in 193510 east of the garage where he
designed and built the first prototype of the "alligator" and a few
subsequent models. The 1,800 square foot greenhouse is behind the
workshop to the north.11
6 The date or time span is determined by the change being mentioned
by the third Mrs. Roebling in a 1969 interview with her, they were
married July 2, 1945 and Mr. Roebling's secretary Fred Schuch said
it must have been already changed when he met Mr. Roebling in 1947.
7 See letter from Otis Elevator of July 26, 1979 and attached purchase
order and Acceptance.
8 See original architectural drawings of 1929-31.
9 We have determined this date to be approx. 1932 or 1933 when Mr.
Roebling went into the construction business in this area.
10This date is based on our knowledge of Mr. Roebling really starting
seriously on the alligator after the divorce in 1935.
llWe do not know the construction date however, it is shown on the
Master Site Plan dated July 1946.
There is a tennis court of green concrete on the southwest
corner of the estate.12 Next to it is the boathouse which is large
enough to house the 50' yacht Mr. Roebling was reported to have built
on the grounds. There is a griffin holding a lamp socket on a corner
of the boat house and a carved wood lintel over the solid wood door.
The door to the boathouse has a very large ornate hand made set of
hinges. There is a small (264 sq. ft.) covered shelter between the
west end of the pool and the bay. The pool is 30 by 60 ft.13 and
is surrounded by a deck of Tennessee Valley Crab Orchard Stone. The
walkways around the west side of the house and along the water's edge
are of the same flagstone and the steps are slate. There is an
enclosed snack bar with facilities for a full kitchen along with
water's edge north of the pool area.14 It had a large glass window
facing the bay and sliding wood framed glass doors facing a patio.
There is a market in the walkway just outside the snack bar which
reads "Here Lies Crab Orchard, Alias TV, Florida Cuilding Products,
Inc. 1949" which refers to the Tennessee Valley Crab Orchard stone
which was laid there in November 1948. At the northwest corner of
the property is an artesian well that was active for along time but
no longer functions.15 The turnaround in the bluff along the service
12 Construction date unknown.
13 Designed by Leo Butler, Engineer of the project and is shown on
the original architectural and engineering drawings.
14 The snack bar was added in 1949, see architectural drawings.
15 Does not show on the Master Site Plan of July 1946 but it is
shown in subsequent design sketches for the development of the
drive on the lower bluff to the west is brick and Georgia granite. It
was originally on the opposite side of the drive.16
It shows on the Master Site Plan of July 1946 as being on the
opposite side so it must have been changed in the design of the
FLORIDA PRE ERYVTION
National Register Additions
The Roebling Estate. Clearwater, also known as
Spotswood. is historically significant as the former
residence and workshop of inventor/philantropist
A member of one of America's foremost engineering
families of the 19th century, Roebling is credited with
developing the amphibious tracked landing vehicle,
"the Alligator." which was used extensively in U.S.
Navy and Marine landing operations during World War
The seven-acre, Tudor Revival style estate was
designed by local architect Roy W. Wakeling and
constructed during the early 1930s. Additional
structures were placed on the property during the
1940s. The estate includes the 21/2-story main
residence, boat house, well house, bath house,
swimming pool, tennis court, gardens, pool pavilion.
green house and machine shop.
ROY WAKELING, A.I.A. (1895-1971)
Considered the dean of Pinellas County architects is Roy W.
Wakeling, who practiced architecture in this area for fifty years.
Prior to World War II Roy Wakeling was probably responsible for all
work in Clearwater and the northern part of Pinellas County.
Born in Brockton, Massachusetts in 1895, he was graduated from
the Boston School of Architecture and received a scholarship to the
Beaux Arts de Ecole of Paris, which he declined to use. At the time
he moved to St. Petersburg in 1921 he had been working for the Boston
Architectural firm of James H. Ritchie.
Ritchie, Jonsberg & Taylor was established in St. Petersburg
in 1921 and became primarily involved in the first development of
Belleair Estates, south of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel in Belleair.
