The City of Winter Garden
A historic community not afraid of change.
Founded in 1903 and incorporated as a city in 1908, Winter Garden stood as a commercial hub for the area’s citrus industry. The rapid expansion of citrus growing in the first half of the twentieth century meant that downtown Winter Garden would become a central focal point for farmhands who worked in the citrus groves, as well those who visited on business or to take in the local sights. To accommodate the growing business and tourist interests of Winter Garden and the surrounding area, the historic Edgewater Hotel opened in 1927 and has been in operation ever since. Today, even though Winter Garden has grown exponentially and no longer revolves around the citrus industry, downtown Winter Garden has retained its historic charm. Now, the downtown area along Plant Street features cafes, independent shops, and award winning restaurants.
“The mission of the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation is to preserve the heritage and architecture of West Orange County, while creating new cultural experiences. Since 1994, the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation has been an integral part of the preservation and revitalization of historic downtown Winter Garden, fostering an understanding of the social, cultural, economic, and environmental transformations that have shaped the area. The Foundation was formed when plans arose to demolish Winter Garden’s historic Edgewater Hotel, making the Foundation the moving force behind the restoration of the downtown historic district and a strong voice promoting historic preservation.”
The East Winter Garden Plan is an innovative series of solutions designed to enrich the city’s development while incorporating key strategic improvements to quality of life.
One of the central tenets of the plan is its goal to significantly reduce “empty space” throughout Winter Garden, thereby improving density and limiting sprawl. New development improvements will bring things closer together, while at the same time blending in new greenspaces and urban tree canopies.
Life for pedestrians is a top priority in the East Winter Garden Plan. New and wider walkways will connect those on foot with a wider array of amenities which they will be able to access under the shade of an urban tree canopy.