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Growing up on Lake Eola with Grace

Alice Buning grew up in the last family home on Lake Eola at the corner of Robinson Street and Rosalind Avenue. Her father, Mr. Bill Buning, had his insurance office downstairs, and her grandfather had his insurance office downtown. Alice grew up with Orlando’s landmarks: walking to the Post Office everyday, the library, visting her granddad, and playing around Lake Eola.

LISTEN to this excerpt from an oral history interview on April 21st, 2011 as she shares her happy memories of neighbors, Grace Bowen, who ran Grace Terrace Apartments and Motel Rooms at 240 E. Robinson St., and the Zorian family, also on Lake Eola, at 212 E. Robinson St.

She recalls Grace Bowen’s care for feeding the ducks at Lake Eola and her elaborate Christmas decorations on the wide stairway of Grace Terrace.

Alice Buning and her seven siblings were well known to the officer who walked the lake. He knew the Buning children climbing in the trees at Lake Eola, their backyard playground. Alice remembers watching the fountain being built, Cherry Plaza Hotel, and “the biggest thing was watching them build the pool at Cherry Plaza. A lot of good times around Lake Eola.”

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Valentine's Day at St. James Cathedral
February 1992 photo of Jim and Cathy Steiger at a Valentine's Day celebration at St. James Cathedral in downtown Orlando.
The Bunings at Saint James Cathedral
Photo of Bill Buning's grandchild in the kitchen at Saint James Cathedral in downtown Orlando.
St. James Cathedral School
Three generations of Bunings are featured on the cover of St. James Cathedral School, Fall 2007, vol. 2, Issue 1, newsletter. The Buning...
Grace Terrace Apartments and Motel rooms on Lake Eola
1950's postcard of Grace Terrace Apartments and Motel Rooms located on Lake Eola at 240 E. Robinson Street in downtown Orlando. Grace Bowen,...
Cherry Plaza Hotel Orlando
Front of postcard showing Lake Eola Centennial fountain and Cherry Plaza Hotel.
Cherry Plaza Hotel at Lake Eola
Back of postcard featuring photo of Cherry Plaza Hotel and the Centennial Fountain  at Lake Eola.
Cherry Plaza Hotel at Lake Eola
Postcard, circa 1960, of the Cherry Plaza Hotel at Lake Eola.
Tropical Eola Park, Orlando, Fla. "The City Beautiful" - post card circa 1952
Postcard printed by the Orange News Co., Orlando, Fla.  Genuine Curtreich-Chicago "C.T. Art Colortone" post card. Description on back: Orlando is...
Tropical Eola Park, Orlando, Fla. "The City Beautiful" - post card circa 1952 - back
Postcard printed by the Orange News Co., Orlando, Fla. Genuine Curtreich-Chicago "C.T. Art Colortone" post card. Description on back: Orlando is one...
Lake Eola Park Postcard, October 1952
October 22, 1952 postcard sent to Mr. and Mrs. Worley in Corbin, Kentucky. VIEW. See enscription, VIEW. Printed identification: Orange News Co., Orlan...
Alice Buning, St. James Cathedral

Alice Bunning grew up in the last family home on Lake Eola at the corner of Robinson Street and Rosalind Avenue. Her father, Mr. Bill Buning, had his insurance office downstairs, and her grandfather had his insurance office downtown. Alice grew up with Orlando's landmarks: walking to the Post Office everyday, the library, visting her granddad, and playing around Lake Eola. 

In this excerpt from an oral history interview on April 21st, 2011 she shares her happy memories of neighbors, Grace Bowen, who ran Grace Terrace Apartments and Motel Rooms at 240 E. Robinson St., and the Zorian family, also on Lake Eola, at 212 E. Robinson St.

She recalls Grace Bowen's concern for feeding the ducks at Lake Eola and her well known Christmas decorations on the wide stairway of Grace Terrace.

Alice Bunning and her seven siblings were well known to the officer who walked the lake. He knew the Buning children climbing in the trees at Lake Eola, their backyard playground. Alice remembers watching the fountain being built, Cherry Plaza, and "the biggest thing was watching them build the pool at Cherry Plaza. A lot of good times around Lake Eola."




Alice and Joan Buning, St. James Cathedral

President Lyndon B. Johnson, the first president ever to sleep in Orlando, stayed at the Cherry Plaza just around the corner from the Buning's family home on Lake Eola during his 1964 campaign visit. Alice Buning remembers competing with her brother, Rick Buning, to see who could shake President Johnson's hand the most. Alice confirms for the record that she knows she shook President Johnson's hand four times before the President made his way to Colonial Drive for his 9:30 am campaign address. Alice's mother, Joan Buning, also shares her fond memories of the Cherry Plaza Hotel and significant downtown landmarks in this excerpt from an oral history interview with the Bunings on April 21st, 2011.




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