Munn Park updates


Munn Park | Photo by Catapult

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The move of the monument (03.07.19)

Today we’re talking monuments. More specifically, the Confederate monument in Munn Park. After several months of planning, city officials have agreed to relocate the century-old monument with a created relocation plan.

Here’s your breakdown of the plan in one minute.

  • City Officials begin the moving process on March 26, with the expectation that the statue will be in its new location (Veterans Memorial Park) by April 4.
  • Veterans Memorial Park – Lakeland’s primary location for monuments and memorials to soldiers and first responders – has been prepared for the move and a temporary fence is in place.
  • The monument is comprised of a single statue + multiple pieces for the plinth and it will be pressure washed, cleaned + moved in parts over multiple days.
  • April was selected as there are no major events happening downtown during the move.
  • The plan will take 12 days in total, and before that, there will be four days of asset mobilization, including setting up a crane.
  • There are no current plans for the space in Munn Park, though some suggestions have included a carousel in the park, except with swans instead of horses.

Today we’re talking carousels. More specifically a carousel in Munn Park. 🎠 After the move of the Confederate monument to Veterans Memorial Park, everyone has been deep in thought about the future of Munn Park – including us.

The Lakeland Downtown Development Authority (LDDA) is advocating for a custom-made Lakeland-themed carousel, which they believe will reinforce Munn Park’s role as both the symbolic centerpiece of our city and a family-friendly area for downtown. And several of you agree – with 31% voting for a carousel, according to our poll.

The LDDA will host a public meeting at the center of Munn Park on Monday, April 29 between 11 a.m.-8 p.m. to showcase all of the ideas thus far via sample photos. If you want to toss in your ideas, stop by their office (117 N. Kentucky Ave.).

Here’s your breakdown of their proposal in one minute. ⌛

  • A 36 ft. diameter carousel would fit within the 41 ft. central space of Munn Park with minor disruption to the current park design.
  • The piece would be custom-made with design choices that represent the historical + famous aspects of Lakelandswans for Lake Morton, a tiger for Spring Training, horses for Circle B and Colt Creek State Park, an alligator for Blinky, a Publix truck, a plane for Sun ‘n Fun, and so on.
  • It is a functional, story-telling piece of art that would bring people (of all ages) downtown for attractions that have never been offered on a regular basis at Munn Park before.
  • The carousel has the potential to be a community-funded projectbusinesses could purchase the figures in their name and individuals could do the same to memorialize a loved one.
  • The carousel would require a plan for operation, maintenance, security, shelter + liability.
  • The nearest carousel open to the public is found in St. Augustine. Now that’s quite a drive for a spin on a horse.

Other potential ideas you’ve brought to the table:

  • Bandstand/Gazebo
  • Water feature
  • Sculpture
  • A changeable art display
  • Garden
  • Bell tower
  • Light feature
  • Statue of a famous Lakelander or Mr. Munn

Originally, the popular idea was a gazeboalso requiring a plan for security, maintenance, and liability issues. However, the LDDA didn’t support it due to the number of days + hours the gazebo would sit empty and unused for its intended purpose. It could provide a space for bands to play, but live music does not require a dedicated space and already happens in Munn Park. According to the LDDA, a mostly dormant structure would also invite loitering and become a place for taking shelter, sleeping + smoking during the day.

The final decision is up to the city commission (who will have many factors to consider), and it is not expected to be made for many months.

– LALtoday team (Jessica and Kaylee)