Lucerne Garden Apartments have changed little, while the view changed substantially.
The Lucerne Gardens apartments have been located on the southern end of Lake Lucerne for over 60 years. The apartment exterior looks much as it did in the mid-1950’s. Its great view of the Orlando skyline has experienced quite a bit of change in these decades.
The historic home of Dr. Phillips is obscured by the 408 running over the north shore of Lake Lucerne. Much larger buildings stand in the distance than what a residents of past decades saw when looking across the lake. Still the Lucerne Gardens are a small remaining piece of 1950’s Orlando.
The view across Lake Lucerne today
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Two scenes from Lake Lucerne more than a century after being settled.
The history around Lake Lucerne dates back to the days before Orlando was called Orlando. One of the area’s early pioneers, James P. Hughey, moved here from Georgia in 1855. Mr. Hughey settled onto 160 acres west of Lake Lucerne after arriving here in a covered wagon with oxen in tow. Historian Eve Bacon described the surroundings upon his arrival, “He found a small steam of clear water running into the lake coming from under a larger oak tree.”
Mr. Hughey built a log cabin in the area that is likely covered with I-4 and the 408 today. There he lived for 20 years. His home was open to many travelers. And his acreage was used to grow cotton fields and orange groves.
Lake Lucerne has continued to play a significant role in Orlando’s landscape for over 15o years. Later in the 1880’s it was the site of the Lucerne Hotel, and then the Dr. Phillips home. Today, the northern part lies under the 408 andOrange Avenue runs rights across it. It’s an understatement to say the view from the shores of Lake Lucerne are quite different from Mr. Hughey’s days.
Orlando, A Centennial History, Eve Bacon 1975