Casa Feliz awards first James Gamble Rogers II scholarship

Derek Trumpp recently received the $3,000 award at the Casa Feliz Historic Home & Venue.

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  • | 9:56 a.m. May 10, 2019
Photo Courtesy of Aponte Studios
Photo Courtesy of Aponte Studios
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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Derek Trumpp always has been fond of the Casa Feliz Historic Home & Venue. The 36-year-old Bell Isle resident proposed to his then-girlfriend on the popular venue’s steps.

Still, Trumpp always hoped he would get the chance to see the building’s interior. That wish came true Thursday, May 2, when Trumpp received a new scholarship from both Casa Feliz and the University of Florida’s Graduate School of Architecture at CityLab-Orlando at a graduation convocation.

The award was given in honor of James Gamble Rogers II, a renowned Winter Park architect who designed the Casa Feliz house. The architect, who worked for much of the 20th century, has created hundreds of designs. His son, emeritus board member of the Friends of Casa Feliz Jack Rogers III, presented Trumpp with the award. 

“He’s got a lot of background in Central Florida but especially the Winter Park area,”said Susan Omoto, executive director of Friends of Casa Feliz. “We were wondering what could we do that would sort of cement (Roger’s) legacy because he was not a full-time student of architecture. His study was self-directed while he worked on a tenure apprenticeship. We thought it was a great opportunity to do something educational.”

Trumpp said he didn’t even know he had won until a few days before the ceremony. 

“I honestly didn’t know there was this award until a few days before I received it,” Trumpp said. “My guess is I’ve done enough work in studio and tried to do quality work, and I’m guessing that was it.”

The James Gamble Rogers II scholarship, which amounts to $3,000, is for students entering their last year of architectural study and is chosen by CityLab faculty. The event came together quickly — Omoto said the decision to host the convocation at Casa Feliz was planned within a month. 

Trumpp earned his undergraduate degree in 2006 at Kansas State University but said it didn’t allow him to become licensed as a registered architect in Florida. He joined the CityLab program to pursue a master’s degree while staying close to his family.

He said the scholarship will assist him in taking the multiple architecture registration exams.

“(I want to) be able to someday be able to sign and seal my own construction drawings,” he said. “It will open up some doors, hopefully, and I won’t be limited in what I can do because I don’t have a license.”


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