While working on the development of Belleair Estates (the second half
of Henry B. Plant's town) Roy Wakeling designed some of the more
noteworthy homes still standing (described further on).
In the early 1920s he also did most of the architectural work
for the developer and noted county historian, Walter Fuller, and
especially in the Jungle Prado area such as:
1. Walter Fuller's home
2. Jungle Hotel (now Admiral Farrague Academy)
He also did work in the east section of the city, particularly
some of the large Spanish style homes on Snell Isle (Beach Drive and on
Coffee Pot Bayou) and in Gulfport the elegant Roylat Hotel (Taylor's
name backwards) now used by Stetson College.
After his marriage to Myrtle Maxwell of Toronto in 1923 and
living in St. Petersburg until 1923 he moved to Clearwater and was
the architect for the only major remodeling of the Belleview Biltmore
Hotel in 1924 and 1925.
From the time he moved to Clearwater until his retirement, the
list of projects Mr. Wakeling designed is endless but some notable
structures deserve mention, particularly those in the Harbor Oaks
section of Clearwater and the Willadel Drive area of Belleair:
1. Donald Roebling residence (Tudor Style), Harbor Oaks
1929-1931 plus subsequent additions thru 1948.
2. Donald Roebling residence, Belleair Estates, 1952.
3. Garrett Hobart residence, Willadel Drive, Belleair (late
1920s Hobart was the grandson or great grandson of
Garrett Augustus Hobart, the 24th vice president of the
U.S. and head of the Hobart Mfg. Co.).
4. Mary Palmer Davidge residence on Willadel Drive.
5. T.R. Palmer residence, Italian Villa style in Belleair
and their beach house on the very north tip of Clearwater
Beach (Carlouel area).
6. Florida Gulf Coast Art Center (formerly Clearwater Art
Center) Belleair early 1950s.
7. H.B. Mayer's home in Belleair Estates, 1931 half timbered,
8. John Philipoff residence, Italian villa style on Druid
Rd. South in Belleair (1931).
9. Taylor/Oskamp residence, corner of Druid Road and Corbett
Street, Belleair. Spanish villa architecture.
10. Chic Young residence (creator of "Blondie" comic strip)
inside the Carlouel gates on the north end of Clearwater
Beach. This residence indicates the versatility of Wakeling.
The style is 1938-39 Moderne.
Roy Wakeling developed a subtle detailing technique that makes
all of his buildings recognizable once you realize the subtlety. He,
in inconspicuous but logical places on every building, introduced small
cutouts or castings that depicted the building use or the project or
owner's name. An excellent simple example is the sailboat cutouts on
the shutters at the Carlouel Yacht Club, Clearwater Beach which he
designed in the late 1930s. We see this detail used also on the
"collection boxes" of the Tudor style Roebling residence where Mr.
Wakeling has used the Tudor rose for the main house itself and again
nautical motifs on the collection boxes of the boat house, etc.
Getting back to some of the Wakeling projects on Clearwater
Beach he was designer for:
11. The addition made to the Clearwater Beach Hotel in 1962.
12. Travelodge Motel and Sea Wake Inn on the South end of
31. Several other residences inside the Carlouel gates on the
north end of Clearwater Beach.
Some other notable accomplishments:
Harbor Oaks Area
1. Rehbaum residence, Druid Rd. prairie style.
2. Timothy Johnson, Sr. residence, Druid Rd. 1950s ranch
style for developer, landowner, banks, cemeteries and
member of pioneer family.
3. Residence of Attorney Tench, corner of Jasmine and Bay -
large Spanish villa estate.
4. Morrow residence, Magnolia Rd. three story Georgian style
home, Mrs. Morrow was a member of the "Gold Dust Twins"
5. Remodelled carriage house for the old Grey Moss Inn into
residence currently owned by Carol and Tom Home, Lotus
6. Remodeling and additionto Episcopal Church of the Ascension
on Orange St. across from the Reobling-Todd Estate. This
was a major addition, doubling the size of the building that
was done in the middle to late 1920s.
