Leap of Faith
The current motel and UCF students’ model for how the property would look after it’s been completely renovated (inset)
Norma Lopez Molina
Leap of Faith
Q: Is the old Davis Park Motel being remodeled?
A: The closed motel’s next-door neighbor, Park Lake Presbyterian Church, owns the site at Colonial Drive and Highland Avenue, and is transforming it into an artistic haven with an eye toward renting work and exhibit space to visual, musical and performing artists.
“The vision is that artists will come onto the village property and they will create and share that with the community,’’ says church organist Will Benton, who is overseeing the project. The 400-member church has already spruced up 19 of the 59 rooms at the 57-year-old Davis Park, now called Faith Arts Village Orlando. But a lot of work remains before space can be leased, including installation of a fire alarm-sprinkler system and elevators. Benton says bringing just one of the complex’s three buildings up to speed will cost $150,000, but he has faith that the church can raise that with help from the community and get the first wing open by the end of the year.
A design team from Professor Robert Reedy’s advanced design class at UCF’s School of Visual Arts & Design has crafted a look for the complex that features galleries, work space, a brick façade and second-floor café seating. And the church has already staged a farmers market, youth art show and a food truck gathering at the complex.
Benton stresses the project is about spiritual artistic expression, not religion. “We’re not pushing prayer or the Bible and we’re not preaching,’’ he says. “We just want people to feel good about themselves.’’
Answer Man is no prophet, but he has a feeling that a year from now, FAVO will be a shining example of the biblical precept: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find.”
The U.K. gets hot dogs; we get Cheesy Bites.
Q: When will Pizza Hut’s hot dog-stuffed-crust pizza be available in Orlando?
A: It’s a loaded question—who wouldn’t be eager to devour a ring of weiners ensconced in baked dough? Not Americans, apparently. Pizza Hut is making the HD pizza available only in the United Kingdom, and there are no plans to bring it to the U.S., although nobody with the chain would say exactly why.
Sadly, calls to Orlando-area Pizza Huts confirmed the bad news. “I’ve never even heard of a hot dog-stuffed-crust pizza,’’ offered one local employee. “I will definitely be asking my superiors about that one.’’
But all is not lost. For the next couple of months, we in the States can feast on the Cheesy Bites pizza, featuring 28 “poppable’’ cheese-filled rolls forming a crust in perfect symmetry. “You pull them off, and you dip them in marinara sauce and then you bite them,’’ a Pizza Hut spokesman explains.
Answer Man welcomes your questions about the Orlando area. Send queries to firstname.lastname@example.org