The City of Starke is ringed by prisons, and its proximity to these correctional institutions defines it contextually for many people in Northern Florida. Camp Blanding is nearby, and during World War Two the camp was briefly Florida’s fourth-largest city when its military population surged.
Starke provides some good examples of traditional Florida housing. Although the present mix of architectural styles in Starke’s historic district may seem rudderless, at one time the large homes of the affluent dominated the street.
The Art Moderne/Streamline Florida Theatre (presently the Florida Twin Theatre) in the Call Street Historic District opened in 1941. Its aqua paint job recalls the Edenic tropical color palettes of Miami. Both Art Deco and Art Moderne were defining architectural styles in Florida, with the latter being an offshoot of the former. In the Florida Theatre, simplicity rules in the rounded edges, which were based on aerodynamic concepts of movement. Compare the theatre’s design to an automobile or toaster of the same era. Although the theatre’s grooves are vertical, the overall emphasis is on the horizontal.