Murry S. King
From offices in Rooms 22 and 23 of the Watkins Block in Orlando, King designed handsome, dignified buildings, primarily in the Neo-Classical, Spanish Revival, Renaissance Revival and Prairie Style. King is noted for civic buildings of lasting elegance and beauty, the best known of which may be his last completed work, the stately Orange County Courthouse building which is now the headquarters of the Orange County Regional History Center (1927). Constructed of variegated Indiana limestone from the Clear Creek Quarries of the Indiana Limestone Company, the completion of the building was supervised by Murry S. King's son, James B. King.
King was the recognized leading architect among a group of architectural firms in Orlando in the 1920s. The others included: Frank L. Bodine, Fred E. Field, Frederick H. Trimble, David Hyer, George E. Krug, Howard M. Reynolds, Ryan and Roberts (Ida Annah Ryan and Isabel Roberts) and Percy P. Turner. This group of architects was quite intentional about creating in Central Florida a style of architecture that was suited to the region. Here is how they described it in an article from The Florida Circle of May 1924:
"Just as architects of old created styles to harmonize with their environment, so have the architects of Florida been creating, from native motifs, a style that is carefully adapted to the climatic conditions and surroundings of the state. This style has an individuality all its own and should have a fitting name to express its origins . . . The Florida Association of Architects will give a prize of $25.00 for the name selected." Submissions were to be sent to King; the contest was to conclude in November 1924 and the winning name announced thereafter.
In 1890 Murry S. King married Ruth Ann ("Anna") Riley Dible. Their children were: Leroy (1890), Florence (1893), James B. (1894), Murry Jr (1896), Merrit (1896), and Edward (1901), Pearl (1903), all of whom were born in Pennsylvania. His son, James B. King entered into his architectural practice in the mid-1920s.
Mr. King's first name appears both as "Murry" and "Murray" in contemporary sources and in Orlando histories. It is spelled "Murray" in contemporary references such as his business listing in many issues of The Winter Park Post and Orlando telephone directories, as well as the excellent photograph and brief biographical sketch of "Murray S. King" available at the following: http://www.cfhf.net/orlando/people/king.htm However, a photograph of downtown Orlando with the sign outside his office, recently found by Orlando historians Joy Wallace Dickinson and Rick Kilby, shows the spelling as "Murry".
Murry S. King died in Orlando on Sep. 20, 1925. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Orlando, Florida.
Architectural Work – Partial Listing
- Wescot Beardall House, 214 S. Lucerne Circle, Orlando - 1912
- Yowell-Duckworth (later Ivey's) Department Store Building,1 South Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL – 1913
- First Presbyterian Church, Orlando, FL – 1914
- Robert McDonald Residence, Winter Park, Fl – before 1915
- Tiedkie Residence, Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, FL – before 1915
- Astor Hotel, 215-217 S. Orange Ave., Orlando, FL – before 1915
- Grand Theater, Orlando, FL – before 1915
- Seth B. Woodruff Residence, 236 S. Lucerne Circle, Orlando FL – 1916
- Phillips Theater, 23-19 S. Orange Ave., Orlando, FL - 1916
- H.M. Beardall House, 700 Euclid Ave., Orlando, FL - 1920
- C. J. Early Residence (demolished), 711 Main Ln., Orlando, FL - 1920
- L. M. Autrey Residence, 108 Hillcrest Avenue, Orlando, FL - 1921
- Athens Theater, 124 N. Florida Avenue, DeLand, Florida – 1921-1922
- Angebilt Hotel (now offices and retail space), 37 North Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL - 1921-1923
- Watkins Block offices, Orlando, FL - before 1923
- Hotel Wyoming - additions, 424 Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, FL – 1923
- State Bank and Trust Company Building (One North Orange), Orlando FL - 1923
- Albertson Public Library, 165 E Central Avenue, Orlando, FL – 1923
- Park Lake Presbyterian Church, 309 E Colonial Dr., Orlando, FL - 1924
- Rose Building, 49 North Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL - 1924
- Orange County Courthouse (now Orange County Regional History Center); 812 E. Rollins St., Orlando FL - 1926-7
- 803 Lake Adair Blvd., Orlando - 1926
- 729 Alameda Street, Orlando - 1927
- "Stone" Magazine, 1928
- EARLY SETTLERS OF ORANGE COUNTY FLORIDA BY C. E. HOWARD, PUBLISHED IN 1915.
- The Florida Circle, Jacksonville, FL, Vol. 1 No. 2, May 1924
- Orlando Telephone directory - Winter-Spring 1927-8
- Orlando in Vintage Postcards, by Lynn M. Homan et al., p. 62
- Orlando in Vintage Postcards, by Lynn M. Homan et al., page 80
- Orlando in Vintage Postcards, By Lynn M. Homan et al., p.74
- Florida; a Guide to the Southern-most State, page 226
- Florida; a Guide to the Southern-most State, page 225
- Orlando in Vintage Postcards, by Lynn M. Homan et al., p. 52
- Reference for some of the above: "Downtown Orlando Historical Trail", http://www.apartmente.com/KEY/HISTORIAL%20TRAIL.htm
- Reference for some of the above: Hidden Treasures Of Design: Legends Of Architecture Left Marks On Local Scene; Orlando Sentinel, by Mary Shankin, December 24, 2000