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Church Street Station – In the News

 

The story of Bob Snow’s creation – Church Street Station – from its conception to its death has been chronicled in the pages of the Orlando Sentinel, Sentinel Star, Florida Magazine, People Magazine, Orlando Magazine and the Go Guide, to name a few.

In 2004 while doing research for a display to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the opening of Rosie O’Grady’s Good Time Emporium on July 19, 1974, I was struck by the sheer number of times Church Street Station made the front page of various sections of the Sentinel. And don’t even try to count other mentions. According to the Orlando Sentinel database at www.ocls.info, the name “Bob Snow” has been mentioned in 473 articles and “Church Street Station” has been mentioned in 3,795 articles between April 1985 and June 2004!

And that does not include the Florida Magazine, Orlando Land Magazine, People Magazine and other newspapers and magazines published around the state, the country, and the world!

Perhaps it was because everyone told Bob Snow he was crazy when the barely 30-year-old presented his plans for turning a vacant building into an entertainment destination. Perhaps it was because he was Jack to giants Disney and Sea World, and everyone wanted to see the little guy make good with the golden egg he’d found. Perhaps it was because Bob Snow always seemed to make good copy – like the time he paid off a bank loan by marching to the bank with Rosie’s Good Time Jazz band playing while the bank staff counted his payment – all in nickels. Or the time he plunked down $6500 in a saddlebag on Mayor Bill Fredrick’s desk to fund the creation of the Orlando Police Department Horse Patrol. Or perhaps that wooden sign he had hand painted and hung behind the east bar which read: “Absolutely no Coca Cola products allowed on these premises.” Perhaps it was because Church Street Station was something different – not glitzy, not modern, not form without substance.

Church Street Station was REAL. Real buildings from Orlando’s past, real interiors hand crafted by artisans and antiques collected from around the world. Real people – entertainers who loved their work and performed there for years; waiters and waitresses who were part of the “show” not just there to take your order. Perhaps it was because Church Street Station was something more than mortar and brick, it was something original in a world of knock offs, it was more than a place, it was a place in time. Perhaps it was because you always felt like you were a part of the family – the Good Time Gang as they referred to it. Whatever the reason, Bob Snow and Church Street Station always seemed to be the talk of the town!

Copies of the selected news clippings highlighted here, those presented in the exhibit, and the thousands more are available on microfilm housed in Special Collections department on the fourth floor of the Orlando Public Library. Many of the clippings are available in the Church Street Station files in the reference department, as well.

Bob Snow – “6 footer with wide eyes – a Renaissance man – the ultimate adventurer – with a Hollywood twist”

Ol’ Times Shop-Fun Area Planned – Orlando Sentinel

That Breeze Downtown: It’s wind of change. No kidding! – Florida Magazine – April 1973

Emporium has Decorum – Orlando Sentinel – July 19, 1974

Orlando Central City – 1974 Page onePage two

On the Move : Bob Snow is the Florida Barnum who can’t stand promoters – People Magazine – July 12, 1976

Downtowners : Bob Snow – Florida Magazine, November 28, 1976

Bob Snow Reveals his exciting plans, dreams- Orlando Magazine – June 1984

Church Street Station Added To Historic Register; Renovations Start – Sentinel Star – May 12, 1976;

Church Street empire adding Western Saloon – Orlando Sentinel – December 11, 1980

Bob Snow: With the vision of a sky pilot and the gusto of a barnstormer he turned downtown, uptown – Florida Magazine 1981

Church Street Station: Downtown Orlando’s Hotspot – Go Guide – May 1981

Rosie’s new neighbor – Cheyenne Saloon joins the crowd on Church Street – Orlando Sentinel – Orlando Sentinel – May 1982

Rosie’s 10th Anniversary – Snow built his fantasy block in the ruins of the real world – Orlando Sentinel