1. Clearwater Sun newspaper expansion, Myrtle St., 1969.
2. Memorial Civic Center, Clearwater Beach.
3. Motor Hotel addition to Jack Tar Hotel in 1961.
4. Ballroom, eleventh floor, of the Jack Tar Ft. Harrison
Hotel, the only major hotel in Clearwater until the
1960s (originally built in 1926).
5. Arcade next to Ritz Theatre remodelled as offices on
Nort Ft. Harrison Avenue
6. Remodeling and additions to Grey Moss Inn, Clearwater's
old time hotel on So. Ft. Harrison.
7. Original Osceola Inn, new retirement home on Osceola Avenue
at Drew Street.
8. Partner in design of new Chamber of Commerce Bldg. on
Drew St. and Osceola Ave.
9. Buildings and Chapel for the Salvation Army on No. Ft.
10. J.C. Penney Dept. Store on Cleveland St. (early 1950s)
East Clearwater area
1. Betty Drew Apts. corner Betty Lane and Drew St., built
in the late 1950s, still a very successful co-op apt. bldg.
2. Residence for Rose and Paul Chipello on Cleveland St. in
Skycrest Subdivision large modern ranch style built in
the late 1950s.
3. Main office of Clearwater Federal Savings and Loan Association
at Cleveland Plaza. Roy Wakeling was a charter member and a
director of Clearwater Federal.
4. Bayview Gardens Retirement Community, April 1964.
5. Seville Apts., U.S. 19 and SR 60, Clearwater.
6. Howard Johnson Motel, U.S. 19 and SR 60 (1964).
7. Sylvan Abbey Cemetery, Rte. 588.
8. YWCA, Clearwater, 1966.
9. Clearwater Country Club, September, 1950.
1. Christian Science Church, Turner and Bay Sts., Clearwater.
2. First Methodist Church, Turner St. and South Ft. Harrison
3. Addition to Episcopal Church of the Ascension, described
earlier, and the educational unit added in 1959.
4. Roebling Hall at Peace Memorial Presbyterian Church (1929)
and additions to church itself.
5. Faith United Church of Christ, Clearwater, 1962.
6. Lakewood Methodist Church, St. Petersburg, 1961.
1. Clearwater Jr. High and High Schools, built mid 1920s
(demolished 1976 after vandalism and arson).
2. Brooksville (Fla.) High School built in mid 1920s.
This list of projects is certainly not complete. The selections
were made by the writer to represent a cross section of the type of
clients and the variety of styles attributed to Mr. Wakeling.
Connie Mudano, Member, Volunteers In Preservation, August 1979.
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MANSION FORECOURT (EAST FACADE)
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The Roebling Estate, Spottis-Woode, is a walled compound of
approximately seven acres. It is situated on one of the highest bluffs
on the west coast of Florida, overlooking Clearwater Bay. In spite of
its proximity to downtown Clearwater, its lusuly landscaped grounds
gave it the feeling of isolation and tranquility. Standing in the fore-
court of the manion, when I visited the estate last summer, I felt as
though I was at some vast estate out in the country; not three blocks
from the Pinellas County Courthouse and busy Ft. Harrison Avenue.
The gothic revival design of the buildings and the meticulous
attention to detail combine to give the estate an aura of wealth and com-
fort. One can easily imagine the site used as a setting for a movie
like "The Great Gatsby." This feeling is especially strong when one
is standing near the boat house overlooking the pool terrace. I kept
imagining Fred Astaire dancing Ginger Rogers down the grand garden stair-
case to some elegant garden party.
