History

Who was Dr. Phillips, and what does his story mean for our community? Click on a timeline item to learn more about the pivotal moments in the life of Dr. Phillips, his family, and the legacy of charitable giving that our organization continues today.
1874
1874

Philip “Doc” Phillips

Philip “Doc” Phillips

On January 27, Philip Phillips is born in Memphis, Tennessee to Henri Philippe and Isabel Philippe, both French citizens, and spends his early years in Middle Tennessee.  Philip later attends an academy in Keene, New Hampshire and medical school at a Polyclinic connected with Columbia University in New York City, earning the nickname “Doc”.

1877
1877

Della Phillips

Della Phillips

On March 2, Della Wolf is born in Mobile, Alabama to Benjamin and Anna Wolf, and later attends finishing school in Mobile and New Orleans.  Della is classically trained in piano and music theory and develops a love for the arts. Dr. Phillips marries Della Wolf in 1901.  Later, Della is a founding member of the Mendelssohn Club, a forerunner to the Florida Symphony Orchestra.

1894
1894

Doc Becomes A Floridian

Doc Becomes A Floridian

Dr. Phillips first comes to Florida intending to enter the cattle business but instead purchases a citrus grove near Satsuma.  The grove is wiped out in the Great Freeze of 1894-1895 and Dr. Phillips returns to Lebanon, Tennessee to practice medicine. In 1897, Dr. Phillips returns to Florida and purchases land in Kissimmee with the intent of raising cattle.  Dr. Phillips also later purchases a citrus grove on Big Sand Lake.  Over the next two decades, Dr. Phillips acquires thousands of acres of citrus groves across Central Florida.

1902
1902

Howard Phillips

Howard Phillips

On March 27, Howard Phillips is born in Lebanon, Tennessee.  Howard spends his early years in Orlando and attends Orlando High School and then Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire.  Howard attends Harvard University and graduates in 1923 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.  Howard serves as an Army supply officer in Europe during World War II and achieves the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before being called home in 1945 to help run the family business.

1905
1905

Walter Phillips

Walter Phillips

On November 27, Walter Phillips is born in Kissimmee, Florida.  Walter, an avid outdoorsman and a licensed pilot, serves as a member of the Civil Air Patrol in Central Florida during World War II.

1905

Historic Dr. Phillips Home

Historic Dr. Phillips Home

The Phillips family moves to Orlando, first living in a home on Lake Mann and later in a home on Lake Lucerne in Downtown Orlando, which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

1917
1917

Phillips Theater Opens

Phillips Theater Opens

Dr. Phillips and Della build the Phillips Theater at the northeast corner of Orange Avenue and Pine Street in Orlando.

1920
1920

A Legacy Begins

A Legacy Begins

The Dr. P. Phillips Company is established to consolidate Dr. Phillips’ extensive citrus holdings.  Over the course of the next decade, Dr. Phillips becomes the largest individual grower of oranges, grapefruit, and tangerines in the world.

1928
1928

The First Of Its Kind

The First Of Its Kind

The Dr. P. Phillips Company constructs the largest and most modern citrus packing house in the world at Sand Lake.  The packing house complex also includes a fertilizer plant and a private airport nearby. With the addition of housing for citrus workers and a post office next to the train station, the Dr. Phillips community is established.

1929
1929

Flash Pasteurization

Flash Pasteurization

In order to eliminate the metallic taste from canned orange juice, the Dr. P. Phillips Canning Co. begins exploring new methods of pasteurization and develops a process called flash pasteurization, significantly improving the taste of canned juice.  By 1931, the Dr. Phillips cannery at the southeast corner of Orange Avenue and Princeton Street is producing 24,000 cans a day.

1937
1937

On A Roll

On A Roll

The Dr. P. Phillips Company constructs a citrus packing house at the northeast corner of Orange Blossom Trail and Princeton Street, in what is now known as The Packing District.

1945
1945

Dr. P. Phillips Co. Gets an “A”

Dr. P. Phillips Co. Gets an “A”

The War Food Administration awards the canning plant division of the Dr. P. Phillips Company the first “A” in Orlando, the highest award given to war food production plants.  During the 1944-45 harvesting season, the Dr. P. Phillips Company produces approximately 800,000 boxes of fresh citrus fruit and approximately 555,000 cases of canned citrus juices, of which 238,497 cases of canned citrus juices are furnished to the armed forces.

1948
1948

Walter The Citrus Consultant

Walter The Citrus Consultant

Walter sells his interests in the Dr. P. Phillips Companies to Dr. Phillips and Howard and later becomes a successful citrus consultant.

1954
1954

Moving Toward Real Estate

Moving Toward Real Estate

Diversified Services, Inc. (now known as Dr. Phillips, Inc.) is established by the Phillips family to manage the family’s vast residential and commercial real estate holdings and other investments

1954

Largest Single Grove Transaction In Florida History

Largest Single Grove Transaction In Florida History

The fresh fruit packing operations and principal grove holdings of the Dr. P. Phillips Companies are sold to the Minute Maid Corporation and its affiliates.  The sale is one of the largest single grove transactions in Florida history and includes over 3,000 acres of groves in nine Florida counties (Orange, Osceola, Lake, Seminole, Polk, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, and St. Lucie).

1954

The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation

The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation

The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation is established.

1956
1956

To Protect And Serve

To Protect And Serve

Dr. Phillips and Howard organize the Committee of One Hundred of Orange County to aid dependents of law enforcement officers and firefighters who have lost their life in the line of duty.  Pictured here is Howard Phillips being honored in appreciation of his service to the Committee of One Hundred of Orange County, Inc. in 1977.

