Architect turns Orlando Hourglass District home into artistic statement

Fed up with red tape, an Orlando architect decided to turn a home blocking progress into a work of art.

The home at Vine St. and Francis Ave. is now covered with brightly colored murals created by local artist Maureen Hudas.

The images include several hourglasses meant to represent the Hourglass District of town and several paintings of bees to represent the growing hive of life Ryan Young and his team of architects at Interstruct are trying to bring back to the district.  Young said it’s that now colorful home that’s really standing in the way of moving the project ahead.

"We're not tearing it down, we just want to renovate,” said Young.

However, the architect and the county disagree on the process to make that renovation happen.  According to emails between the two, provided by the Orange County Zoning Division, renovating the property requires action by the Board of Zoning Adjustments and the Board of County Commissioners to approve the plans for the home, and then building permits can be issued.

Young said, however, that several of the steps shouldn’t be necessary on an existing home with past permits that the company already owns, and has already worked with the county on in the past year.

"We're not trying to create an issue, we'd just love to be able to renovate a cool project in a cool up and coming neighborhood without spending 3 to 4 months in a variance hearing,” he said.

So, Young’s hope is that the colorful mural will get the county looking at the house and the Hourglass District as a whole to speed the process up. There is no word on if they’re reconsidering the timeline, but on Wednesday county representatives said they have noticed the mural and that it does not violate code; as long as it’s not advertising anything. 

They also said that Orange County is aware of what it will take to renovate the home and they are communicating that with the developers.

Regardless of the renovations happening the quick way or the long one, Young said the murals have been a hit 
with neighbors; even becoming “Instagram Sensations” with many. He said the artist made several of the paintings on moveable panels so that Young and the team recreating the district can put them elsewhere in the neighborhood in the future; make the art a permanent part of the area that they hope will long attract attention in Orlando.