Scotland House

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Scotland House
The front gate to the Scotland House
Building Information
Location 1417 N. 12th Avenue
Client Max Lee Bear
Current Owner Scotland Yard
Completion Date 1906
Date Demolished February 16, 1991
Style Mediterranean Revival
Size 9,009 square feet

The Scotland House was an historic East Hill home built circa 1906 for Max Lee Bear. The two-story, 17-room house of red brick was located at 1417 North 12th Avenue, on a 2½-acre city block bounded by 12th and 11th Avenues, Blount Street and Lee Street. In 1914 Bear sold the home to Robert F. Mitchell, president of West Florida Naval Stores, who in turn sold it to D. W. McMillan in 1926.

In 1940, the late Dr. McMillan's estate donated the house to the West Florida branch of the state Children's Home Society, who operated it as the Harry A. Lurton Receiving Home from 1941 to 1960.

In 1962 the YWCA bought the home and operated there until around 1985.

In 1986 it was purchased by Wilmer Mitchell, grandson of former owner Robert F. Mitchell, and architect Hugh Leitch. The men intended to renovate the home as a professional office complex to be called "Scotland Yard,"[1] but house sat vacant as plans fizzled. It became a hangout for teenagers (who believed it to be haunted) and a shelter for vagrant squatters.

On February 16, 1991, the house was destroyed by a fire. (Another historic building owned by Leitch at 227 Intendencia Street was also destroyed in a fire later the same day.[2]) Two teenaged boys, among 14 Pine Forest High School students who visited the house the previous night, had used a lit palm frond as a torch and left it on the floor when they left, igniting the blaze. The two were charged with arson.[3]

Starting in 1993, Mitchell and Leitch developed the block as Scotland Yard, which included 20 single-family brick homes in a vernacular style.


  • "Scotland House a landmark for 80 years." Pensacola News Journal, February 17, 1991.
  • "East Hill to get new homes." Pensacola News Journal, January 30, 1993.
  1. "Retain Basic Character." Undated newspaper clipping in Pensacola Historical Society archives.
  2. "Architect hit hard by 2 fires." Pensacola News Journal, February 17, 1991.
  3. "2 youths accused of arson." Pensacola News Journal, February 24, 1991.