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Draper Lake History – Long before 30A became a prestigious getaway for celebrities and second homeowners from across the country, Draper Lake captured the heart of artist Flora Aleene Sinclair-Franz.
The Chipley, Florida native, who worked alongside Frank Lloyd Wright during her time as a young student at the Art Institute of Chicago, fell in love with what was then a simple network of dirt roads and picturesque views. The “fiercely independent” painter purchased all of the land surrounding the lake for herself in the 1930s. While it was the promise of turpentine that brought her family, and many others, to the area in those days, it was the stunning landscape that called her to 30A.
With panoramic views of a treasured coastal dune lake and the sandy gulf beaches, the area was simply too much for her to pass up, especially since naturalistic scenes and still life were her proffered painting subjects. Flora even struck a deal with her old friend Frank to build an art studio on the property so she could teach classes to local residents and any visitors who may have found their way to the area in those days.
Unfortunately, the grand architectural plan never materialized but after years of family trips to the land, Flora finally “found” her home at 58 Sinclair Lane in 2009. Although she didn’t live long enough to see the home, which is located on what is left of the family land at Draper Lake, her love for the area inspired the vision of architect J. Michael Hunnicutt and her son Karl, who worked together on the design.
“Karl Sinclair Franz really tried to capitalize on what his mother, Flora, loved about the property,” says a family friend. What resulted really set the standard for the architecture throughout Draper Lake community. It uses all-natural materials, like cedar siding and wood roofing, and of course the views are just unmatched. There’s really no other place like this in the area!”