Harder Hall
Harder Hall is a historic site in Sebring, Florida. It is located on Little Lake Jackson, at 3300 Golfview Drive. On June 20, 1990, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Original capacity
The hotel was designed in the Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture popular during the period and contained 134 rooms. It had approximately 50,000 square feet (4,600 m 2) square feet of rooms and halls, 35,000 square feet (3,300 m 2) of public areas including a mezzanine lobby. The 4,200-square-foot (390 m 2) Great Room and Banquet Room both had 22-foot (7 m) ceilings with large french doors that overlook the lake.

History

Early
Prior to the Wall Street Crash of 1929, Florida experienced a boom in real estate and tourism. It was during this period that many Spanish style hotels, such as Harder Hall, were built. Construction of the hotel began in 1925, prior to the end of the Florida land boom of the 1920s. The firm responsible for the construction of the building, Schultze and Weaver, were also responsible for the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida. In 1927, the classic Spanish Style hotel and golf resort, opened on the shore of Little Lake Jackson. Harder Hall was built in Sebring because the city was a stop on the Atlantic Coast Line railroad. In 1953 it was bought by Victor and David Jacobson and partners Larry Tennenbaum and Sam Levy. In 1954 Victor commissioned golf course architect Dick Wilson to transform the golf course into a championship layout. Among the major tournaments held at Harder Hall Hotel were the Haig & Haig Scotch Foursome, a PGA Tour/ LPGA Tour event. Other famous guests of the hotel were Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Ali McGraw and Mario Andretti. With head pro Ben Roman Victor started the first golf school in the world. Victor and Eva Jacobson also operated Harder Hall Golf and Tennis Camp at the hotel between 1967 and at least 1982. This was the first and last co-ed, teenage golf and tennis camp in a resort hotel ever and drew campers from all over the world. Victor operated this hotel until the 1982 when he sold it to a group of investors who went bankrupt, unable to convert their plan to convert the structure to timeshares. The building has been unoccupied ever since. Several times different groups tried their luck on the extensive renovation project but never got far. A few times this classic building barely escaped demolition, before being put on the National Register of Historic Places.

Current
In 2004 the building was acquired by another investor from Florida, who in 2005 through 2006 gave the ambitious restoration project another try. This one witnessed more work done than all other previous attempts combined, but ran out of funds in 2006. Currently the half-finished project is awaiting new owners to finally finish the restoration. Harder Hall was purchased at auction by the city of Sebring in July 2007.

Building Activity

  • Kiril Pavlov
    Kiril Pavlov activity.buildings_person.create
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com