Florence Court Apartments: The Power of Paint

March 19, 2009 66 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Klutho's Florence Court building, in Springfield, is enjoying a new look, thanks to an exterior paint job.

 The History of Florence Court

Frank M. Richardson was a well-respected contractor working with Klutho on several Prairie School projects, including Morocco Temple and the Florida Life Building, when he constructed this three-story commercial building for himself in 1911 at the southeast corner of Eighth and Main streets in the  Springfield neighborhood. He named it for his wife, Florence. It was built with shops on the ground floor and eight apartments on the upper two stories, each of which had its own recessed balcony and overlooked a central courtyard. There was garage space at the rear for six automobiles, certainly a novel provision in 1911. Originally the storefronts had suspended metal and glass canopies over the sidewalk in front. In 1929 these canopies were removed, as were the tile pent roofs above the upper balconies facing Main Street. At this time the courtyard was enclosed. A few years later Florence Court was converted into a hotel, but the building continued to decline and was partially vacant for many years.

In 1984 the building was remodeled into apartments once again. Crowned by Klutho’s Prairie-style cross motifs atop two towering stucco piers, the courtyard was reopened and has once again become the focal point of the facade. This long-awaited restoration of the courtyard was devalued by the awkward enclosing of the storefront openings. The “remuddling” was made even more unsympathetic by covering the exterior with modern textured stucco and by packing thirty-six apartment units into this single building.

Full Florence Court description, floor plans and additional images: http://www.prairieschooltraveler.com/html/fl/florencect/Florence-Court.html

Florence Court: Before


Florence Court: After 

These before and after images show what a simple paint job can do to enhance the look of a non-renovated building.  For those looking to improve the look and character of Main Street, be sure not to overlook the strong positive impact of simple steps such as repainting existing retail buildings lining the Main Street corridor.


Where to Get Free Paint

Tomoka Landfill
1990 Tomoka Farms Road
Daytona Beach, FL 32124
(386) 947-2952
Open 7 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday

The Tomoka Landfill, just west of Daytona Beach, is the county's only permitted landfill. It receives all solid waste generated in Volusia County. This 3,400-acre landfill area has a life expectancy to 2030. About 200 acres of this land have been earmarked for recycling efforts.

A short drive around the landfill brings visitors to a shed, which Marion jokingly calls “our own Home Depot.”

Mountains of old tires, pallets of used-car batteries, and sheds with toxins are all organized.

The tires, Marion said, are picked up and burned. The energy released in the burning fires a kiln in Groveland.

Other discards are picked up by companies that are able to sell it.

Except the paint. Paint can’t go into the landfill. So it’s examined, salvaged and placed on racks for people to come and get — free of charge. The color and quality are not guaranteed, but the paint creates a double benefit — people can grab a few free gallons, and the toxins stay out of the good garbage.

Recycling toxic products — tires, computers and paint — is one area where the landfill doesn’t make money.

“It costs about $30,000 a year for us to subsidize this,” Marion said.

Full article:

At the Tomoka Landfill, nothing goes to waste

Images by Ennis Davis