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Old Posted Dec 11, 2010, 5:26 AM
OhioGuy OhioGuy is offline
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Celebration, FL & Ybor City, Tampa: contrasting new & old

I had a work seminar in Tampa earlier this week and opted to fly down early to Central Florida to spend the weekend with a friend of mine in the Cocoa Beach area. On my way to Tampa on Monday, I stopped by Celebration, the master planned community created by Disney. You won't see a lot of people out & about in these photos due to the timing of my brief visit (between 10-11 am) and the unseasonably chilly temperatures (mid 40s/7C). While a master planned community may feel too fake for many on this forum, I have to say Disney did a relatively good job. The community has a central area with shops & restaurants, surrounded by 'denser' apartment buildings, condos, & townhomes, and relatively dense single family homes a little further out. The architecture of the homes was decently varied as well, helping to avoid the horrendous cookie-cutter effect. I particularly appreciated the mature trees (oh how I love Live Oaks) & lush landscaping that created more of an established community feeling. While I couldn't live in a place like this (it's no East Lakeview), I came away feeling Disney did a reasonably admirable job as far as suburban developments go. I'd be particularly pleased to see a rail line created between here, the Disney parks, the Orlando Convention Center area, and downtown Orlando.



































Into the residential areas:












Rather than creating constant curb cuts for driveways, alleys are used for accessing garages. You can see even the alleys are perfectly manicured!




So many beautiful live oaks lining the street/sidewalk! Did I mention I LOVE live oaks?




Here you can see a wooded area with wooden trailways for residents to enjoy.








Extending from the downtown shopping area to the golf course is this small waterway. Seemed like a pleasant enough place to walk along.




Getting closer to downtown the residential transitions from single family homes back to buildings like this.












After my brief one hour visit to Celebration, I continued on to Tampa. I managed to snap a photo of the Tampa and St. Petersburg skylines while driving, though they're not particularly good.





I stopped in downtown St. Petersburg for a late lunch and walked around for about an hour. I only snapped a couple photos though.





After making a drive up the coast from St. Petersburg Beach to Clearwater Beach, I headed back to Tampa to check out Ybor City. I'm glad I squeezed in the time to visit this neighborhood as it ended up being my favorite experience during my Florida visit. I loved the old brick buildings & brick streets, as well as the streetcar line. Again, due to the weather being 20+ degrees below normal, streetlife was presumably a bit subdued.































































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  #2  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2010, 6:13 AM
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Wow, Tampa looks pretty sweet, but Celebration, although Im glad its a dense development, it looks pretty fake. The buildings are way too simple and just not very good looking.
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Old Posted Dec 11, 2010, 6:17 AM
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i'm from st. pete/tampa, and trust me, that doesn't represent even a small fraction of tampa. ybor city is the only place that looks like that, and all those pictures are basically from the same street (7th Ave). with that said, i did enjoy the ybor/downtown st. pete pictures, and i'm glad to be going back for the holidays.

as far as celebration goes...it's the eeriest place ever.
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Old Posted Dec 11, 2010, 8:09 PM
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Both places I've never seen before, and both lovely in their own way. True Celebration doesn't have the same feel as older, lived in cities. But, I'd prefer this to what is usually built in newer suburbs. Great photos, thanks!
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Old Posted Dec 11, 2010, 11:44 PM
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I think all these areas look very nice. Florida has a lot of nice surprises every time I visit or see photos.

Just last month I was in the Clermont area northwest of Orlando, and was surprised at the very hilly terrain. Most of what I've seen in Florida is flat terrain, but not the area between Orlando and Leesburg.
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Old Posted Dec 12, 2010, 1:20 AM
Prahaboheme Prahaboheme is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photolitherland View Post
Wow, Tampa looks pretty sweet, but Celebration, although Im glad its a dense development, it looks pretty fake. The buildings are way too simple and just not very good looking.
Actually, most of the buildings in Celebration (the town center buildings) are by well known architects. The Graham Gund designed Celebration Hotel is particularly nice. A lot of people throw around "fake" when describing Celebration, but after 14 years in existence, it's proving to be a fine place to live. Robert Stern did a lot right in designing this little town.
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Old Posted Dec 12, 2010, 1:57 AM
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Wow, I was expecting Disney-fied new urbanism in Celebration, but it looks really good. I agree, trees and vegetation make a lot of places look better, and this is great evidence of that. The housing styles are almost all in good taste and no one tried to cram some style that wouldn't fit with the Florida landscape down everyone's throat. Celebration really seems like one of the showcases for new urbanism.

