Temple Terrace was one of the first golfing communities established in the United States and became an example for many later Florida developments. Most of the area was part of "Riverhills", an exclusive 19,000 acre game preserve owned by Chicago socialist Bertha Palmer (Mrs. Potter Palmer). She died before her ideas to develop the area started.
Local leaders Maud and Cody Fowler, D. Collins Gillett, and Vance Helm formed in 1920 Temple Terrace Estates as a golf and residential community and Temple Terraces, a 5,000 acre Temple orange grove, the largest citrus nursery in Florida. The philosophy of early Temple Terrace was to attract golfing Northerners who would purchase one of the Mediterranean Revival villas which included membership in the golf club. Others would stay in the hotel.
On your right two blocks is the: (1) MOROCCO
CLUB (1925), 115 N. Glen Arven, now a
Drive north past
121 Glen Arven, the (3) OLD HUNTING LODGE
(1910), once used by Potter guests and oldest structure in area. TURN
CONTINUE NORTH to 914 River Hills, the (5) SITE OF THE D. COLLINS GILLETT HOUSE (1923), a two story Revival with three bay windows designed by Leo Elliott.. As the town's first mayor, Gillett named the community in honor of the nearby orange groves of his father M. E. Gillett. Sadly, the lot was so large, it became two large modern residences.
Five houses up on the right at 937 Riverhills is the: (6) G. SEAGER SMITH HOUSE (1928) with its original gable. TURN LEFT ON GLEN ARVEN and then RIGHT ON SLEEPY HOLLOW.
At the top of the hill at 313 Sleepy Hollow
is the impressive complex of the (7) CODY FOWLER HOUSE (1925),
pioneer developer and President of the American Bar Association. He sold the
house to his mother Maude Fowler, City Vice
Mayor, for whom
Across the street at 318 Sleepy Hollow is the: (8) EMMA PILCHER HOUSE (1924), one of the original Bing & Bing designs with Spanish tiled roofing. At 317 Sleepy Hollow is the (9) FREDERICK RIFFENBURG HOUSE (1926), an unusual stone and coquina structure.
At (10) 319 SLEEPY HOLLOW
(1924) is the popular
LEFT DOWN GLEN BURNIE to the (12)
GEORGE V. BOOKER HOUSE (1925), at 310
DRIVE LEFT DOWN GLEN ARVEN past the typical Bing & Bing house at (13) 312 GLEN ARVEN. Because purchase of these houses meant membership in the Temple Terrace Golf Course, the houses were built with small kitchens and dining rooms, a problem corrected by most later residents by adding rooms and more rooms. The (14) CHARLES M. HART HOUSE (1924), 306 Glen Arven, is a total contrast with its Turkish dome and Moorish style.
TURN RIGHT ON GLEN ARVEN and drive to (15) 212 GLEN ARVEN, home of Burt Hamner, President of Temple Terrace Estates. Note the original casement windows and clay tile entrance steps! Later Maude Fowler lived here. Nearby is the (16) REVEREND J. M. VANDEVENTER HOUSE (1923), 208 Glen Arven, the oldest non-Bing & Bing house in tract. Besides being a local minister, he served as city clerk and three other city posts.
RETURN TO RIVER HILLS and TURN RIGHT ON BELLE TERRE, the final area of the tour. At the apex at 210 Inverness is the (17)
TEMPLE TERRACE DEVELOPMENT OFFICE (1922), a strange Turkish
Revival structure better known to locals since 1948 as the community church. The city got the building for a huge price of $60. Other Temple
Terrace Estates properties include the (18) COUNTRY CLUB GARAGE (1926)
and the (19) SUPPLY BUILDING, and the (20) CHAUFFEUR HOUSE
(1922), 408 Belle Terre Avenue, a two story Mission Revival edifice originally
designed as a dorm for employees and the chauffeurs of wealthy hotel guests.
TO BULLARD PARKWAY or STOP OFF AT THE FLORIDA COLLEGE CAMPUS for a casual walk around the delightful grounds,
particularly along the restful
The Temple Terrace Library on