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Lakeland History & Culture Center

at the Lakeland Public Library


 


rendering inside lakeland history and culture center - open room with wall displays

rendering inside lakeland history and culture center - open room with wall displays and skylight

ARCHITECTURAL RENDERINGS: JON KIRK, AIA PRINCIPAL, STRAUGHN-TROUT


Many stories connecting one community.

The vision for this project emerged over three years ago with discussions about acquiring one location to capture and share Lakeland’s unique history.

Led by City Commissioner Phillip Walker and supported by community leaders, the idea was presented to the City Commission in 2019. The initiative received unanimous support from the commission to build an exhibit center at the city’s Main Library. An advisory committee was chartered, led by former Mayor Gow Fields, to determine what was required to make the Lakeland History and Culture Center a reality.

The Lakeland History and Culture Center is a dedicated exhibit and research space that shares inclusive stories of Lakeland in harmony with all those who have contributed, and continue to contribute, to its culturally diverse history.

 


  • Dear Friends: A Letter from Gow Fields

    Dear Friends:

    Construction is set to begin in 2021 on an exciting and important addition to our City’s landmarks. Thanks to the Lakeland City Commission’s recent charge, a history and culture center will join the already popular campus of the City’s Main Library on Lake Morton Drive.

    The Lakeland History and Culture Center, to be housed with the library’s Special Collections, will offer over 1,400 square feet of exhibit space that will tell the “Lakeland Story.” Its presentations will highlight the wide range of contributions from a variety of cultures and ethnicities that built and developed Lakeland into the quilted masterpiece it is today.

    The City Commission has appropriated $300,000 to start the construction of the space but finishing that space with the display cases, technology, and modular walls, as well as the content creation and implementation of exhibits that bring the space to life, will require more funding.

    Opportunities exist to share the many stories that connect our community. Your donations to the Lakeland History and Culture Center allow those stories to be viewed, heard, and shared.

    On behalf of the Advisory Committee who has worked to guide the process, I invite you to become a part of the story.

    Can we count on you?

    With Appreciation,

     

    Gow Fields
    Chair, Lakeland History and Culture Center Committee

  • Lakeland History & Culture Center Advisory Committee

    GOW FIELDS, CHAIR
    Fields Insurance and Financial Group
    Former Lakeland Mayor

    DON SELVAGE, VICE-CHAIR
    SHR Human Resources, LLC

    LUANN MIMS, SECRETARY
    Special Collections Librarian, City of Lakeland

    RAY ALLEN
    Director of Multicultural Affairs
    Southeastern University

    MISCHELLE ANDERSON
    Rosabelle W. Blake Academy

    SUE BENTLEY
    Community Leader

    CATHERINE R. ESKIN
    Associate Professor of English
    Florida Southern College

    EMILY FOSTER
    Senior Planner, Historic Preservation
    City of Lakeland

    LISA LILYQUIST
    City Librarian, City of Lakeland

    TERESA MARTINEZ
    Institute of Spanish

    RICK MAXEY
    Assistant Vice President of Economic Development
    Florida Polytechnic University

    MICHAEL MAGUIRE
    Lakeland Citizen Activist

    YVONNE MCSHAY
    Professor Emeritus, Polk State College

    DELL QUARY
    Polk County Public Schools

    ALEX RICH
    Executive Director and Chief Curator
    Polk Museum of Art

    JAMES RING
    Ring Roofing

    SALLIE STONE
    Well-Done Events, LLC

    AHMAD TAYLOR
    The Atlanta Illustrator

    PHILLIP WALKER
    Lakeland City Commission

  • Donate

    You can donate by check or online / via the form below. Checks should be addressed to:

    Givewell Community Foundation
    Memo: City of Lakeland Parks & Recreation/LHCC Fund
    1501 S. Florida Avenue
    Lakeland, FL 33803