The city of Castlebury buys the founder’s house to convert it into a venue, a park
Casselberry Brightwater Estate will receive a renovation soon when the Hibbard Casselberry property is converted into an event venue. Earlier this year, the city of Castlebury purchased the property for $1.25 million to preserve for future generations.
Although the Gamble Rogers II property evokes the romance of Old Southern charm, the house actually originates from the 20th century, although it holds great historical significance to the Casselberry community. Dr. Deborah Power, Florida historian and founder and president of the Casselberry Historical Society, explained the importance of the property:
“The house, built in 1952, is one of the few remaining apartment buildings designed by James Gamble Rogers II,” said Power.
The renovation has only just begun, but discussion of the property’s fate began early in 2019 among community members when Hebbard’s son Castlebury passed away.
The property nearly fell into the hands of developers before city leaders got down to business, saving the property from demolition. Development plans originally called for 12 acres of land along the South Lake Triplet shore to be set aside for single family homes.
“We’ve been trying to preserve the property,” City Manager Randy Newlon said in a recent interview.
Newlon also said that plans include restoring the historic palace and turning it into a venue for weddings and other gatherings. The property may also become a passive garden and may contain a vegetable garden.
“It would be something that would also have a history preservation aspect,” Bauer explained in a recent interview. “This will be a place where people can take advantage of the gardens, they can take advantage of educational opportunities and really have a place where they can go and live in peace.”
Funding and a timeline for the restoration are still being worked out, but the city will continue to hold meetings in the future to further refine the project’s vision.