1958
1958

A Pioneer In Acute Care For The Underserved

A Pioneer In Acute Care For The Underserved

The Dr. P. Phillips Memorial Hospital is opened by a predecessor to AdventHealth on land donated by Dr. Phillips to provide acute care services for African Americans who had no place to go for these services. Over 10,000 people attend the opening. Howard Phillips helps recruit two African American doctors to relocate to Orlando to practice medicine at the hospital. With integration the hospital closes in 1964, but the building is repurposed as a nursing home and continues to be operated by Guardian Care today.

1959
1959

Passing The Baton

Passing The Baton

Dr. P. Phillips passes away and in 1968 Della Phillips follows to rest in peace with her husband.

1961
1961

Junior Achievement Comes To Central Florida

Junior Achievement Comes To Central Florida

Together with a group of prominent businessmen, Howard helps establish Junior Achievement in Central Florida, and later helps Junior Achievement construct a headquarters building near his home on Lake Formosa.

1965
1965

Phillips Exeter Academy

Phillips Exeter Academy

The Dr. P. Phillips Professor of Anthropology is established at Phillips Exeter Academy.

1969
1969

Like Father Like Son

Like Father Like Son

Under Howard’s guidance, the Dr. Phillips community becomes the first master-planned community in Central Florida.

1979
1979

A Legacy Lives On

A Legacy Lives On

Howard passes away and leaves the proceeds from his estate, which included the stock in Dr. Phillips, Inc., to be used for charitable purposes.

1981
1981

Howard Phillips Hall

Howard Phillips Hall

Howard Phillips Hall is dedicated at the University of Central Florida. The Della Phillips – Martha Schenck Chair of American Private Enterprise is established at the University of Central Florida.

1983
1983

A Relationship For The Ages

A Relationship For The Ages

The Dr. P. Phillips YMCA opens in the Dr. Phillips community.

1986
1986

Florida Citrus Hall Of Fame

Florida Citrus Hall Of Fame

Dr. P. Phillips is posthumously inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame.

1991
1991

The Last Of The Citrus Empire

The Last Of The Citrus Empire

Walter passes away and leaves the proceeds from his estate to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

1997
1997

Dr. Phillips Charities

Dr. Phillips Charities

Dr. Phillips, Inc. becomes a non-profit. Dr. Phillips, Inc. and The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation begin utilizing the name Dr. Phillips Charities.

1997

Orlando Science Center

Orlando Science Center

Dr. Phillips Cinedome opens at the Orlando Science Center.  Our first grant to the Orlando Science Center was in 1958 and to date we have gifted nearly $4 million to various educational projects and exhibitions.

1998
1998

Howard’s Home

Howard’s Home

Howard’s former home built in 1971, originally named Las Stan, becomes the home of The Mennello Museum of American Art.

2000
2000

The Howard Phillips Center For Children And Families

The Howard Phillips Center For Children And Families

The Howard Phillips Center for Children and Families opens.

2001
2001

Special Olympics Gets A New Home

Special Olympics Gets A New Home

The Special Olympics Florida Dr. P. Phillips Leadership Center opens.

2005
2005

Dr. Phillips And Howard Phillips Legacy Day

Dr. Phillips And Howard Phillips Legacy Day

December 12, 2005 is declared “Dr. Phillips Charities and Howard Phillips Legacy Day” by the City of Orlando.

2006
2006

School Of Real Estate

School Of Real Estate

The Dr. P. Phillips School of Real Estate, the Dr. P. Phillips Institute for Research and Education in Real Estate, and the Howard Phillips Chair in Real Estate is established at the University of Central Florida.

2007
2007

To Health And Recreation

To Health And Recreation

Orlando Health renames its hospital on Big Sand Lake the Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, once the home to Dr. Phillips’ first citrus grove in Orlando.  In the same year, the Dr. P. Phillips Community Park opens on Big Sand Lake.

2010
2010

A Pillar Of Health

A Pillar Of Health

The Dr. P. Phillips Baby Place opens at AdventHealth Winter Park. In the same year, the Dr. Phillips Charities Rotunda is dedicated at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine.

2011
2011

What’s Old Becomes New Again

What’s Old Becomes New Again

Dr. Phillips Charities moves into its new headquarters in the heart of the Dr. Phillips community.  The architectural design of the building is inspired by the Dr. Phillips home on Lake Lucerne and Dr. Phillips’ citrus packing house at Sand Lake.

2014
2014

Helping Bring A World Class Arts Facility To Orlando

Helping Bring A World Class Arts Facility To Orlando

The Dr. P. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts opens in Downtown Orlando, less than one block from the Phillips family home on Lake Lucerne where the Phillips family hosted world-class performers in the early 20th century.  The Dr. Phillips Center includes the Della Phillips Grand Lobby.

2016
2016

Community Builders

Community Builders

Dr. Phillips, Inc. begins redevelopment of historic properties in the Dr. Phillips community and The Packing District  bringing essential services to the community and creating value that is ultimately returned to the Central Florida community through charitable grants to worthy nonprofit organizations.

2019
2019

Expanding Education For All

Expanding Education For All

The Dr. Phillips Academic Commons at the University of Central Florida opens in Downtown Orlando.

2020
2020

Celebrating a Milestone

Celebrating a Milestone

Dr. Phillips Charities Celebrates $200 Million of Giving in Central Florida