Rosie’s Is Ten Years Old – Orlando Sentinel – August 1, 1984

Roasters barbecue Snow at dinner – Orlando Sentinel – September 9, 1984

Skywriters Toil Without Net, Eraser – Rosie O’Grady’s Flying Circus – Orlando Sentinel

Skywriter draws on skill when plane stops flying – Orlando Sentinel – December 28, 1985

Church Street’s Orchid Garden blooms from ‘mud hole’ – Orlando Sentinel

Church Street Station Exchange – Dash of old downtown – Orlando Sentinel – May 12, 1988

Snow: Time to get off Orlando stage – Orlando Sentinel

Rosie O’Grady’s was the life of the party – Orlando Sentinel June 20, 2001
Page E1 —- Page E6

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Church Street Station One Family Remembers in the Orlando Sentinel
The Orlando Sentinel featured the "Church Street Station One Family Remembers" display at the Orlando Public Library in a full color front...
Church Street Station One Family Remembers in the Orlando Sentinel
The Orlando Sentinel featured the "Church Street Station One Family Remembers" display at the Orlando Public Library in a full color front...
Church Street Station One Family Remembers in the Orlando Sentinel
The Orlando Sentinel featured the "Church Street Station One Family Remembers" display at the Orlando Public Library in a full color front...
Skywriters Toil Without Net, Eraser - Photo 1
Orlando Sentinel article published March 30, 1986, featuring photos of two of Rosie O'Grady's Flying Circus vintage aircraft skywriting over Orlando t...
Skywriters Toil Without Net, Eraser - Photo 2
Orlando Sentinel article published March 30, 1986, featuring photos of two of Rosie O'Grady's Flying Circus vintage aircraft skywriting over Orlando t...
Rosie's 10th Anniversary - Orlando Sentinel 1984
Photo from several articles published in the Orlando heralding the 10th Anniversary of the opening of Rosie O'Grady's Good Time Emporium at the...
Rosie's 10th Anniversary - Orlando Sentinel 1984
Photo from several articles published in the Orlando heralding the 10th Anniversary of the opening of Rosie O'Grady's Good Time Emporium at the...
Rosie's 10th Anniversary - Orlando Sentinel 1984
Photo from article published in the Orlando Sentinel July 12, 1984, heralding the 10th Anniversary of the opening of Rosie O'Grady's Good...
Emporium Has Decorum - Orlando Sentinel July 19, 1974
One of the photos in the article published in the Orlando Sentinel on July 19, 1974 to announce the grand opening of...
Rosie's new neighbor - Cheyenne Saloon joins the crowd on Church Street 1982
Article published in the  May 28, 1982 Orlando Sentinel announcing the opening of the Cheyenne Saloon & Opera House constructed  from Pu...
Orlando Central City - Church Street Station page 2
This is page two of two pages on Church Street Station included in the report by Hart Krivatsy Stubee entitled "Orlando Central...
Orlando Central City Report - Church Street Station page 1
This is  page  one of two pages on Church Street Station included in the report by Hart Krivatsy Stubee entitled "Orlando Central...
Church Street Station Exchange - Dash of old downtown - 1988
This article  published in the Orlando Sentinel on May 12, 1988 comes  complete with full color photos of  architectural elements that ...
Church Street empire adding Western Saloon - photo 1980
Article published in the Orlando Sentinel on December 11, 1980 showing construction on the new Cheyenne Saloon & Opera House originally called...
Rosie O'Grady will lead revival on Church Street - 1973
Thirteen page article in the April 1973 edition of the Florida Magazine exploring the revitalization of downtown Orlando by the Downtown Orlando...
Church Street Station - National Register of Historic Places 1976
Announcement  published in the May 12, 1976 edition  of the Orlando Sentinel Star (p. 1B),   that the Church Street Station entert...
Roasters barbecue Snow at dinner - September 1984
Article published in the Orlando Sentinel on September 30, 1984 entitled: Roasters barbecue Snow at dinner : 400 hear speakers joke about...
Skywriter draws on skill when plane stops flying - Bob Snow - December 1985
Article published in the December 28, 1985 edition of the Orlando Sentinel Metro Final entitled: Skywriter draws on skill when plan stops...
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Bob Snow - Bio

