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EARLY LAKELAND HOMES

 Moswood, the Riggins family
                                                             home on Lake Morton

Introduction

Though Lakeland is a relatively young city by national and state standards, it has developed a distinct architectural style in both its commercial and residential structures. The city has in recent years recognized that distinctiveness and made a concerted effort to preserve its historically and architecturally significant buildings and neighborhoods. A number of commercial and civic structures have been restored in the past twenty years. Among those structures saved from neglect and the wrecking ball are the Lakeland Terrace Hotel, the Coca Cola building, the Polk Theatre, the Park Tramell building and, most recently, the New Florida Hotel, which is in the process of being reincarnated as the Lake Mirror Tower Apartments.

The city has also recognized the importance of preserving the architectural integrity of its neighborhoods and individual homes by creating a number of historic districts throughout the city. In historic districts ranging from Lake Morton to Dixieland to Beacon Hill, students of architecture can find a variety of architectural styles. Nearly every neighborhood includes a range of styles from the simple one story bungalow and frame vernacular homes, to the stately lines of the colonial revival, to the ornate Queen Anne style of Mosswood pictured above.

This small exhibit celebrates the many architectural styles of Lakeland's homes and neighborhoods. Some of the houses pictured here are gone, victims of age, neglect, and/or disaster. Others still grace the city's neighborhoods. Take a few minutes to peruse the images of these homes to gain a sense of the beauty and variety of architecture of Lakeland's neighborhoods.