Illa Van Clief Brogden House

Flyte Residence

Winter Haven FL

Year Built:1975
Size:3400 s.f.

This dramatic house on Lake Otis in Southeast Winter Haven was designed by Gene Leedy, a prominent Winter Haven architect, and finished in 1975. Leedy won an Architects Building Awards Program (ABAP) award for the design in 1976. Construction is largely cedar with a limestone walled courtyard. The design is remarkable for extremely high ceilings, dramatically large windows and elevation above the surrounding lakefront. The house is in the Brogden Point subdivision on a little over 2 acres.

With a floor plan of about 3,400 square feet, the house is divided into three modules. Much of the space is in the central living room/dining room area. The master bedroom module has a bath, laundry, and dressing room with huge closet space. The other module is presently organized as a studio with enormous north facing windows, a guest bedroom, a darkroom and bathroom. Each module has wide porches.

The Gazebo is elevated about 15 feet above ground level. From there you have a fantastic view of the lake and the shoreline vegetation. The vegetation is home to numerous birds ranging from Great Blue Herons to Redwing Blackbirds. Really a birdwatcher's paradise.

According to the Willam Brogden, the son of the original owner, "The choice of Western Red Cedar for the house was a real mistake. It simply did not stand up to Florida humidity and rot became a problem almost immediately. The original walkways to the Gazebo - a marvelous design, had to be torn down as they became unusable and dangerous. "

Photos and text courtesy of William Brogden