GENE LEEDY, FAIA (1928-2018)
Leedy was born in Isaban WV and the family moved to Gainesville FL where his father opened a small restaurant. At 16, Leedy attended the University of Florida in architecture and later served in the US Air Force. He moved to Sarasota FL and became the first employee of Paul Rudolph, Leedy married Kathryn (Bebe) Hoge in 1950 and they had one son, Robert. Leedy moved to Winter Haven FL in 1954 and although Rudolph invited him to join Yale's faculty, he decided to open up his own office. The couple divorced in 1958 and Leedy married Marjorie Frances Ingram in 1960. Along with a daughter from Marjorie's previous marriage, Helen Isabel King, they had two children Marjorie (Saffie) and Ingram Leedy.
Leedy was a design consultant for Alfred Yee of Honolulu HI for more than 25 years. He won the 1988 Florida AIA Lifetime Design Achievement Award. Notable employees of Leedy include
architects Larry Scarpa and Max Strang.
Leedy's studio at 555 Avenue G, Winter Haven FL, below, was acquired by Strang
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Bio adapted from Wikipedia. Research by Catherine Westergaard Cramer.
1950 - aka House for Contemporary Builders, Sarasota FL. Status unknown; do you know where it is?
1953 - The Bertram H. Carter House, 251 Cedar Park Circle, Siesta Key FL. Sold in 1956 to Laurence W. Gregory. Sold to J. C. Rowley. Sold to E. Edward Rushton. Destroyed and a new house built in 2013.
1954 - The Frank and Beverly Sparrow House, 501 West Lake Otis Drive SE, Winter Haven FL. Leedy designed several homes on this street. Sold to John and Mary Louise Strange. Sold in 1999 to Dennis D. McGraw. For sale in 2022.
1956 - The Gene Leedy House, aka Craney Home Protoype, 1518 Drexel Avenue NE, Winter Haven FL. This was the Leedy home from 1957 until his death in 2018. Addition in 1998. After the 2017 Hurricane Irma, architect Max Strang did a renovation. Sold in 2019 to Max Strang.
1956 - 1549 Drexel Avenue NE, Winter Haven FL. Sold in 1969 to James and Karen Vogt. Sold in 1984 to Tim N. Howell. Deeded to Tim N. and Kathleen Shaughnessy Howell.
1956 - 1550 Drexel Avenue NE, Winter Haven FL. Sold in 2003 to Robert L. Kaiser. Restored and renovated in 2006.
1957 - The Navickas Residence, Winter Haven FL. Status unknown; do you know where it is?
1957 - The Libby Residence, Winter Park FL. Status unknown; do you know where it is?
1957 - 1558 Drexel Avenue NE, Winter Haven FL. Sold to Jettie Ann Gaines. Deeded to Ambrose Gaines.
1957 - The James I. and Dorothy W. Wherry Jr. House, 1517 Drexel Avenue NE, Winter Haven FL. Sold to Walter B. and Shirley M. Elkins. Sold in 1971 to Peter and Rose Cangemi. Sold in 2001 to Andrew Weaving. Sold in 2007 to Nikole Helmers. Sold in 2010 to Branch Banking and Trust Company. Sold in 2011 to Roy Sloane and Judith Francis.
1958 - The Henry House, Bartow FL. Addition by Leedy. Fire in 2020. Status unknown; do you know where it is?
1963 - The SAE Fraternity House, 2 Fraternity Drive, Gainesville FL. Three level building at the University of Florida. Included a quiet wing with designated spaces for sleep and study and an active wing with a recreation room, kitchen, and dining areas. The wings were connected by covered bridges. Built by Guy Cleveland Construction, Gainesville and John Wood and Associates, Winter Haven.
1963 - The Dormon Residence, 550 Lake Otis Drive SE, Winter Haven FL. Sold in 2011 to Michael D. Long.
1963 - The Ellison House, 1602 8th Street SE, Winter Haven FL. Major addition in 1999. Sold in 2020 to Dominick Stewart.
1963 - The Hinds House, Winter Haven FL. Status unknown; do you know where it is?
1964 - The Levitt & Sons House, aka The Eastwood, Rockledge FL. Featured in Architectural Record Houses of 1965. Interior design, Phill Hall; built by Levitt & Sons. Leedy designed the Eastwood as one of five designs for Levitt Park near Kennedy Space Center. 1500 houses were planned but only the Buckingham Section was completed. Example house: 6 Buckingham Court. Sold in 2014 to William Kinstler.
1965 - The Sands Residence, 185 Lake Otis Road, Winter Haven FL. Sold in 2020 to Kathryn Beckwith Woody.
