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Kaley Elementary School
Kaley Elementary is a school located in Orlando Florida and the address is 1600 E. Kaley Street. The school was built in 1936, during the Great Depression era, which 1930's buildings/homes that were constructed during that time were funded by the military through the G.I. Bill. This building was designed and built by architect, Maurice Elias Kressly. Mr. Kressly was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on October 11, 1892. His parents were Lucinda and James Kressly. His parents had six children total, one girl and five boys. Maurice's father was a contractor by trade, and his mother was a homemaker.
He graduated from high school in 1910, in Pennsylvania. He then continued his studies at Pennsylvania State University, majoring in architecture. Before graduating from college in 1915, he became a member of the Omega Chapter Theta Chi Fraternity. He then went on to serve in the Coast Artillery Corps, in Fort Monroe, Virginia. He later married Louise Madden, who was also from his hometown of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He built his firm, naming it Maurice Kressly & Co in 1923. He specialized in designing buildings that were built throughout various cities in Pennsylvania.
Maurice moved to Orlando Florida, in the 1920s. He opened his practice at the Church & Main building, where he practiced for two decades. During his stay in Orlando, he had an architecture firm that was one of the only few that Orlando had established early on in the 1920s. The Mediterranean Revival-style homes were Kressly' s specialty, and he was well-known for this style of architecture. The "Casa de la Esquina" (built in 1922), in Winter Park, on the corner of Alabama Drive and Palmer Ave, and the "Casa Almeda", located in College Park in Orlando, at 754 Seville Place. These homes have detail and careful attention to the massing concept, that Kressly was well known to perfect.
Another residential home built by Maurice Kressly, is located at 1338 Ivanhoe Blvd, which was built in 1936, a Tudor-style revival. This is a design that was built along with Kaley Elementary School, also in 1936, during the Depression era. St. James Cathedral School, which is located at 505 Ridgewood St. in Orlando, built in 1928, was another educational building that Kressly built, only this was made with details of the Northern Italian Renaissance Style. The address of the home that Maurice Kressly lived in during his time in Orlando, was 757 Palm Drive West. It was when Kressly moved from Orlando, to Boston Massachusetts, he relocated and worked for Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation.
Kressly was married three times in his life, and had two sons from his first marriage, Maurice Jr. (born in 1922), and Lee, who was born a year later, (in 1923). His last known residence was in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. During the Great Depression in Florida, when Kressly lived in the Orlando area, this state went through many financial hardships. For one, the finances were in a crisis during 1926, and hurricanes hot the state in 1928 straining Florida's economic stature. Now hardship was not something the Florida had not experienced before. The state was used to struggling at this point. In 1929, the state had suffered a tremendous loss due to fruit flies, which had the citrus crops being invaded.
Women gained the right to vote in the early 1920s. In 1937, voters paying "poll tax" were repealed, allowing poor African Americans and white Floridians to have a louder voice in government. During the 1930s, 26% of Florida's population was relying on public assistance. This depression brought about many migrant workers with families that traveled throughout the state looking for jobs wherever they could find work to support and feed their families. Packing houses flourished with seasonal workers from all over trying to work and make a decent living. The migrant workers came in herds from all over. Georgia, Carolinas, Oklahoma and Kentucky to name a few places. Some workers traveled to Florida willingly, while others loss everything and were forced to relocate. During the first couple of years while this setback was going on, the government did little or nothing to help. The police in Florida at that time patrolled borders, and if people did not have jobs in the state, they were not allowed to stay or enter Florida. In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency became known as "The New Deal". The deal took action to provide economic relief during reforms in agriculture, labor, and housing increasing government activities.
College Park Neighborhood Association. www.mycpna.org (Accessed August 18, 2017).
*"Penn State in the World War", by Pennsylvania College. Alumni Association, Edward Nixon Sullivan, ed. 1921 (Accessed August 18, 2017).
"Design for a community Centre Building to be built of White Pine". by Maurice E. Kressly. State College. PA, 1919. (Accessed August 18, 2017).
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