The layout of the estate divides the functions in relation to the
topographical character of the site. The mansion sits at the top of
the bluff approximately thirty feet above sea level and two-hundred-
fifty feet east of the seawall. The recreational area of the estate
containing the boat house, pool, tennis court, and snack bar are below
the bluff approximately six feet above sea level. The bath house is
built into the landscaped bluff and provides a transition between the
pool area and the formal lawn on the west side of the manion. A tunnel
runs under the bluff from the pool terrace to the sub-basement of the
mansion. The area to the east and north of the mansion is basically
Fidl 2 C,1P~z~----
WEST FACADE FROM POOL TERRACE
flat land with a heavy tree canopy, including many live oaks. This
area contains several small service buildings and was maintained as a
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When attempting a project of comparable design, such as
this, there are a variety of approaches that one can take.
I could build duplicate copies of the original 1929 gothic
designs, or I could design contemporary units with gothic
facades. Or, finally, I could design contemporary units in
a manner that will harmonize with the existing gothic revival
architecture without attempting to copy it. I have chosen to
do the latter.
My main concerns for the design of this project were the
creation of a sense of unity between the new and old elements
of the site. By unity I do not mean more gothic revival. My
major emphasis has been on harmony of scale, texture, and
color. My proposals for the new condominium units are of a
somewhat eclectic nature, with elements of their design recal-
ling details of the Roebling-Todd mansion. The new construc-
tion is to be of a salmon colored brick as close to the orig-
inal as possible. The roofs are to be of flat Ludovici tile
as per the original specifications. The openings and edge
conditions of the new masonry walls are to be articulated with
the same detail and care shown on the mansion. Each new unit
will be treated in a slightly different manner to give each
more individual identity, while constructed of the same mater-
The program for the development of Spottis-Woode calls
for the construction of ten new condominium units. The
decision to plan a development of this density was based
on the decision of the Clearwater City Commision to allow
the subdivision of the estate into eleven single-family
housing lots, including the mansion. For purposes of direct
academic comparison, my project will be of the same density.
The main purpose of this project is to prove that a
large scale estate with historic and architectural character
can be successfully adapted to a multi-family usage, while
respecting the architectural integrity of the estate. The
new construction will be designed in a manner to be comparable
with the existing gothic revival buildings on the site. The
programatic requirements of the project are as follows.
The Roebling-Todd Mansion is in excellent physical condition and
is quite habitable as it stands. Aside from functional improvements such
as the addition of a central air-conditioning system and the moderniza-
tion of the kitchen, the house needs only the services of a talented
interior decorator to return it to its rightful position as one of
NEW RESIDENTIAL UNITS:
Two Bedroom Units: (4 total)
The two bedroom units will be of a one story design of 2,280
square feet. These units will have a zoned plan which places the public
areas consisting of the living room, entry hall, dining room and kitchen
at the front of the plan. The living and dining rooms will have cathedral
ceilings. The living room will also have a fireplace. The kitchen and
breakfast area will have such amenities as a wide cellar and a private
garden. Access to the garage will be through the kitchen. The private
area of the unit will consist of two bedroom suites, each with a private
bath. The master suite will have a large bath dressing area zoned
for privacy. The master suite will also have a private walled garden.
Three Bedroom Units: (5 total)
The three bedroom units will be of a two story design of 2,766
square feet. These units will be zoned by floor with the public areas
on the ground floor and the private areas above. The ground floor will
consist of a living-dining room with a fireplace, a kitchen-family room,
a den that may be used as a guest room, and an entry-stair hall. The
stairhall with its massive stair is designed to recapture some of the
grand elegance of the mansion's stairhall. A terrace will open off the
rear of the ground floor, and the garage is accessible through the family
The second floor of this unit has three bedrooms and two baths.
The two smaller bedrooms share a bathroom. The master bedroom suite has
a private bath-dressing area as well as a private balcony.
Three Bedroom/Courtyard Unit: (1 total)
This unit is quite similar to the other three bedroom units but
has some modifications to take advantage of its site. This unit is
located on the bluff overlooking the formal gardens and Clearwater Bay.
