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A Virtual Walk-Through of the Jack Kerouac House

It all started easily enough.

I was sitting in the Kerouac House meeting with a few friends to talk about nonprofits, grant writing, and the Edyth Bush Foundation’s nonprofit certification program that I’m doing with fellow board members Moriah Russo and William Jones.

I was there with Barbara Wetzler, our program coach, Dr. Ruth Baskerville and Dr. Free Harris of the Central Florida Writers and Publishers Guild, and Nyah Vanterpoel, a professional grant writer and friend from the Writers of Central Florida or Thereabouts.

I was giving a tour when we saw a woman outside, behind the house. We invited her inside, and she told us she had lived in the house in the early 1970s. So we had one more person to add to our little party.

The back portion of the Jack Kerouac House.As we talked, our new friend told us about how the house used to look. She had never seen the back of the house as she only lived in the front. Rent was only $70 per month at that time, a far cry from housing prices these days.

As she described how the house looked 50 years ago, I wondered if maybe there were any dead spaces or walled-up spaces within the house. And if they were walled up, what was inside? A forgotten Kerouac manuscript? Some of Jack’s old notebooks?

Hidden treasure?

One way to find out was to either go through and measure every room in the house and compare it to the exterior measurements and see if we were missing any square footage.

But there was an easier way.

I have a friend, Vincent DeCicco, who is the owner of Full Frame Virtual Reality. His company uses specialty 3D cameras that take a 360-degree picture of a house and create a 3D rendering of the entire house.

It uses a high-res camera, LIDAR, and AI to take the images and stitch them together into a single house. Once he’s finished, you can have an entire view of your house, with a virtual walkthrough that lets you go from room to room, as if you were actually inside the house.

The next week, Vincent and I were back in the Kerouac House, and he was doing his thing with his camera, moving it from room to room and letting it process the images.

The floor plan of the Jack Kerouac House. There's a tiny triangle almost in the middle of the house that could be a hidden room, but's not.A few days later, I had an email in my inbox: The walkthrough was ready, and you could not only see each room inside the house, but you could get a dollhouse view, and — most importantly — a look at the actual birds-eye, top-down view of the floor plan.

I clicked the link and hit the right button on the website, looking for the mystery chamber.

I scanned the floor plan. I scanned it again.

Nothing.

There was no secret chamber or hallways containing lost manuscripts or untold riches.

Ah, well.

But we did have something we’d never had before: a virtual walkthrough of the Jack Kerouac House for you to view.

If you have never had a chance to visit the Kerouac House before, or if you lived in it many, many years ago, now you can see what the house looks like as of March 2024.

Visit the website at Matterport.com and see for yourself. You can do a regular walkthrough of the house, look at the dollhouse view, or see the floor plan view. (Click the buttons in the lower left-hand corner.) And make sure you go full-screen (lower right-hand corner) to get the full effect.

Of course, a virtual walkthrough doesn’t measure up to the real thing. So if you are ever in the area during one of our community events, we’d love to see you.