Lakeland, Florida: Wikis


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City of Lakeland, Florida
—  City  —
Downtown Lakeland
Location in Polk County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 28°2′28″N 81°57′32″W / 28.04111°N 81.95889°W / 28.04111; -81.95889Coordinates: 28°2′28″N 81°57′32″W / 28.04111°N 81.95889°W / 28.04111; -81.95889
Country  United States
State  Florida
County  Polk
Settled c. 1875
Incorporated (city) 1 January 1885
 - Type Commission-Manager
 - Mayor Ralph L. Fletcher
 - City Manager Douglas B. Thomas
Area [1]
 - City 51.45 sq mi (133.3 km2)
 - Land 45.84 sq mi (118.7 km2)
 - Water 5.61 sq mi (14.5 km2)  10.9%
Elevation 197 ft (141 m)
Population (2006)[2]
 - City 89,108
 Density 1,711/sq mi (660.8/km2)
 Metro 561,606
  Census Bureau estimate
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 863
FIPS code 12-38250[3]
GNIS feature ID 0294459[4]
Twinned with Richmond Hill, Ontario
A view of Lakeland's business district, early 1920s

Lakeland is a city in Polk County, Florida, United States, located approximately midway between Tampa and Orlando along Interstate 4. According to the 2006 U.S. Census Bureau estimate, the city had a population of 89,108.[2] Lakeland is a principal city of the Lakeland-Winter Haven, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had an estimated population of 561,606 in July, 2006.[5] It is twinned with Richmond Hill, Ontario.



Lakeland was first settled in the 1870s and began to develop as the rail lines reached the area in 1884. It was incorporated 1 January 1885. The town was founded by Abraham Munn (a resident of Louisville, Kentucky), who purchased 80 acres (320,000 m2) of land in what is now downtown Lakeland in 1882 and platted the land for the town in 1884. Among the names considered (and rejected) for the town by its residents were Munnville, Red Bug and Rome City.

The Florida boom resulted in the construction of many significant structures in Lakeland, a number of which are today listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This list includes the Terrace Hotel, New Florida Hotel (Regency Towers), Polk Theatre, Promenade of Lake Mirror, Polk Museum of Art (not a product of the 20's boom), Park Trammell Building (formerly the Lakeland Public Library and today the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce), and others. The city also has several historic districts with many large buildings built during the 1920s and 1940s. The Cleveland Indians held spring training here from 1923 to 1927 at Henley Field Ball Park. Parks were developed surrounding Lake Mirror including Barnett Children's Park, Hollis Gardens, and the newest, Allen Kryger Park.

The "boom" period went "bust" quickly, and years passed before the city recovered. Part of the re-emergence was due to the arrival of the Detroit Tigers in 1934 for spring training. (The team continues to train at Lakeland's Joker Marchant Stadium and owns the city's Florida State League team, the Lakeland Flying Tigers.) The development of the Lakeland Municipal Airport as a major facility in central Florida transportation was another factor. The 1930’s also featured the arrival of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. 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." It is the largest one-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the world, and in many ways helped to form a pattern for many colleges in Florida and other areas of the country in the future years.[citation needed]

During World War II, Lakeland made an important contribution to the war effort. Hundreds of young British airmen were taught to fly at Lakeland's Lodwick airfield by volunteer flight instructors, a collection of barnstormers and independent pilots. These British airmen enjoyed the hospitality of Lakeland during their training and then returned home to fight in the Battle of Britain. Their skills in downing German warplanes were crucial to Britain's survival. Later, when America entered the war, the Army Air Corps relied on training fields like Lodwick to train pilots for its fighters, bombers, and transport planes. In 1990, Lakeland made its Hollywood debut when the Southgate Shopping Center was featured in the hit movie Edward Scissorhands, starring Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder.

It is also mentioned near the end of the Sublime song "April 26, 1992 (Miami)" when lead singer Bradley Nowell lists the cities burning across the United States. Skunk Records co-founder and Sublime’s unofficial fourth member, Michael Happoldt, grew up in Lakeland.

Lakeland made national headlines on September 28, 2006 when Polk County Sheriff's Deputy Vernon "Matt" Williams and his K-9 partner, Diogi, were shot and killed after a routine traffic stop in the Wabash area of the town. The incident sparked outrage among the central Florida law enforcement community. More than 500 law officials came together in search of Angilo Freeland, the suspect wanted in connection with the murder. The next morning Freeland was found hiding under a fallen tree. Nine SWAT members fired 110 shots at Freeland, hitting him 68 times and killing him on the spot. "God will be his judge and jury now" said Sheriff Grady Judd[6], adding "we ran out of bullets" on Oct 1, 2006 to the Orlando Sentinel when asked why the police had shot Freeland 68 times. Deputy Williams and Diogi were laid to rest on October 3, 2006 after a funeral that included a one-hour and 45 minute procession to Auburndale.[7]

Lakeland is home to one of the first Hindu temples in the United States[citation needed] and the Publix Super Markets' headquarters. The first Red Lobster restaurant was opened at Lakeland; however, the original restaurant has since closed.[citation needed]

Lakeland Skyline


Lakeland is located at 28°02′28″N 81°57′32″W / 28.041248°N 81.958978°W / 28.041248; -81.958978 (28.041248, -81.958978).[8] Lakeland is 141 feet (43 m) above sea level. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 67 square miles (173.5 km2). 45.84 square miles (118.7 km2) of it is land and 5.61 square miles (14.5 km2) of it (10.90%) is water.