1965 - The Lilley House, Winter Park FL. Status unknown; do you know where it is?
1967 - The Thelma Guest House, 1540 Lake Mirror Drive NW, Winter Haven FL. Sold in 2013 to Philip and Nancy Guest.
1970 - The Syd Solomon Residence and Studio, 9210 Blind Pass Road, Siesta Key FL. Condemned in 2001. Artist Nancy Burns, the owner, tried to save it from the wrecking ball. In 2002 waves eroded the concrete and in 2003 Tropical Storm Isidore shattered windows and tilted the porch. In March 2003, bricks started falling into the ocean, so the city placed a lien on the property. The house was destroyed 20 days later.
1970 - The Carl and Sheryll Strang House, Winter Haven FL. Parents of architect Max Strang, who grew up in the house and had a lifelong relationship with Leedy.
1971 - The Lucas House, 840 Lake Otis Drive SE, Winter Haven FL. Sold in 1991 to William Sands.
1979 - The Brogden House, 8 Brogden Court SE, Winter Haven FL. Sold in 2015 to Dyeanna Portlock.
1979 - The Max DePree House, Marco Island FL. He was head of Herman Miller. Status unknown; do you know where it is?
1980 - The Hans O. and Peggy Huntley Keilhack House, 6000 Amos Smith Road, Charlotte NC. Commissioned 1979. Built by KeilTex. Leedy also designed two commercial buildings for Hans Keilhack. 8900 sf. Originally 30 acres on the north end of Lake Wylie. Featured in Florida Architect Magazine, July/August 1988. Sold in 2016 to Matthew C. and Holly Clapham.
1982 - The Azalea Place Townhouses, 1100-1102 and 1110-1112 Azalea Lane, Winter Park FL. 2 buildings, 2 townhouses each. 1100 Azalea Lane sold in 2022 to Abigail Wolfe.
1982 - The Strasberg Residence, Longwood FL. Status unknown; do you know where it is?
1982 - The Ellen McFarlane House, 100 Sweet Bay Lane, Longwood FL. Sold in 1995 to Jim and Carol Strasberg. Sold in 2015 to Iris Malishewsky.
1983 - The Dean Residence, Winter Haven FL. Status unknown; do you know where it is?
1983 - The Haven Place Condominiums, 501-519 Avenue B NW, Winter Haven FL.
1985 - The Gene Leedy Beach House Renovation, Casey Key FL. Destroyed.
1985 - The Miller Residence, Plant City FL. Status unknown; do you know where it is?
1985 - The Albert and Barbara Carlton Beach House, Boca Grande FL. May be destroyed or badly renovatated. Status unknown; do you know where it is?
1985 - The Smith Beach House, Boca Grande FL. Next door to Carlton. Status unknown; do you know where it is?
1992 - The Henry Camp House, Lake Kerr, Salt Springs FL. Status unknown; do you know where it is?
1994 - The University of Southern Florida President's House, aka the Lifsey House, 11820 USF Sago Drive, Tampa FL. Named for the house's benefactors, Julian and Mary Ann Lifsey. Until 2019 only one president had occupied the home since it was built, President Betty Castor, who lived there from 1994-1999. "It's a great place if you don't have children," she said. The house has taken its share of criticism over the years, with comments such as that it has no warmth or sense of feeling like a home, that its a very public place for a private home. Portions of the house had been repurposed as office space. The house needed some work in 2019, according to the campus paper, The Oracle. Later that year, incoming president and professor Steve Currall and his wife, Cheyenne, forfeited the available housing budget offered by the University and after some renovations, including a new roof, moved into the Lifsey house. They say they felt living on campus was important and Steve liked the architecture.
1995 - The Garcia Residence, Anna Maria Island FL. Renovated into the Mediterranean style. Photos by Max Strang. Status unknown; do you know where it is?
1996 - The Fred and Jill McCormack House, 6075 Miller Landing Cove, Tallahassee FL. Fred died in 2016. House bequeathed to Garrett McCormack. Sold in 2021 to David Earl Rippee Jr.
2006 - The Myers House, 121 East Mountain Lake Cutoff Road, Lake Wales FL. Sold to Michael McGowan.
2006 - The Ellerman House, 950 North Lake Otis Drive, Winter Haven FL. Sold in 2012 to Stephen K. Brooks. Sold in 2021 to Troy Lee Miller.
2006 - The Wright House, 900 Lake Otis Drive SE, Winter Haven FL. Sold in 2019 to Jennifer Raley.
Sources include: Architectural Record; Leedy website.