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Resources for Historic Preservation


  • Lakeland Public Library Special Collections

    The mission of the Special Collections unit of the Lakeland Public Library is to acquire, preserve and make accessible to researchers materials which document Lakeland's history. The materials focus specifically on the city's people, institutions, organizations, industries and events. Materials relating to Polk County and the state of Florida are also acquired as those items have a Lakeland connection. The collections consist of records, manuscripts, printed and published material, maps, photographs, films, videotapes, audio cassettes, scrapbooks, posters, news clips, newsletters and ephemera, especially postcards and citrus labels. The unit also maintains an index to obituaries in The Ledger from 1911 to 1975 and 1999 to the present and an index to deaths in Polk County between 1975 and 1998.

    Though the Lakeland Room is not a museum, the unit will on occasion accept artwork and artifacts that have a direct connection to the city. The holdings of Special Collections are in a variety of formats, including manuscripts, photographs, books, and scrapbooks. The manuscript materials consist of personal papers and business records of a number of prominent citizens of Lakeland, including Norman Riggins, Herbert Drane, Columbus Dean, Albert Lodwick, and the Carter family. Also included are the records of such civic organizations and social clubs as the Lakeland Chapter of the DAR, the Sorosis Club, the Woman's Club, and Historic Lakeland.

    The Special Collections unit is home to more than 10,000 photographic prints and negatives documenting Lakeland from the turn of the century to the present. Among the most significant of these collections is the Earl Morgan Savage Collection, with its many photos of Lakeland's developing downtown district in the 1920's, and the Dan Sanborn Collection which documents Lakeland's growth and development from the 1930's to the 1960's. The collection of books, pamphlets, other printed materials and maps has been specifically developed to document the history and development of Lakeland and, to a lesser extent, Polk County and the state of Florida as a whole. Most of the items in the collection are monographs, although there are also periodicals, maps, directories, and municipal, county, and state publications. The scrapbooks in the collection document the activities of a number of organizations in Lakeland and are often the only evidence of the organization's existence.

  • Historical Window Replacement

    The windows on many historic buildings are an important aspect of the architectural character of those buildings. Their design, craftsmanship, or other qualities may make them worthy of preservation. This is self-evident for ornamental windows, but it can be equally true for warehouses or factories where the windows may be the most dominant visual element of an otherwise plain building. Evaluating the significance of these windows and planning for their repair or replacement can be a complex process involving both objective and subjective considerations.

    The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and the accompanying guidelines, call for respecting the significance of original materials and features, repairing and retaining them wherever possible, and when necessary, replacing them in kind. This Brief is based on the issues of significance and repair which are implicit in the standards, but the primary emphasis is on the technical issues of planning for the repair of windows including evaluation of their physical condition, techniques of repair, and design considerations when replacement is necessary.


    The Repair of Historic Wooden Windows

  • Lakeland Downtown Development Authority

    The LDDA was created by a special act of the State Legislature in 1977 upon request of local leaders. Downtown Lakeland had declined just as other downtowns and consultants suggested this organized method of addressing redevelopment. The LDDA is a special taxing district – we levy up to 2 mills tax on real property within our district. Downtown property owners voted in 1978 to levy the tax on themselves and no subsequent votes have been held on this issue. A seven-member board governs the agency. Six of the members elected by district property owners and the seventh is a City Commissioner appointed by the Mayor.

    The CRA designation is provided for by general State law and was given to the LDDA by the City Commission in 1979. In 2000, the City Commission became the CRA, with the LDDA acting as an advisor for the CRA funds. In 2009 the CRA Advisory Board added 3 additional appointed members. The LDDA’s 2 mill now generates about $250,000.00 and the CRA’s tax increment contributes another $800,000.00 annually. This compares to $0 in 1978.

    The LDDA receives no operating funds from the City, but the City has provided all of the capital dollars for public improvements and continues to maintain the downtown as they have historically.

    The staff consists of an Executive Director and a part-time Administrative Assistant.

    Our most effective role has been as an advocate for downtown and its investors. We lobby the City to make physical improvements according to a plan they and we adopted.

  • The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation

    The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation advocates for legislation and funding in support of historic preservation on behalf of Florida’s many historic sites, museums and parks. We represent Florida’s preservation community through public and media outreach. We empower and support local preservationists by publicizing Florida’s Eleven Most Endangered Historic Sites each year, and through our preservation awards program we recognize exemplary efforts in historic preservation.