Following the designation of a home on Dubsdread Golf Course as a Historic Landmark, we felt the need to do some digging on the home’s architect and builder, Sam Stoltz.

Stoltz was born in Nebraska a decade after the end of the Civil War. He studied art in Omaha and Chicago and worked for a number of years as an art director and illustrator. He was at one point in his career, named “the world’s greatest poultry painter” by the American Poultry Journal.

“Chickens” by Sam Stoltz

Stoltz dabbled in design and house construction in Chicago before moving to Orlando with his wife Patti Jo at the in 1925, at the age of 50, to join in on the Florida land boom and make his fortune as an architect and home builder. He had no formal training in architecture but believed in his design ability enough to make a go of it.

Upon arrival, Stoltz abandoned his love of chickens and embraced a new love for Florida flora and fauna and painted nature-inspired murals and canvases all over the region. He even painted them on the walls of the homes he built with fantastical frescoes and decorative reliefs depicting birds, fish, and other local wildlife.


Ibis relief on display at College Park Communicy Center

Other key characteristics that Stotlz became known for were cathedral ceilings, stucco, masonry, and massive stone fireplaces. He coined his own style that he called, “Spanish Orlando” but was it really just his liberal interpretation on Mediterranean Revival.

Stotlz became associated with realtor H. Carl Dann, who used his homes to showcase an promote people moving to the area, and developed most of the properties surrounding Dubsdread Golf Course.

Later on in his life he moved to Mouth Plymouth, Florida, where his most recognizable homes are located, the “Plymouthonians.” These Tudor-style homes had story book, Weasley-style pitched roofs, fountains, and waterfalls made with coquina.

Spandea House

Although he focused on designing homes, Stoltz continued creating visual art. His work once hung in the Angebilt Hotel and the Orlando Chamber of Commerce. One of his more well-known pieces was a portrait of Theodore Luqueer Mead, the namesake of Mead Gardens, seen below.

Stoltz died at the age of 76 in his Winter Park home.

Local examples of Stoltz-designed homes that still stand include:

  • 1318 Eastin Avenue [GMap]
  • 3206 Greens Avenue [GMap]
  • Dubsdread Golf Course clubhouse [GMap]
  • Martin Hall, 1000 Genius Drive, Winter Park [GMap]




Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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  1. My father, Geoge A. Clapham, was a plasterer who moved to Orlando in 1929 and worked with Sam Stolz on many of his houses. My father would plaster a wall and Sam would jump on to the scaffle and paint a fresco of some Florida wildlife. We would visit the Stoltz at their home on Lake Maitland and I remember the fireplace, fire in the living room and a waterfall on the back in a bedroom. Sam gave my father a painting of a jumping bass that I still have.
    All of his buildings were truly storybook. Wish we had them now.

  2. Any evidence Stoltz had influence in construction of Castle Hill in Clermont? Fire claimed this estate I grew up near. Large house with cypress beamed ceilings that were 33 feet high, coquina around fireplace and outside, dwarf-house rooflines, seprate water tower that looked like a lighthouse. Built around 1925.