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I Wish This Was is a series of badly photoshopped images that transform ignored, vacant lots and properties in Orlando into something the City Beautiful can be proud of. 

This week’s iteration of I Wish This Was wants to use our collective brain storming magic to change an empty building right downtown [GMap] into a hub for Orlando’s growing literary scene.

The building (known as the Dr. Phillips Building – as evidenced on the sign affixed to it in the above photo) is a 6,451 SF multi-story office building valued at $222,168. The lot it sits on is worth quite a bit more, at $1,541,412, but check out that diamond-in-the-rough architecture. It’s comes complete with parking, an elevator and is already zoned commercial.The standalone building was built in 1942, but it also has  two adjoining warehouses that were built in 1940 and 1942 respectively.  But we won’t get into those, let’s focus on the main building.

We’d love to see it become a co-working space of sorts for local literacy non-profits and small business owners and a gathering space for local writers. The bottom could be a marketplace for vendors like East End’s indy book shop Bookmark It (Facebook) and used book store oasis, the Book Worm (Facebook).

The upstairs could host literacy programs from groups like Urban Think Foundation’s Page 15 (Facebook | Website) and events from their sister organization, local independent publisher Burrow Press (Facebook | Website).

Special nooks and crannies could be installed for local writers to gather and create new works, and perhaps a satellite coffee shop from Downtown Credo or Lineage to fuel their creativity.

Now couple that with a rooftop garden/patio and you’ve got yourself a real downtown cultural gem.

We went a little hippy-dippy with our rendering below, but who wouldn’t want a giant stained glass window and a big wooden Narnia-wardrobe front door?

What do you wish this building was?

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Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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  1. I’ve always loved that building. I’ll pass on the stained glass, though — sorry, Brendan!