The Rogers Building, a 132-year-old downtown structure that in recent years has housed various arts, was donated Monday to the city of Orlando.

The building, at 39 S. Magnolia Ave., currently is home to monthly curated art exhibits, artist talks, movie series and more. Also the past home of art galleries and the Mad Cow Theatre, it is one of the oldest buildings in downtown Orlando. The Orlando City Council accepted the donation from Ford W. Kiene in order to ensure the preservation of the historic building and the continuation of the arts offerings there, the city announced Monday.

“The city has worked hard to incorporate arts into everything we do as a community and to increase these types of cultural offerings for our residents and visitors,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer stated in a news release issued by the city. “We are grateful for this generous donation from Ford and how it will continue to further our efforts growing our burgeoning arts and culture scene.”

As part of the acquisition of the property, the building has been officially renamed in honor of the donation as the Rogers Kiene Building.

The owner is obtaining an appraisal of the building for the purpose of a charitable contribution to the city. The 2017 assessed value of the property is $955,803.

In the short term, the gallery will continue to operate as is. The city intends to maintain the property as a cultural acility for a period of twenty years following the date of the recording of the deed.

“The Rogers Building represented an opportunity to reawaken and restore a piece of downtown history,”  Kiene, chairman of City Beverages, stated in the city’s news release. “It is with much enjoyment and pleasure that I yield ownership to the City of Orlando, as they have such a deep commitment to the arts as well as historic preservation. It will be a gathering place for the arts in Orlando.”

Built in 1886 by Englishman Gordon Rogers and investors, the Rogers Building is one of the few surviving Victorian structures in the city and downtown.

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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