2017 Coolest Office Spaces: Take a look inside R.C. Stevens’ place in local history

Orlando Business Journal Mar 9, 2017, 8:48am EST Updated: Mar 9, 2017, 3:08pm EST

JIM CARCHIDI

The top vote-getting company in Orlando Business Journal‘s 2017 Coolest Office Spaces reader poll resides in a historic community — and a historic building.

R.C. Stevens Construction Co. was founded in 1926, about 14 years after its future home, Winter Garden’s Bond Building, was first completed.

“The history of the building is part of the décor,” says company CFO Arden Griffith. “It’s literally on the walls.”

The 18,000-square-foot building, which originally was a farm equipment and supply store, also was one of the first brick buildings to be constructed in Winter Garden. Walls and roof supports date back to the original structure, and the metal hoists that were used for lifting farm equipment remain in the ceiling.

In addition to renovating its own 5,000-square-foot office space, R.C. Stevens also served as the general contractor for the building restoration efforts from July 2010-December 2011. Traces of a fire, which nearly destroyed the building in 1980, are still visible in the charred bricks that remain in several areas, including the conference room and the office of R.C. Stevens President Tim Keating.

“The fire damaged some of the walls so badly that additional load-bearing supports had to be added during the renovation,” says Griffith.

In addition to an open floor plan and several high tech additions, the office features wood and industrial accents that play off of the historic remnants. There are also several works of art displayed in the space, some of which are by Keating’s wife Mary who is an active member of the Winter Garden art community.

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