A glimpse into Lakeland’s new History & Culture Center

Lakeland History and Culture Center | Renderings by Jon Kirk, Straughn Trout Architects

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Do you want to have your family or business name featured in Lakeland’s new History & Culture Center? Now you can

If you’ve been to the Lakeland Public Library or the adjacent Black and Brew Coffee House and Bistro location, you’ve likely noticed the library construction. The work, which started in February 2021, is designed to bring the new Lakeland History & Culture Center (LHCC) to fruition. 

The center’s inaugural exhibit, which is slated to open in Spring 2022, will educate guests on the history of Lakeland’s railroad industry through interactive touch screens, artifacts, narratives, and traditional displays

Lakeland Public Library | Renderings by Jon Kirk, Straughn Trout Architects

Initially, the commission allotted $300,000 to kick off construction, but more funding will be required for final touches, such as technology + display cases.

Additional funding for these endeavors is partially provided by sponsorships from charter organizations and community members. While the organization has nearly met its fundraising goal, donations are still being accepted through Dec. 31, 2021

Donors who contribute $500+ to the LHCC fund will see their name or their business name featured on the Donor Wall, which center visitors will see as they enter the new facilities. 

Lakeland History and Culture Center | Renderings by Jon Kirk, Straughn Trout Architects

In case you missed it, the center received unanimous support and approval after it was presented to the commission back in 2019. The project’s advisory committee is led by former Mayor Gow Fields.

The following are fast facts that relate to the project’s completion:

  • The center will house 1,400 sqft. of exhibit space.
  • The new Lakeland History Room will be a space within the main library where trained staff will assist residents in searching historical + genealogical documents. The History Room will include yearbooks, maps, property plans, photographs, personal items, and more.
  • A new DIY Digitize Space will allow residents to convert videotapes, cassette tapes, and photographs into a digital format. 
  • The exhibit space aims to tell the Lakeland story by highlighting different groups that contributed to the city culture. 

Can’t wait? Stay up-to-date with the progress of the new center + the library here.