Brief bio published in the local Orlando newspaper about the man who created Church Street Station. Here's a short excerpt from the bio:
He hunts the most ferocious animals on earth with his arsenal of rare shotguns. ... He stockpiles hundreds of elegant, precious antiques as if they were going out of stule . . . again.  And he refuses to build from the ground up in the suburbs of any city. He's a believe in downtowns. That's where old time values were born. Where buildings were once crafted like pieces of sculpture. Where beauty and antiquity cry out for recognition."Everything here is real," he says, using Church Street as an example. "The bricks are real, The building has a sense of history. You can't duplicate authenticity."

 


Bob Snow's Plans for Church Street Station
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Bob Snow's Plans for Church Street Station
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Bob Snow - Florida Magazine

Bob Snow: With the vision of a skypilot and the gusto of a barnstormer he turned downtown, uptown. Article in Florida Magazine on Bob Snow by Jeffrey Zaslow. Includes of Bob Snow and his wife Nancy.
"Wilmer Mitchell, Snow's legal counsel, remembers a day in 1972: We pressed our noses up against the glass where Rosie's is now and all I saw was a shambles and all he saw was a dream. He turned to me and said, 'Isn't it beautiful?' just as I was getting ready to turn to him to say, "This is awful.' But do you know what he described for me exactly what you see when you go down there at night now. Exactly."
  
 


Bob Snow - Orlando Magazine June 1984

Four page article entitled: Bob Snow reveals his exciting plans, dreams : Here, for the first time, are some of the amazing details of the Church Street hotel where people will actually sleep in old railroad cars.

 


Bob Snow : Time to get off the Orlando stage

Article in the Orlando Sentinel, pp. A1, A6) announcing Bob Snow's departure from Orlando and Church Street Station.


Skywriters Toil Without Net, Eraser - Rosie O'Grady's Flying Circus 1986

Orlando Sentinel article published March 30, 1986, featuring photos of two of Rosie O'Grady's Flying Circus vintage aircraft skywriting over Orlando theme parks. The planes, piloted by Bob Snow, r record setting balloonist Joe Kittinger, Bob Favreau and Rick Thompson, at the time were part of a small group of aerial artists who actually "draw" the letters and images themselves without the aid of computerized radio signals directing them when to start their smoke trails and produce the digital letters.

  VIEW PHOTO
The aircraft used for skywriting and featured in the photos are a Stearman and Ag-Cat biplanes, and single wing T-6. The article also explains how the smoke is produced. 

  VIEW PHOTO
 
 If you  know Col. Joe and especially if you don't, check out  his web site with amazing photo from his time in the military, his record breaking 102,800 foot parachute jump, ballooning and time with Rosie O'Grady's Flying Circus.


Rosie's 10th Anniversary - Orlando Sentinel Article 1984

Article published in the Orlando Sentinel on July 12, 1984, heralding the upcoming  10th  Anniversary of the opening of Rosie O'Grady's Good Time Emporium at the corner of Church and Garland in downtown Orlando in July 1974.
The article features  architect drawing  for the to be  remodeled    Bumby Hardware store and plans for the future. 
Another  photo  shows the Rosie O'Grady's Good  fire truck parked  right where you find it every night - in front of entrance to Rosie O'Grady's Good Time Emporium, Apple Annie's Courtyard, and Lil Marlene's Aviators Pub.

Included in the chronology of Church Street's growth.


Emporium Has Decorum - Article Orlando Sentinel July 19, 1974

Article published in the Orlando Sentinel on July 19, 1974 to announce the grand opening of the first of Bob Snow's ladies to grace Church Street in downtown Orlando - Rosie O'Grady's Good Time Emporium.

