Where and when we began
In 1981, Dan Acito (interior designer on the last renovation of the San Juan) and Andy Serros (a long-time resident) met with Bill Demetree (who was developing the San Juan site) to suggest that as a leading builder of Orlando’s future he help Orlando remember her past. Bill agreed. The first display was planned for the lobby of the downtown skyscraper, and Orlando Remembered was born – comprising a dedicated group of Orlandoan’s convinced that “what landmarks cannot be preserved should be remembered.”
That display, dedicated in October 1982, was envisioned as the first of a dozen or more similar exhibits which would serve as stepping stones in a walking tour back to Orlando’s architectural and economic roots. The displays are intended to showcase artistic renderings of the time depicted, with artifacts and historical memorabilia from the location in an effort to preserve the memory of Orlando’s history while acknowledging the potential greatness of the City’s future.
The block at the SEC of Orange Avenue and Church Street was targeted next, but two years passed before the funds were raised…two long years when it seemed the City’s skyline was changing every month. After the Barnett Bank and the CNA Tower agreed to sponsor the display, more than 250 people attended the December 1984 dedication.