Casa Feliz (Robert Bruce Barbour House)
Casa Feliz, formerly known as the Robert Bruce Barbour Estate, located in Winter Park, is a beautifully restored Spanish Farmhouse designed by acclaimed architect James Gamble Rogers II. It was built for Mr. & Mrs. Robert Bruce Barbour and was originally built overlooking the golf course in the heart of Winter Park. Rogers created a gracious residence with rich textures of original Spanish roof tiles and whitewashed century-old bricks. There is also a turret, a bell tower and a heavy timber balcony detailed in colors of the Mediterranean lush landscaping, with native plants contained by ancient clay amphoras. The interior of “Casa Feliz” affords the visitor rooms that have been refurbished to their original condition. The living room has a vaulted ceiling with massive hand-hewn beams. The public spaces of the house are the living and dining rooms, library, courtyards and detached garden room (formerly the garage).
Originally the home stood at 656 North Interlachen Avenue bordering one of Winter Park’s lakes, and stood there for about 70 years. The current owner of the property proposed razing the house and building something bigger. In 2000, in order to save it from destruction, the city of Winter Park moved it to its current location at 656 Park Avenue North in Winter Park, with the help of the communities in the area. In 2008, Casa Feliz was added to the United States National Register of Historic Places. And in 2012, the American Institute of Architects’ Florida Chapter placed it on its list of Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places.
The Casa Feliz museum is open for live music and tours on Sunday afternoons, and is open for private tours by appointment. A permanent exhibit in the house focuses on the life and works of architect James Gamble Rogers II. The estate has been restored to reflect its original 1930s appearance and serves as a Winter Park and Orlando wedding venue. The museum hosts periodic concerts and special events, and is available for rental.