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Temple Terrace resident passionate about restoration of 1920s-era home

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Published:   |   Updated: September 3, 2013 at 12:37 PM

TEMPLE TERRACE — In an effort to restore a local landmark, David Bulluck is stepping out on fate like the city founders in the 1920s.

The 32-year-old attorney and his wife, Kristi, are investing tens of thousands of dollars to restore a 1920s Mediterranean Revival-style house at 306 Bullard Parkway to its former glory. The structure was one of the first seven houses in Temple Terrace.

Bulluck has the vision to save the city treasure and make it the centerpiece of the Bulluck Legal Center when the project is completed in a year or two, he said.

“I feel like it was the right house for us, and we are the right owners,” Bulluck said this week as major repairs get under way.

The couple plans to restore the 2,300-square-foot main house to match perfectly with a newly renovated smaller building on site, which served as the original owner’s garage. Bulluck is temporarily using the remodeled space for law offices.

The Bullucks expect repair costs will mount as the construction crew begins to correct excessive damage caused by termites, water and neglect.

Everything under the roof will be replaced, Bulluck said. Workers will build new exterior walls, relocate some interior walls, stabilize the foundation, and lay new floors.

The project isn’t easy or cheap, but the Bullucks say they will see the project completed.

“We hope in 2013 to make it more grand than in 1924, if that’s possible,” Bulluck said.

Kristi Bulluck, who supports her husband’s passion for historic preservation, agreed: “It’s going to be a big project, and it’s going to be beautiful,” she said.

The Bullucks bought the home, which sits at the northeast corner of Bullard and Ridgedale Road, in May 2011. It was one of the original seven estate homes built in Temple Terraces Inc., the development that gave the city its name.

The structure was designed by M. Leo Elliott, a prominent architect who created other iconic buildings such as the Centro Asturiano de Tampa in Ybor City, the old Tampa City Hall, and the original Temple Terrace Country Club now owned by Florida College.

Charles Dickson along with his wife, Elsie, and their son, John, were the original owners of the house built in 1922-23. Dickson served as the secretary and treasurer of Temple Terraces Inc. in 1923.

The Dickson house was a focal point of the community. It stood at the entrance to Temple Terrace and was tucked just behind the city gates on what was then Temple Terrace Highway at Ridgedale Road. Temple orange groves were planted on the opposite side of Ridgedale Road and extended west to near Nebraska Avenue.

Today, the intersection converges at Bullard Parkway and Ridgedale and Sunnyside roads in the heart of the commercial district just east of North 56th Street and Busch Boulevard.

The couple became interested in buying the house about three years ago but decided it was too expensive. They had a change of heart in 2011 when Bulluck received a call from a real estate agent who told him a purchase deal had stalled and the house was going back on the market for $300,000.

“I really wanted to find something I could buy in Temple Terrace,” Bulluck said. “There is so much history in this building.”

Construction workers recently discovered the only known original blueprint drawing of the original seven homes. Elliott’s blueprints of the Dickson house were discovered between two rafters in the attic of the main home during a demolition project.

The original blueprints are a significant find during a time when Temple Terrace is considering creating a historic preservation ordinance to designate some houses historic and eligible candidates for the National Registry of Historic Places.

The city along with support of the Temple Terrace Preservation Society is seeking to create a Certified Local Government to assist in preserving its historic homes. Bulluck supports the idea.

He also is making an impact on the city in other ways.

Bulluck hosted a community party on the grounds of the Bullard Parkway house following the city’s annual Fourth of July parade. He also was the sponsor of the inaugural Legends of the Chamber Award at the Greater Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards and Officers Installation Banquet on Aug. 27.

“It was actually his idea to do something” linked to the history of the chamber, said Barbara Sparks-McGlinchy, the outgoing chamber of commerce executive director. “We developed the concept (for the Legends award) based on his request.”

Bulluck, who earned a bachelor’s degree in history at the University of South Florida, said he felt a sense of responsibility to own, protect and maintain a city landmark in a proper way for future generations.

“I feel a sense of pride because I grew up in Temple Terrace,” Bulluck said. “I want to take the blessings that have been provided to Kristi and me to enrich the lives of others. It is all about paying it forward.”

kknight@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7413

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