Early Highland Parker - Wilbert John Austin

The Amoret Apartment Club was constructed in 1937 by L.S. Acuff costing a little over $40,000. It incorporated eight units, including two cottages and was originally finished with stucco and weatherboarding. There were 6 chimneys, 7 fireplaces, and electric heating in every unit.

The Chauncey Cottage at Amoret in 1939. Note the old wooden water tower in the background. The water tower was replaced in 1962 with the current metal one.

The Chauncey Cottage at Amoret in 1939. Note the old wooden water tower in the background. The water tower was replaced in 1962 with the current metal one.

In March 1937, a group of eight got together and decided to build an apartment. Wilbert Austin was one of the eight. He also was President of the Austin Construction Company, builders of industrial plants, etc. in the United States and throughout the world. Incidentally, he built a large city in Russia and also built all the buildings on Wake Island.
— Historical Record of Amoret Apartment Club
...we wanted to heat with electricity. The Florida Power Company said they could not do so with the result that Mr. Rogers (Henry B. Rogers) and Fl Power had lengthy correspondence, and in the end the Power Company agreed to furnish electricity for heat but insisted that Amoret pay for the transformers and an annual charge of $160.00 in addition to the cost of the current...We bought the transformers from the General Electric Company and also the heaters for the apartment.
— Historical Record of Amoret Apartment Club

AUSTIN, WILBERT JOHN (2 Nov. 1876-4 Dec. 1940), a prominent engineer and builder, was one of five children, born in Cleveland to Samuel and Sarah Gynn Austin. After receiving a B. S. degree in engineering from Case Institute of Applied Science in 1899, he spent a year of travel and graduate work before joining with his father to form the Samuel J. Austin & Son Co. in 1901. Wilbert persuaded his father to combine construction with his own design and engineering abilities in order to offer clients a full range of service for their entire projects. He was credited with originating the standard steel-fram factory building, forerunner of the prefabricated steel building. An aviation enthusiast, Austin developed a canopy door for airplane hangars which led to the company's leadership in the design and construction of airports and other air transport facilities. He succeeded his father as president of the AUSTIN CO. in 1924 and initiated an intensified program of engineering research at that time. Austin also was president of Advance Properties Co. and was a member of the first Board of Directors for the NATIONAL AIR RACES in 1929.

Austin married Ida Stewart 13 Sept. 1903, and they had 3 children Allan Stewart, Donald Gynn, and Margaret Louise (Mrs. Clarence Williams). He died in a commercial airline crash in Chicago and was buried in Cleveland's LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.

See here for info on the book Building Utopia about the Austins' work on constructing the Russian City.