Article describes the architectural details that visitors would find as they sashayed through those swinging doors and encountered for the first time the glorious lady known as Rosie O'Grady and her Good Time Emporium.


Emporium Has Decorum - Article Orlando Sentinel July 19, 1974

 
Article published in the Orlando Sentinel on July 19, 1974 to announce the grand opening of the first of Bob Snow's ladies to grace Church Street in downtown Orlando - Rosie O'Grady's Good Time Emporium.

Article describes the architectural details that visitors would find as they sashayed through those swinging doors and encountered for the first time the glorious lady known as Rosie O'Grady and her Good Time Emporium.


Rosie's new neighbor - Cheyenne Saloon joins the crowd on Church Street Article 1982

Article published in the May 28, 1982 Orlando Sentinel announcing the opening of the Cheyenne Saloon & Opera House constructed from Purcell's, a Western wear and saddle store.
Photos of the Cheyenne Saloon & Opera House with Bob Snow outfitted in western regalia and his crew in the wagon out front.
Article also features photograph of Bob Snow decked out in Western attire befitting the owner of the posh saloon standing on the third floor overlooking the band stand and dance floor and descriptions of the architectural elements and collections  decorating  the new Saloon.

On December 11, 1980 the Orlando Sentinel published an article on the construction of the Cheyenne.


Church Street empire adding Western Saloon 1980

Article published in the Orlando Sentinel on December 11, 1980 showing construction on the new Cheyenne Saloon & Opera House originally called the Cheyenne Saloon & Social Club directly opposite Rosie' O'Grady's Good Time Emporium on Church Street at Garland in downtown Orlando.
The article includes two photos, one of the roof being constructed shown above and the other,  an exterior  shot of the first floor entrance on Church Street with the balcony above.


Dash of old downtown - Church Street Station Exchange

Full page, full color article with map of the stores, architectural details and exterior view.


Rosie's Is Ten Years Old - Orlando Sentinel 1984

Article published in the August 1, 1984, Orlando Sentinel chronicling the tenth anniversary of the opening of Rosie O'Grady's Good Time Emporium on Church Streeet at Garland.

Rosie O'Grady's, the first resident of the Church Street Station dining and entertainment complex, began operations in 1974 at the site of the old Slemons Department Store which was built in 1924.

Since its opening, the complex has expanded to include the old Leon building (1919), where Apple Annie's Courtyard is now; the Strand Hotel (1922), which became Lili Marlene's Aviators Pub and Restaurant; and the Teele Building (1924), which is now the Phineas Fogg [sic] Balloon Works. 
Across the street, and now joined by a pedestrian walkway which crosses Church Street, the Purcell Building (1920), became the Cheyenne Saloon and Opera House; and the old Joseph Bumby Hardware Company building (1886) which is now under renovation.  Also part of the complex is the former brick railroad station, built in 1890, which became the thematic focal point of the entire complex.
Read the whole story!


Rosie's Is Ten Years Old - Orlando Sentinel 1984

Article published in the August 1, 1984, Orlando Sentinel chronicling the tenth anniversary of the opening of Rosie O'Grady's Good Time Emporium on Church Streeet at Garland.

Rosie O'Grady's, the first resident of the Church Street Station dining and entertainment complex, began operations in 1974 at the site of the old Slemons Department Store which was built in 1924.

Since its opening, the complex has expanded to include the old Leon building (1919), where Apple Annie's Courtyard is now; the Strand Hotel (1922), which became Lili Marlene's Aviators Pub and Restaurant; and the Teele Building (1924), which is now the Phineas Fogg [sic] Balloon Works. 
Across the street, and now joined by a pedestrian walkway which crosses Church Street, the Purcell Building (1920), became the Cheyenne Saloon and Opera House; and the old Joseph Bumby Hardware Company building (1886) which is now under renovation.  Also part of the complex is the former brick railroad station, built in 1890, which became the thematic focal point of the entire complex.
Read the whole story!


