Talk:Cordova Towers

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Are you sure about the tree tunnel? 12th Avenue is on the western side of Bayou Texar... 70.191.219.227 04:05, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

So says Mr. Appleyard. There must have been an early bridge at that spot where the Bayou narrows (same place as the current 12th Avenue bridge). Since there was more infrastructure on the western side at that point, it was probably much easier/cheaper than forging a road through the undeveloped woods of the eastern shore. — admin • talk  04:26, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
The Baars Family Papers in UWF Special Collections apparently include documents about a "Cordova Bridge" which may be what we're talking about. I really need to get out there and do some hard research. — admin • talk  22:53, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Also, are you sure they called the mansion "Cordova"? Lumbering in Northwest Florida and Alabama by Mr. Appleyard and staff says the home was called "The Towers". dscosson ··· talk 13:19, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, I had asked him to confirm the Cordova stuff before I posted it. Maybe it was also called The Towers? I dunno, I'll try to ask him today. — admin • talk  13:52, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
From the aforementioned book: Unfortunately, [Mary Ellison Baars] died (in 1923) before her plans could mature, and the project was mothballed. However, the family did erect a magnificent mansion in Cordova Park which became one of the showplaces of the period between 1910-1930. Called The Towers, it was later to house all of the Baars' sons and their brides..." dscossontalk 14:02, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
There may be some conflation here. I would guess that "the Towers" was the name given to the proposed clubhouse (pictured in this rendering, circa 1901), which was planned to go up near the Baars' home but I don't think was ever actually built. — admin • talk  16:15, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't think so. Everything I've seen describes "The Towers" as the estate. There are Harvard graduate books that describe the Baars brothers of living at "The Towers, Cordova Park, Pensacola, Florida". But maybe! dscossontalk 18:33, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Interesting. Mystery remains unsolved. But that rendering's pretty cool, yeh? — admin • talk  19:58, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Quite. dscossontalk 20:24, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Southern Manufacturer description[edit]

File:BaarsHomeExt.jpg
Exterior of the Baars home

Okay, this seems to settle the "Towers" question. I also scanned in a photo of the home, though it's from a photocopy and not very good quality. Here's the full text from The Southern Manufacturer:

Visitors to Pensacola who have had the pleasure of seeing the fine country home of Mrs. H. Baars, where she spends portions of her winters, all agree that no more beautiful place can be found, North or South, than Cordova Park. This beautiful estate is composed of 3000 acres of forest, through which has been built a fine driveway made as hard as asphalt with the red material take from the shores of the lake. This material makes a splendid road and it shows beautifully, contrasted with the green grass and other foliage. The principal drive to the park from the city is 80 feet wide, and there are four other fine roads from Pensacola leading to different entrances.
Running through the park is a beautiful stream known as Lake Texar, which winds its way, sparkling and rippling, through the green woods, between the two ranges of hills, and down which a trip reminds one of passing down the famed Hudson River. Nothing is more beautiful than this forest stream.
Whatever other beauties, however, exist in this forest domain, the central feature is the mansion, which is known as the Towers. As one approaches the house it presents an imposing appearance, and the interior, while richly finished and furnished, still retains the suggestion of a great country mansion in the forest, where the owner is monarch of everything in view. As one enters this mansion, he sees an immense reception hall with a great fireplace in which, in winter, the logs on the big irons make a roaring fire which warms the wet hunter and the belated traveler and makes everything comfortable and cozy. The walls of the great hall are beautifully frescoed. Besides this central hall, which is a distinct feature of the house, there are rooms daintily finished in delicate colors. The dining room is large and finished in oak, the walls of which are covered with a brown fabric.
There are prominent athletic and turf features connected with the estate which are accounted for by the fact that some of the sons of Mr. and Mrs. Baars are interested in those sports, and it is for them that there is to be built a fine boat house, and for they and their friends that a club house is to be erected and a mile race track created near the salt water, where the horses may be allowed to wade a quarter of a mile into the salt water, and stables for wintering the horses. Lake Texar is an arm of the bay, and the shores present a perfect and safe beach where the bathing is the best.
These young men are enthusiastic about such matters as racing and boating and their tastes are encouraged by their father and mother along conservative lines.
While the main forests are of pine which fives the splendid, healthful air and the music of the wind in the tree tops, the soil is so rich that many fine trees thrive and among these are to be found live oak, magnolia, dogwood and bay. These great forests, with their valleys and hills and streams, make it one of the most splendid country places in the world. The park is three miles from Pensacola, and the roads leading there are all fine and smooth.

What do you think? I got the "Cordova" name from Theo Baars Jr's obituary. Do you think we should leave that as the main title, or move to The Towers? — admin • talk  21:41, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Do you have any other sources that call it Cordova? I ask because there are multiple sources calling it The Towers. Whether we move it or not, we should have at a minimum an clause in the lead paragraph using the other name, i.e. "also known as". dscossontalk 22:01, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
The 1911 Makers of America by the Florida Historical Society makes reference to the christening of "Cordova Towers" ("with appropriate semi-religious ceremonies") where "a gracious and generous hospitality is dispensed among the friends who are so fortunate as to become its guests." (Google's limited preview won't let me see any more than that.) Hmm... I should really try to get up to the University and look in the Baars family papers. — admin • talk  23:29, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
But yes, I definitely agree that the article should mention both via "(also known as...)" — I'm just not sure which to use as the actual title. — admin • talk  23:30, 12 November 2008 (UTC)