Ybor City is a pretty nice place. I was down there a few years ago and took a few pictures at night but I'd like to walk around more extensively if I can get down there again.
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Old Posted Dec 12, 2010, 2:15 AM
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Very nice photos
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Old Posted Dec 12, 2010, 2:54 AM
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Thanks for the photos.
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  #10  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2010, 6:51 PM
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Originally Posted by awholeparade View Post
i'm from st. pete/tampa, and trust me, that doesn't represent even a small fraction of tampa. ybor city is the only place that looks like that, and all those pictures are basically from the same street (7th Ave). with that said, i did enjoy the ybor/downtown st. pete pictures, and i'm glad to be going back for the holidays.
You do have a point, even though Hyde Park is pretty nice to the SW of downtown.
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Old Posted Dec 14, 2010, 1:48 AM
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Great images. West Tampa's architecture and history is pretty similar to Ybor's. However, that area is a lot grittier.
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Old Posted Dec 14, 2010, 1:58 AM
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I was actually sort of impressed by Celebration. I mean, granted, I could never live there and the location isn't great, but for a far out suburban development near Disney, it isn't absolutely the end of the world. Also, the oak trees (some live oaks, many actually appear to be water oaks) make the development much much much better. I, too, love mature trees (those aren't quite mature, but a good start) and I am fortunate to have grown up in live oak territory (had an 800 year old oak on my high school's property).

Ybor City also looks quite cool. I have only driven by it, but it is definitely unique in Florida! It has a mixture colonial/Gulf Coast look to it. I much prefer old to new (unless you're going to spend some dough on new to make a truly nice development or build a truly great house).

Thanks for the photos!
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Old Posted Dec 14, 2010, 2:06 PM
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I saw sycamore in there as well (or plane tree of some sort). Street trees can turn an otherwise boring neighborhood into a dreamscape.

I think Celebration looks great. So long as the economy holds up (which I don't think Disney is going anywhere anytime soon), I think the neighborhood will age really well. Some day it may be even more highly sought after amongst the sprawl of Florida, 30 years from now.
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Old Posted Dec 14, 2010, 2:46 PM
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Nice tampa photos. that celebration town looks scary though. way too clean!
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Old Posted Dec 14, 2010, 4:36 PM
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How is clean, scary?
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Old Posted Dec 14, 2010, 4:44 PM
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Pictures aren't working for me.

My sister lives in Clermont and I'll be visiting her for Christmas. I'm hoping to skip out for a few hours to check out Celebration.
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Old Posted Dec 14, 2010, 10:14 PM
OhioGuy OhioGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
Pictures aren't working for me.

My sister lives in Clermont and I'll be visiting her for Christmas. I'm hoping to skip out for a few hours to check out Celebration.
I've noticed today the photos are either slowly loading or not loading at all. Seems like it might be a flickr issue. Having said that, they seem to be loading right now (though somewhat slowly).
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Old Posted Dec 14, 2010, 11:11 PM
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Celebration reminds me of a new urbanist community that I lived in called Avalon Park in east Orange county. It's nice but it has a sterile feel to it. I have yet to visit Ybor City but the pics make it look very inviting. Interesting thread to say the least.
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Old Posted Dec 15, 2010, 1:13 AM
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Truman Show-esque. So perfect it's creepy.
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Old Posted Dec 15, 2010, 3:36 AM
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It's A Real Town After All
United States Celebration Community / Economic Development New Urban Network Social / Demographics
Posted by: Tim Halbur
Thanks to: Robert Steuteville
6 December 2010 - 6:00am

Last week saw the first murder ever in the Disney-developed (and much scrutinized) town of Celebration, Florida. Will this mean the 14-year old town of 11,000 has finally shaken off its idealized persona?

Robert Steuteville has spent some time in Celebration, and comments on the recent events and the flurry of press that followed:

"Celebration, of course, never did occupy make-believe terrain, a realm somewhere outside the real world. The residents have jobs, and lose them. They have families, which sometimes break apart. There are drugs, and disease, and mental illness. The town has not been immune from the nation’s economic woes, especially in Florida, where housing values have plummeted."

Steuteville says that the press is missing the boat on this story:

"What’s missing from this story is that the town — the streets, the squares, and the main street — have a deeper meaning than that of a stage set. "

Full Story: News flash: Celebration is not perfect
Source: New Urban Network, December 5, 2010
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