In July 2006, Scott Lake, one of the city's lakes, was almost totally drained by a cluster of sinkholes[9] The lake later partially refilled.[10]



Lake Mirror Park in downtown Lakeland is lined by City Hall and Lakeland Terrace Hotel.
  • Downtown (includes the Munn Park District)
  • Lake Beulah
  • Westgate
  • Waterford
  • Central Avenue
  • Lake Hunter Terrace (Historic District)
  • Dixieland (Historic District)
  • Beacon Hill (Historic District)
  • Camphor
  • Southwest
  • Imperial
  • Raintree
  • Lake Somerset
  • Lakeland Golf Courses
  • Edgewood
  • Lake Hollingsworth
  • Cleveland Heights
  • Lake Bentley
  • Lake Horney
  • Florida Southern College
  • Cumberland (Historic District)
  • Biltmore (Historic District)
  • East Lake Morton (Historic District)
  • South Lake Morton [1] (Historic District)
  • Crystal Lake
  • Lime Street
  • Lake Bonny
  • Shore Acres
  • Edgewater Beach
  • Parker Street
  • North Lake Wire
  • John Cox
  • Lakeshore
  • Tigertown
  • Granada
  • Watson
  • Swannanoa
  • Paul A Diggs
  • Valencia Heights
  • Pinehurst
  • Webster Park South
  • Webster Park North
  • Harmony Hills
  • Orangewood
  • Jewel Avenue
  • North Lake Bonnet
  • South Lake Bonnet
  • Robson
  • Combee Settlement
  • Lake Hollingsworth Terrace
  • Edgewood Park


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1890 552
1900 1,180 113.8%
1910 3,719 215.2%
1920 7,062 89.9%
1930 18,554 162.7%
1940 22,068 18.9%
1950 30,851 39.8%
1960 41,350 34.0%
1970 42,803 3.5%
1980 47,406 10.8%
1990 70,576 48.9%
2000 78,452 11.2%
Est. 2007 98,574 25.6%
Population 1890-2000.[11]

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 78,452 people, 33,509 households, and 20,373 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,711.3/mi2 (660.8/km2). There were 38,980 housing units at an average density of 850.3/mi2 (328.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 73.52% White, 21.26% African American, 0.28% Native American, 1.34% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.76% from other races, and 1.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.41% of the population.

There were 33,509 households out of which 23.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.5% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.2% were individuals and non-traditional families. 32.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.82.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.4% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 23.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 86.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,119, and the median income for a family was $40,468. Males had a median income of $32,137 versus $23,771 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,760. About 10.7% of families and 15.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.2% of those under age 18 and 9.1% of those age 65 or over.

Lakeland has seen explosive growth. According to The Tampa Tribune the population in 2020 is projected to be 115,000 residents.


Lakeland is governed by a six member city council. Four members are elected from districts. The other two are elected at large. The mayor is elected in citywide vote.


The local newspaper is The Ledger, owned by The New York Times.

The local radio stations are:


High schools



Polk State College shares a campus with a regional campus of the University of South Florida. In July 2008, USF Lakeland was granted partial autonomy by Gov. Charlie Crist and became the University of South Florida Polytechnic. USFP plans a new campus located just inside the Lakeland's northeast border at the intersection of I-4 and Polk Parkway.

Traviss Career Center is a vocational school[12]. It is NAFTC´s Training Center.


Club League Venue Established Championships
Lakeland Flying Tigers FSL, Baseball Joker Marchant Stadium 1963 3

Attractions and points of interest

Historic districts

Buildings and locations

Notable Lakelanders






Sister cities


  1. ^ "Florida by Place. Population, Housing, Area, and Density: 2000". US Census Bureau. Retrieved 2007-11-25. 
  2. ^ a b "Annual Estimates of the population for the Incorporated Places of Florida" (XLS). US Census Bureau. Retrieved 2007-11-25. 
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006" (XLS). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2007-11-25. 
  6. ^ Resume of Colonel Grady C. Judd, Jr
  7. ^ Information about Deputy Williams' funeral.
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ Diane Lacey Allen (23 June 2006). "'The Lake is Dry'". The Ledger. Retrieved 3007-11-25. 
  10. ^ "Florida Lake Swallowed by Sinkhole Reappearing". Associated Press. 25 July 2006.,2933,205444,00.html. Retrieved 2007-11-25. 
  11. ^ "Census Of Population And Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  12. ^

External links

Simple English

Lakeland is a city of Florida in the United States.


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