Photo(Emily Dietrich, 2011): After a rash of vandalism and theft at the home, it was boarded up, though that didn’t stop someone from kicking the door off it’s hinges.
Nestled into the coast of the Indian River Lagoon, where south Florida and central Florida first start to merge, sits an incredible historical house – once undoubtedly one of the most beautiful gems of the area – in an incredibly depressing state of disrepair.
Built circa 1900 by William Robinson, the large, two-story family home was a gorgeous example of Folk-Victorian architecture. Boasting a balcony fully crossing the front of the home and complete with intricate and ornate details, bay windows on the first and second floor, and a matching garage and doghouse, this family home has sat quietly for the last several years after its last owners abandoned it post-hurricane Frances in 2004 when it was deemed uninhabitable. The home has been in foreclosure since 2008, however, in the same year St Lucie County voted in favor of designating the William Robinson house as an exceptional historic resource. With such a designation, the owners would be able to receive a considerable amount of assistance to help with the maintenance – yet the home still sits, silently, in shambles. It is currently the only home in St Lucie County’s historic register.
Photo(Emily Dietrich, 2011): The ceiling is collapsing and there are holes throughout the entirety of the home.
It is apparent that the last owners had suffered a family tragedy before abandoning the home. At the last visit, the home was still full of all sorts of trinkets and treasures from the life that they left behind, most of which are, unfortunately, incredibly weather damaged or destroyed. Family photos, both old and new, are littered across the floors. Newspapers, books, magazines and personal papers are also abundant, spilling out of boxes and scattered from room to room. The tiny kitchen is completely stripped, and vandals have begun to mark the place with random bits of graffiti. The floors are broken, weathered, and soft; upstairs is a real hazard, with some spots too dangerous to continue past. The most gripping part of the house, however, is the child’s room upstairs – still full of toys, photos, and other personal effects.
Every day in the volatile south Florida weather undoubtably seals the fate of the home just a little bit more. Every storm, big or small, is a huge threat. Being right on the coast is certainly not helping it either, with the salt water breezes coming from the estuary that it sits directly across from. Everyone who knows the house seems to hope that it can be saved somehow, although with every passing day the outlook seems to be more and more bleak, even at best.