The Tinker Building | 16-18 W Pine St

August 2023

Sports in Downtown Orlando are dominated by big names like the Orlando Magic and the Orlando City Soccer Club, both with equally domineering spaces like the Amway Center–which can host upwards of 20,000 people–and Exploria Stadium four blocks away in the historic Parramore neighborhood. But an unassuming building at 16-18 West Pine Street, known as the Tinker Building, has an equally legendary status in the world of sports and in the history of our beloved city.

Tinker Building

Image: The Tinker Building

Source: Bungalower

The Tinker Building was named after its first owner, Joseph B. “Joe” Tinker. Born in Kansas, Joe Tinker’s journey to becoming a household name began when he joined the Chicago Cubs as a shortstop in 1902. While Tinker was on the team, the Cubs scored World Series victories in 1906, 1907, 1908, and 1910. Tinker’s prowess on the field also earned him five all-star game appearances during his time in the major leagues.

Joe Tinker

Image: Joe Tinker

Source: MLB

In 1920, Tinker entered a new chapter as he moved to Orlando, where his impact would reach beyond the confines of the baseball diamond. 

Image: Top of the Tinker Building

Source: Culture + Typography Blog

In the heart of Orlando, he constructed a brick, terra cotta, and glazed tile building in 1925 to house his real estate business. This two-story, 6,128 square foot building bore witness to a diverse array of endeavors, including the Singer Sewing Machine Co., the Balfour Hardware Store, a pool hall, and the offices of the Orlando Magic and the hyperlocal journal, Orlando Weekly. The building’s rich history and architectural significance led to its inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Image: The Tinker Building

Source: National Register of Historic Places

Are you a history buff with information about the Tinker Building? Share your photos or a story about the building and its impact on your life with the City District Main Street. Send us an email or tag us on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

Help keep history alive. Share this article on your favorite social channels


Recent Articles

AllHistoric Downtown Orlando
Tinker Building

The Tinker Building

August 18, 2023

The Beacham

July 24, 2023

Stay Connected

Join our newsletter list to stay up to date on the exciting things happening within the district, in downtown Orlando.