The 1930s also featured the arrival of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Lakeland is home to one of the largest one-site collections of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture on the planet with 9 buildings total!
In 1938 he came to Lakeland at the request of Florida Southern College President Ludd Spivey to design a "great education temple in Florida." For 20 years Wright worked on his "true American campus" creation. In his original master plan he called for 18 buildings (and several other structures), nine of which were completed and nine left on the drawing board. All of the buildings were built out of what Wright called his "textile block system," the first use of such a system in Florida.
He called his project "A Child of the Sun," so named from the architect’s own description of being "out of the ground, into the light, a child of the sun." In many ways helped to form a pattern for many colleges in Florida and other areas of the country in the future years. The campus features long, connecting esplanades set among orange groves and has a high-pressure water-dome fountain thought to be the largest in the world.
Don't miss out on seeing this amazing collection! There are times I grab a cup of coffee and just walk the campus taking in the quiet beauty of his striking vision and it is easy as a local to forget what amazing talent sits nestled in the heart of town.
Tours are given year-round by docents at Florida Southern.
The Polk Theatre is a gem in downtown Lakeland. Built in the 1920s, it has been lovingly restored and is operated by a private not-for-profit foundation. There are showings of foreign and independent films on Friday and Saturday nights and a Sunday afternoon matinee. The theater has a Mediterranean village theme with an illuminated sky ceiling. This is a fun way to spend a weekend evening or Sunday afternoon.
Lakeland has its name because of all the lakes that surround this city.
This is another beautiful lake near downtown Lakeland. Lake Bentley.