COMMUNITY

WILL PALMER'S BAY HILL LAST?

June 5, 2020

 

By CHARLES ARTHUR JOHNSTON

 

For years Gladin Court in Bay Hill seemed just like the rest of the neighborhood: beautiful but aging. Dated homes and structures everywhere fall under the keen eye of investors seeking to flatten the old and raise the new. As seen in the photo pictured right, smaller and more modest Bay Hill originals fall and mansions rise in their place. Though both Bay Hill and neighborhoods such as Isleworth attract buyers of proximate wealth, each subdivision represents a different vision and spirit.

 

By removing older and less mammoth houses in Bay Hill, the neighborhood loses the quaint charm it possessed in the hey-day of the neighborhood's development. Certainly Arnold Palmer was no poor man. His wealth grew and grew to the point of his passing and beyond.. Why did Palmer decide not to build and buy multi-million dollar homes everywhere in the world, including Bay Hill? The answer is simple: his humility and Christian modesty. There is nothing wrong with living "high on the hog" or "keeping up with the Joneses" in every case. After all, Palmer did create the Isleworth Golf and Country Club from his own imagination. However, most days in Bay Hill, you 'd find Arnold Palmer riding his golf cart with his dog.

 

Palmer lived for the most part in a condo by the marina. He always went out of his way to chat with everyone no matter the station they came from or their current economic or social status. He often paid for secret college scholarships for poor workers and never asked for anything in return. The same quaint, modest and moral qualities that Palmer lived out in his life manifested in his golf course, living quarters and development. To erode the original nature of Bay Hill does an injustice not only to Arnold Palmer, Frank Hubbard and so many more, but also to the sense of community among neighbors and neighborhoods in the area.

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