The three-story Historic Walker Hotel in downtown Titusville is an architectural gems, showcasing the Spanish Missionary style common in the 1920s, complete with a stucco finish, terra cotta decoration, outside terraces, and sculptural ornamentation​.

The hotel originally housed 13 apartments and 12 hotel rooms on the second and third floors, with retail stores and office spaces on the first floor.

Now, both the Walker Hotel and the old Bank of Titusville buildings are seeing a revival thanks to the passionate efforts of building owner Barry Hamilton, his business partner and consultant Laura Hamilton and countless others in the Titusville community.

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For the past five years, Barry and Laura, with the help of their knowledgeable team, have undertaken the daunting task of restoring these national landmarks while maintaining their original designs and historical significance​. The Walker Hotel, also known as the Washington Hotel, was built by John R. and Hans T. Walker in 1925.

The building’s intricate features have been carefully preserved in the restoration, including its magnificent balcony that once shaded customers patronizing businesses on the first floor, such as Poe’s Grocery, Bazemore Pharmacy, and Water’s Men’s Clothing.

A grand, winding stairway was once a popular site for bridal pictures. However, it was also part of the reason for the hotel’s decline, as people preferred the convenience of an elevator​. In response to modern needs, a new elevator has been installed along with restored handrails, new wallpaper, and light fixtures

Next to the hotel, the former Bank of Titusville and Trust Company, built in neo-classical revival style in 1924, is also experiencing a grand entrance into the 21st Century. The bank’s lavish lobby, with tall, multi-pane windows and a splendid crystal chandelier descending from the 20-foot ceiling, has been preserved​

The apartments, now renamed the Launch Now Apartments, still retain their historical charm with original Merritt Island Pine hardwood floors, historic molding, and other original details.​ There are 12 one-bedroom apartments and eight studios available for lease, blending the old with the new. The penthouse apartment even features an original fireplace​.

Navigating the labyrinth of challenges in the modernization of a historic building, Loyd Contracting performed a herculean task with diligence and precision. Keeping true to the building’s original design was a key restriction, and they adhered to this by meticulously photographing every historical molding, wall, and flooring.

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This painstaking attention to detail led to an intriguing revelation – the building was slowly buckling in on itself. To counter this, Loyd Contracting installed a steel truss, a demanding task that further stretched their build time due to COVID supply chain issues and rigorous design requirements.

Complicating matters, a government shutdown caused a pause in acquiring necessary approvals from the National Historic Registry. Despite these hurdles, Loyd Contracting remained committed to preserving history. They carefully saved and restored small historic pieces, including a miniature sailing ship. located on the outside of the hotel building. This charming artifact serves as a testament to Titusville’s roots as a citrus grower and supplier from the 1800s to the 1900s.

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However, with Laura and Barry’s passion for remodeling buildings and making green spaces, along with the help of local businesses and experts like Holly and Lisa with Rocket City Real Estate, and Micah Loyd of Loyd Contracting, these challenges were overcome.

These restorations demonstrate the potential of repurposing historical buildings while preserving their unique architecture and historical significance​.

While the buildings were initially intended to be a food hall, the plans had to be adapted due to the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. They now serve a new purpose, providing prime downtown real estate in beautifully restored, historical buildings.

As the Walker Hotel and Bank building reemerge in their new roles, they carry with them a piece of Titusville’s heritage, reminding us of the charm and beauty of the past as they step into the future with a new life.

If you want to learn more about the apartments for lease, visit the LaunchNow.space website here

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