The Historic Preservation Board voted to approve a recent Landmark Request that granted the Bentley Street Armory/Downtown Recreation Complex Orlando Historic Landmark status.

The building was formerly known as the Davis Armory, named after Orlando’s first WWII casualty (who died in a training camp in 1941), and is one of the few documented Works Progress Administration (WPA) built structures that remain in the City. The National Guard used the structure until the 1950s. Editor’s Note: In WPA-related stories, we wrote about a series of local WPA-inspired posters that are coming out soon, HERE.

According to a testimony given by Richard Forbes, the City’s Historic Preservation Officer, other WPA-built structures in town include the post office on Magnolia and portions of Dickson-Azalea Park.

The Recreation Center is the current home to the Parramore Kidz Zone (Website), the Urban Think Foundation (Website), Burrow Press (Website), and the Orlando Pottery Studio (Website).

Rumors had persisted that the building would be demolished as part of the upcoming Creative Village project. According to the City, however, the building is meant to be preserved “… as best as possible if the building were to change in its primary function.” As the actual uses of the site may change over time.

The Bob Carr Theater also received Landmark Status at the same Historic Preservation Board meeting, August 3, 2016.


Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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