Villa Dora Condominium Association

Some Villa Dora history:

The residents of the Villa Dora are lucky, indeed, not only do we reside upon one of the most desired properties in this area. we also sit atop an amazing and fascinating history. Having a history of over 129 years, the land the Villa Dora resides on has given enjoyment and pleasure to past and present residents who have had the good fortune to live here, with its sloping landscape and beautiful panoramic view over the waters of Lake Dora and the western sky's evening sunsets.

The property was originally part of the Anne Stone Homestead claim of 1876 which was laid out by John A. Mc Donald as part of his plan for the residential section of Mount Dora. The property became known as Block 53 and was sold in 1883 for a total of $78.13 per acre. During this time, speculators were buying and selling for a quick profit, and in 1886 the SE Corner of Block 53 (site of the current Villa Dora) was purchased by J. B. Healy of Vermont for $687.00 per acre and records indicate that a house was built on the premises.

The property sold twice more before it was purchased in 1914 for $3500.00 by Gertrude Thorne. It is said she purchased the house, located where 01 and 02 towers now stand to start a hotel which she named the Villa Dora. She purchased more property and built a 3- story addition to the West which housed a large parlor with hardwood floors and a big picture window overlooking Lake Dora, along with an open porch on the South side of the building. Gertrude retained ownership of the Villa Dora Hotel until her sale to F. Graves in 1925.

Under the Graves family ownership, the residence portion of Ms. Thorne's hotel was demolished and a new 3-story addition was added to the East side.

In 1968 the property was sold to a trust and the hotel was torn down in preparation for a new high- rise building to be known as the Villa Dora Condominiums. The dream of the building however did not come without resistance. The Concerns Citizens Organization was formed with the intent to stop the new development. In 1972 after 3 years of battling, the Villa Dora Development bought the property and building began.

Villa Dora's Beginning


January 7, 1972

February 5, 1973

November 22, 1974
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