Harder Hall

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Harder Hall
Harder Hall
Location3300 Golfview Dr., Sebring, Florida
Coordinates27°28′11″N 81°28′3″W / 27.46972°N 81.46750°W / 27.46972; -81.46750Coordinates: 27°28′11″N 81°28′3″W / 27.46972°N 81.46750°W / 27.46972; -81.46750
Area12.5 acres (5.1 ha)[2]
ArchitectWilliam Manly King
Architectural styleSpanish Colonial Revival
MPSSebring MPS
NRHP reference No.90000341[1]
Added to NRHP20 June 1990

Harder Hall is a historic former hotel building in Sebring, Florida. It is located on Lake Jackson, at 3300 Golfview Drive. It was regarded as one of the "Grande Dame hotels of Florida",[3] until its closing in 1986. The hotel was designed by renowned Palm Beach architect William Manly King, and was considered the social center of Sebring.[4] On June 20, 1990, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

in 2022 former St. Petersburg city council member Robert G. Blackmon bought the harder hall for 4 million dollars,[5] renovations began in late 2022 with work expected to be completed by mid to late 2023



Vincent S. Hall acquired 2000 acres on Little Lake Jackson for construction of a resort to be part of the Biltmore Hotel chain.[6] Hall, who was also involved in the Miami Biltmore Hotel, partnered with Lewis Harder to make the plan a reality. Billed as "the Coral Gables of Central Florida",[7] the resort was designed in the Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture popular during the period and contained 200 rooms, with a length of 630 feet and a height of 160 feet.[8] It had approximately 50,000 square feet (4,600 m2) square feet of rooms and halls, 35,000 square feet (3,300 m2) of public areas including a mezzanine lobby. The 4,200-square-foot (390 m2) great room and banquet room both had 22-foot (7 m) ceilings with large french doors that overlook the lake.

"Harder Hall" was named for its developers, Lewis F. Harder and Vincent Hall, both of West Palm Beach.[9] Construction of the resort began in 1925,[10] prior to the end of the Florida land boom of the 1920s. The firm responsible for the construction of the building, Schultze and Weaver, were also responsible for the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida. In 1927, before opening, Harder and Hall went bankrupt on the project;[11] it was then purchased by a group including US Congressman Edgar Raymond Kiess, with Vincent Hall returning as resident manager.[12] On January 21, 1928,[13] the classic Spanish Style hotel and golf resort opened on the shore of Little Lake Jackson.


Featured hotel activites included golfing, tennis, boating, swimming, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, and more.[14] Department store magnate S. S. Kresge spent his honeymoon at the resort.[15]

It greatly benefitted from its proximity to the Sebring International Raceway and was the choice hotel of many of the affluent drivers who competed in the 12 Hours of Sebring race, and of the celebrities and who attended the festivities.[16] The resort hosted many pre and post race parties, as well as award banquets. Harder Hall "virtually always has been Sebring race headquarters, if not officially, unofficially, and surely socially"[17]

Famous guests included actor Steve McQueen, Peter Revson, Dan Gurney[18] Mario Andretti,[19] Count Alfonso de Portago, Briggs Cunningham, Paul Newman, Jim Garner, Dick Smothers, and Bruce Jenner.[20] In 1984, Driver Hurley Haywood remarked "I love pink old Harder Hall. . .I still stay there. I love the quaintness of Sebring".[21]

In the 30s, Walter Hagen faced off against Joe Kirkwood in an exhibition match at the resort, with Rube Walberg and novelist Rex Beach pairing off for their own round.[22] In the 1960s, golf stars Cary Middlecoff and Jim Ferree faced off in a televised "World Championship Golf" match.[23] The resort also played host to the annual Haig & Haig Scotch Foursome[24]

In October 1986, the LPGA Futures Tour established its home base at the resort, with the hotel serving as host to a number of LPGA tournaments over the years including the long-running Harder Hall Women's Invitational[25]

The resort also featured 12 tennis courts and a tennis clubhouse.[26]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/633359819
  3. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/873530860
  4. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/389554378
  5. ^ Writer, PHIL ATTINGER Staff. "Harder Hall sold for $4M". Mid Florida Newspapers. Retrieved 2023-01-08.
  6. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/337200307
  7. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/823065146
  8. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/332733614
  9. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/325213567
  10. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/339932850
  11. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/823223472
  12. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/332819637/
  13. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/337200320
  14. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/276246809
  15. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/47442191
  16. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/389554378
  17. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/335632645
  18. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/340532654
  19. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/325212821
  20. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/335632645
  21. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/336292474
  22. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/173155384
  23. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/293002810/
  24. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/329718753
  25. ^ https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2021/07/29/amateur-golf-harder-hall-womens-invitational-new-name-course-rotation/
  26. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/633359819

External links[edit]

Media related to Harder Hall at Wikimedia Commons