Friday, November 24, 2006
In Small Places
This article in the Lakeland Ledger caught my eye ("After 51 Years, Bill Bell Shuts, the Door," Nov. 21, 2006). It's the story of a small commercial building in Winter Haven. This building has a strong pedigree, having been designed in the 1910s by Addison Mizner for J. Walker Pope, father of Dick Pope, who built Cypress Gardens. After a time as Pope Investments' office, the building became a bar owned by Bill Bell, who had previously worked at Cypress Gardens. The Hob Nob achieved a modicum of fame in the 1950s, but increased competition in the 1960s led Bell to close the bar and open a retail carpet store instead. The transformation was completed with the assistance of Gene Leedy, a prominent Winter Haven architect. The building served as a carpet store for 51 years, and is now awaiting its next incarnation.