Photo by Emily Dietrich, 2011

William Robinson House


Photo Credit: Emily Dietrich, 2011

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 Credit: Emily Dietrich, 2011

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.

Photo by Bullet, 2012
Photo Credit: Bullet, 2012

Photographer: Bullet
Year Taken: 2012
Website: Abandoned Florida

Photographer: Emily Dietrich
Year Taken: 2011
Website: emilydietrich.com

14 thoughts on “William Robinson House”

  1. Went by there today, there is a sign from the county on the door saying it is a nuisance and a danger to the neighborhood and if the owners don’t fix it in 30 days it will be demolished. The notice was posted September 4th, 2012. It has a lot more graffiti now, the ugly kind.

    1. Yeah. Emily, the author of this piece, went by recently and took photos. There was an excavator machine there at the time so it seems the city is ready to take it down.

  2. Everywhere you turn, beautiful things are being destroyed Both by vandalism and the “need” to knock something down and replace it with another monstrosity. Jacksonville has plenty of these: Annie Lytle School, Horace Drew House and many others.

    1. Hi Patsy! I see we frequent the same urbex sites :) I’m so glad your cleaning up the Annie Lytle School. I only wish more would do the same.

      1. Hi! Janice. We have a small but dedicated group of people trying so hard. Made a lot of progress but Saturday we discovered Code Enforcement has returned and sealed the building. Now, we must wait until vandals break in and we may get back to work inside. This leaves us with a lot of yard work. It happens every six months or so. We worked inside the Drew House few months back. It was a dream come true. Purchase deal fell thru. Our “angel” has returned the keys. Drew is failing quickly now. I despair. We will not give up on either.

  3. I loved that house the first time I saw it. I actually got to go inside too. The rooms were still in good shape then. The roof not so much. It was so strange how the family left furniture that was salvageable and family photos inside. I remember one photo of the son, about 6 or 7 years old with a Spider-Man costume on. Who leaves stuff like that behind? This house could have been saved if someone had bothered to put a roof on it after the hurricanes ( we had 2 back to back and then another a year later). I miss this place. I use to drive by once in while to see if it was still there. They tore it done a couple of years ago. It was on the corner of Indian river drive and Walton rd. a very scenic drive.

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