The Florida State Park Plein Air Painting Tour – Painting each of Florida's State Parks on location
It’s an end of an era in Leesburg. Soon a new buyer will be demolishing the A.S. Herlong building, which has stood along the rail road tracks and across from the train depot in downtown Leesburg since 1929.
The tracks have been replaced by a bike trail and the train depot refurbished, but soon the old white packing house will be gone. It has been sold to Beacon College, a college which occupies many old buildings downtown. I don’t know why they are tearing the building down instead of repurposing it.
The old packing house has a long history in Leesburg. Built in 1929 by Albert Sidney Herlong (1866-1963) it was a large and busy packing house during it’s day. Just a quick search on google brought up many of the orange crate labels that were produced under the Herlong brand. Albert’s son, Albert Sidney Herlong Jr, grew up in Leesburg and became a US congressman from 1949 to 1969. He was well known for helping to bring Kennedy Space Center to Florida.
The building has always had an appeal to me. So much so that it was one of the first buildings I ever painted! Back then there were still trucks and orange crates being loaded, although not as much as in it’s heyday.
If you want to see and photograph a bit of Florida history, be sure to visit within the next week or two. After that the building will be gone.