Historic View, Modern Luxury: The Story of 426 Palmola St.

By Jenna MacFarlane
Photography by Jon Sierra

Homebuilding is an art form. Before we had modern conveniences—preset floor plans, finished blueprints, and even power tools—so much skilled labor and niche knowledge was required to create craftsman homes.

It’s the reason you get a feeling you can’t put your finger on when you watch an old movie, dust off an antique book, or pour a glass of aged wine. There’s a sense of intention and charm that’s hard to come by in modern life. It’s that feeling that enamored Patrick Duggan and inspired him to renovate historic homes, like the 102-year old estate at 426 Palmola Street along Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland.

Patrick moved to Lakeland 25 years ago, after he’d spent the first part of his career renovating historic homes in one of the best cities to do it: Charleston, South Carolina. He continued his renovation work across central Florida, forming construction and renovation company D.C.R. Tampa with his business partner, Victor Nissim. Alongside a team of skilled craftsmen and remodeling contractors, D.C.R. prioritizes function and style when reimagining how a home can serve its residents.

The antebellum homes of Charleston were a masterclass in preservation for Patrick.

“Restoring and renovating historic homes is about preserving what you already have to create something new and beautiful, without altering its historic value and main features,” he says, emphasizing that there are always unknowns throughout the renovation process.

The 102-year old estate at 426 Palmola St. has a long and storied history, as well as a priceless view of Lake Hollingsworth.

When Victor purchased 426 Palmola on Lake Hollingsworth in 2020 through his development company GSN Equities, he and Patrick were ready for unknowns—and there were plenty. Supply chain delays from the pandemic slowed down the renovation process significantly. Palmola’s floor-to-ceiling windows on the second floor took nearly a year to deliver—but Patrick believed the wait was worth it. And he was right.

Like comparing fast food to fine dining, you usually can’t have speed and quality at the same time. You have to pick one. The same is true for architecture and interior design. Renovating historic homes is all about quality, time, and putting in the effort to restore life into a home that’s already seen so much of it.

426 Palmola has hosted an impressive roster of former homeowners. After its construction in the 1920s, it changed hands between multiple owners and loan offices until it was bought by Albert Lodwick when he moved to Lakeland. Lodwick moved here in 1941 to establish a civilian flight training school, the Lodwick School of Aeronautics (AKA, Tigertown). It was contracted to the U.S. War Department to train pilots for service in World War II.

While Lodwick lived at Palmola, he was a consultant to the War Department. He was sent on secret missions to theaters of war across Europe, North Africa, and Asia—presumably to study the combat readiness and success of American air power at war.

Restoring and renovating historic homes is about preserving what you already have to create something new and beautiful, without altering its historic value and main features,”

-Patrick Duggan, D.C.R. Tampa

Albert Lodwick, second from the left in this photo taken in the Oval Office with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, once lived in this home

When he wasn’t abroad, Lodwick hosted parties, entertained guests, and enjoyed living on the lake. Historical records show that he and his close friend, Hank Green—Major League Baseball legend and Hall of Famer—and Green’s wife, Caral Gimbel of Gimbels Department Store, watched fireworks with the Lodwicks at the Lake Mirror Promenade in 1946.

Lodwick lived in the home until 1955 along with his four dogs. Since then, the Palmola home has welcomed, hosted, and celebrated guests for decades—and D.C.R. Tampa’s team has ensured that tradition can continue for another century. That’s what motivates Patrick to keep restoring and preserving homes like Palmola.

“I believe renovating historic homes preserves the fabric of society,” he says. “When you have a town that has beautiful buildings, restoring them preserves its families, history, and past, too.”

Many of Palmola’s original historic features remain in the home that was sold to its current owner by The Kellin Group of Keller Williams Realty; it’s just been made a bit more spacious to accommodate beautiful living and family rooms and magnificent spaces to entertain guests.

The 6,500+ square foot home boasts six bedrooms and five bathrooms, and the two car garage includes a guest living suite. The newly installed in-ground pool is just a stone’s throw away from the shores of Lake Hollingsworth, and the .43 acre lot features a mix of gorgeous surfaces and pristine landscaping to tie it all together.

Patrick credits the artistry and detailed work of his team for the home’s tasteful interior design, and the support from the City of Lakeland’s building department as foundational to its renovation.

Patrick is proud to renovate old homes in the city he calls home. “It’s fulfilling and honest work,” he says, continuously crediting his team for their commitment to beauty and restoration. And the team isn’t slowing down. Along with many other projects in Tampa and Central Florida, Patrick and Victor will soon be taking on their next local lakeside project: creating an entirely new 2nd floor addition overlooking Lake Hollingsworth with a renovation of the home at 14 Lake Hollingsworth Blvd. Just as with the home at 426 Palmola St., 14 Lake Hollingsworth Blvd will be listed by Kristin Kellin with The Kellin Group out of Keller Williams Realty Smart.

Tucked away before an unadulterated lakefront view, this new project on Lake Hollingsworth will be another exercise in patience and artistry. Luckily for Lakeland, preserving beautiful things is worth the wait.