James Gamble Rogers II
Considered to be Winter Park's most revered architect.
James Gamble Rogers II was born Jan. 24th, 1901, in Chicago, the son and nephew of well-regarded architects. His uncle, James Gamble Rogers of New York, was famed for buildings at Yale University. His father, John Arthur Rogers, practiced in Chicago until health problems forced him to move to Florida.
James Gamble Rogers II graduated from Daytona Beach High School and later attended Dartmouth College for three years. He did not graduate, but received a solid foundation in the profession of his father and his uncle.
Returning to Florida, he worked and studied with his father in Daytona Beach, then opened an office of his father's firm in Winter Park in 1928. He started his own firm in 1935. It survives today as Rogers, Lovelock and Fritz.
During the early years of his career, he designed some of the finest houses in Winter Park, including Four Winds, a French Provincial cottage he built for he and his bride, Evelyn on the Isle of Sicily, and Casa Feliz (the Barbour House), which was based on a Spanish farmhouse.
James Gamble Rogers was most interested in the informal styles of Spanish, French and English domestic architecture. He remained faithful in terms of scale and materials to the original styles that inspired him.
Then, after WWII, his firm became involved in large institutional commissions, including the Florida Supreme Court Building. The firm also became the architects for Rollins College, designing the Mills Library (and later, the Olin Library), and the Archibald Granville Bush Science Center. All tolled, Rogers designed, renovated or contributed to work on approximately 20 buildings at Rollins College. He also led a group of architects that were responsible for designing the first phase of the University of Central Florida.
Rogers and his wife, Evelyn, had two children: James Gamble Rogers IV, and John Rogers. The elder of Rogers' two sons, James Gamble Rogers IV, worked in his father's office briefly but went on to become a popular musician and story teller under the name Gamble Rogers. Son John went on to be an architect in his own right.
Rogers died on October 28th, 1990 in his home in Winter Park. He is remembered as a beloved father and grandfather . . . and a man of wit, athleticism and talent.
This article was written by former archivist, Barbara White, MLIS.