The garage of this unit has been pulled forward thirty feet to create a
600 square feet courtyard around a large live oak tree. The family
room and den open onto this court through french doors. On the second
floor a sundeck has been placed over the den and the master bedroom
opens to a second balcony that joins the sundeck and overlooks the court.
A stairway descends from this balcony to the court. The combination of
courtyard and the view of the Bay make this unit the ultimate of the new
construction on the site.
The existing snackbar of the estate is to be enlarged to become a
game and party space for the homeowners. The old garden area to the
east of the building is to be reworked on the basis of the 1948 landscap-
ing plan but taken to a level of lavishness far beyond what was ever
built. It is to be lined by royal palms and hedges and a water jet is
to be installed in the pool at the north end. An arbor is to be con-
structed at the south end to provide separation from the pool area.
The existing service drive turn-around that is cut into the bluff is
to be converted into a water cascade with.a gentle flow of water running
down its granit face into a pool at the base.
The existing pool area and bath house are to be restored to their
original condition with the addition of a hot tub 12 feet to the north
of the pool.
The existing boathouse is to be restored according to the 1929
plans for it. This is to include the reconstruction of the roof to
its original full hip configuration. The brick wall at the west end
of the pool deck is to be removed to open up the view of the Bay. A
boardwalk is to be constructed along the seawall from the clubhouse to
the boathouse. Where the boardwalk meets the boathouse a 90 foot long
dock is to be constructed into Clearwater Bay for use by the homeowners
and their guests.
TENNIS COURT/PUTTING GREEN
The existing tennis court is to be resurfaced, and have the deck
area around it expanded to allow for seating. A three hole putting
green is to be constructed at the top of the bluff due east of the tennis
GUARD HOUSE/MAINTENANCE BUILDING
The existing pump house is to be relocated at the entrance to
the project and be refurbished for use by the 24-hour security service.
A new maintenance garage/workshop building is to be constructed next to
the guard house to provide work and storage space for the complexes
staff of repairmen and gardeners.
__ _Ir__ _i _____
SUMMARY OF SPACE REQUIREMENTS
4 2 bedroom units @ 2,280 square feet
5 3 bedroom units @ 2,766 square feet
1 3 bedroom/courtyard unit @ 2,850 square
TOTAL BUILDING AREA
Land Area 7 acres = 304,920 square feet
18,000 square feet
9,120 square feet
13,830 square feet
2,850 square feet
1,300 square feet
600 square feet
2,800 square feet
900 square feet
255 square feet
49,655 square feet
JAMES Wm. GOLDEN
UNIVERSITY of FLOUD
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MAJOR BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES
Schuyler, H., Roeblings, A Century of Engineers. Princeton Univ.
The Great Bridge, David McCullough, 1974.
Beach Life Magazine "Yesterday" article written by Mike Sanders,
September 1974, pp. 26-7, 38-9.
Florida Accent, Tampa Tribune Magazine Section, Sunday, August 31,
Time Magazine, January 11, 1943, p. 76.
History of Landing Vehicle, Tracked, Secretary of the Navy, Vol. I,
Supplement December 1945.
Personal Interviews: (Note: all interviews took place between January
and August of 1979).
Todd, Mrs. Augustine J., owner of estate and friend of D. Roebling.
Ackerman, Horace, former employee of Roebling.
Cochran, Don D., former employee of Roebling.
Johnson, Timothy A., Sr., longtime Clearwater resident and friend of
Levison, Mr. and Mrs. Bob, nephew of architect and member of the firm.
Schuck, Fred, former secretary of Mr. Roebling and later Mrs. Roebling.
Stowers, Mr. and Mrs. Harry, grandson of plumber.
Wakeling, Mrs. Roy A., window of architect.
Wyllie, Alfred, nephew of head foreman.
Lippincott, Mrs. Kenneth, daughter-in-law of plasterer.
The Morton F. Plant Hospital Community Relations Department provided
many of the articles and information about Mr. Donald Roebling.
Dunn, Hampton, Yesterdays Clearwater, E.A. Seemans Publishing,