Church Street's Orchid Garden blooms from 'mud hole'

Article published in the December 7, 1986 Calendar section of the Orlando Sentinel, heralds the upcoming grand opening of The Orchid Garden Ballroom and Dessert Cafe on December 11, 1986.

"The Orchid Garden, which will open to the public at 9 p.m. Tuesday, is a grand re-creation of a Victorian crystal palace -- with a  huge curving stained-glass wall at one end, graceful wrought iron rafters and balconies overhead and sweeping staircases. It is as ornate and authentic looking as all of Snow's fanciful restorations at Church Street Station."

Read the entire article!


Church Street Station: Downtown Orlando's hotspot

Church Street Station was the cover story in the May 1981 "Go Guide" a publication of the Sentinel Star. The print quality of the copy in the files at the Orlando Public Library is not great, but the story is amazing - especially for folks like me who lived it!

The full page, full color feature entitled "Church Street Station - all aboard for fun" gives a look back at the beginnings of Church Street with the opening of Rosie O'Gradys -- "a rip-roarin' saloon in the style of the Gay Nineties and Roaring Twenties" on July 19, 1974l

It includes a brief overview of what the visitor will find at each of the venues: Rosie O'Grady's, Apple Annie's, Lili Marlene's and Phineas Phoggs and a preview of the Cheyenne Saloon and Opera House which was at that time still  under construction.

Read the entire article!
 


That Breeze Downtown: It's Wind Of Change. No Kidding!

  VIEW PHOTO
 
Thirteen page article in the April 1973 edition of the Florida magazine exploring the revitalization of downtown Orlando by the Downtown Orlando Development Corporation. The article features  several pages on Bob Snow and his vision for Church Street Station.

 


Church Street Station - Train Station - National Register of Historic Places

Announcement  published in the May 12, 1976 edition  of the Orlando Sentinel Star (p. 1B),   that the Church Street Station entertainment complex developer, Bob Snow,  would renovate the original Church Street Railroad Station built in 1899. This photograph published as part of the article, shows the condition of the station before Bob Snow began the renovation converting it into a market for craftsmen from around Central Florida.

 


Bob Snow is the Florida Barnum who can't stand promoters

People Magazine article in the July 12, 1976 edition entitled: "One the Move : Bob Snow is the Florida Barnum who can't stand promoters." 
 


Bob Snow - Downtowners - 1976

Florida Magazine article  published with the November 28, 1976 edition of the Sunday Sentinel Star,  entitled "Downtowners" about Bob Snow and others who reside in the downtown area.


Orlando Central City

From inside front cover:
This is the story of two years in the history of Orlando, Florida.
In 1973 and 1974 a decade of hard work culminated in an active, successful central city rebuilding program. Projects now being set in motion will have profound and positive effect on this city for years to come.
The important story of the past two years, however, goes beyond the projects; it is the story of people working for their community. Today in Central Orlando hundreds of people are working together -- the Mayor, City Councilmen, County Commissioners and officials, city staff, business leaders, merchants, landowners, junior citizens and senior citizens. Together they are carrying out a plan, and together their efforts are beginning to build a new kind of city for Florida.
This is a record of their work.

The extensive list of all the individuals, organizations and agencies involved in Orlando Central City are found on the next to the last page in the document  attached.


Rosie O'Grady's was the life of the party - p. E6

Two page, photo filled, article chronicling the history of Church Street Station from the Grand Opening of Rosie O'Grady's Good Time Emporium on July 19, 1974 to the closing in June 2001.
Read Page E1.


Rosie O'Grady's was the life of the party - p. E1

Two page, photo filled, article chronicling the history of Church Street Station from the Grand Opening of Rosie O'Grady's Good Time Emporium on July 19, 1974 to the closing in June 2001.
Read page E6.


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