Considered to be the third oldest home in Winter Park, the Capen-Showalter House is a blended Victorian/Tudor Revival style house that stands as one of the few remaining homes of Winter Park’s founding decade.
As one of Winter Park’s earliest residents, James Seymour Capen built the Capen Home in 1885. Renowned for his dedication to Winter Park’s development, Capen recorded the growth of Winter Park and donated land towards a fund to bring Rollins College to Winter Park. The Capen family lived in the home until 1898, when they sold the house to human-rights advocate Amelia Weed Hopkins. The Snow family purchased the home in 1904, selling it six years later to J.F. Johnson. After buying the home in 1923, Howard and Anna Durbin Sands Showalter transformed the house from a Folk Victorian Farmhouse into a stunning Tudor Revival home. Dr. Wilbur and Edith Jennings purchased the home in 1945, and the home stayed in the family for 46 years until it was sold in 1995 to J. Taylor and Susan Stanley. Facing demolition after its final sale in 2013, the fate of the stunning historic home hung in the balance.
Rejoined. Restored. Remarkable.
Preservation Capen and the Winter Park community raised the necessary funds to save the home from imminent demolition. Rescuing the home meant moving it from its original location to the Albin Polasek Museum—all the way across Lake Osceola. To accomplish this tremendous feat, the home was cut in half and the pieces floated by barge across the lake and rejoined at the Albin Polasek Museum. From a painstaking (and award-winning) two-year restoration process emerged a truly remarkable Winter Park historical treasure.
The restored home marries Victorian and Tudor Revival luxury with the natural beauty of the museum’s sculpture gardens and lakefront views. The mingling of the home’s original heart pine floors and grand staircase with the graceful sculptures by Albin Polasek evoke a vintage elegance, promising an exceptional experience for all who enter.