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LAKELAND, FL (May 2, 2022) – May is Historic Preservation Month! This event was created by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1973 to celebrate the diverse and irreplaceable historic places that are important to people across the United States. Since then, local preservation groups, state and local governments, and business and civic organizations have recognized Historic Preservation Month through special events, proclamations, and other unique activities. 

This year’s theme is “People Saving Places,” celebrating the great work of historic place-savers who devote their time, energy, and resources into protecting places they care about, often without recognition. Lakeland is blessed with an abundance of historic sites and dedicated residents committed to preserving both the places and the stories behind them. Preservation Month 2022 is a celebration of them and everyone doing the great work of saving places, in hopes that it will inspire and empower others to do the same. 

  • The City of Lakeland will kick off Historic Preservation Month on May 2nd with an official proclamation by Mayor Bill Mutz during the City Commission meeting that day. 
  • The community is encouraged to take photos of meaningful historic and cultural places, buildings, sites, etc., and post them on social media using the hashtag #SavingPlaces. (The National Trust may even highlight Lakeland’s special places through their Instagram and Twitter accounts, @SavingPlaces!) 
  • The 2022 Historic Preservation Awards will take place at the Polk Theatre on May 16th beginning at 5:30 p.m. This event is hosted by Historic Lakeland, Inc., and the City’s Historic Preservation Board. It honors historic building rehabilitation and restoration projects, as well as compatible new infill buildings within the City’s Historic Districts.
  • There will be a hands-on workshop about how to Research Your House History at the Larry R. Jackson Branch Library meeting room on May 24th from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. with Emily Foster, Senior Planner for Historic Preservation and LuAnn Mims, Special Collections Librarian.
  • There will be a special presentation at the regular meeting of Lakeland’s Historic Preservation Board on May 26th at 8:30 a.m. in the City Commission Chambers on the third floor of City Hall, reviewing historic preservation efforts of the past year. It will be broadcast live on LakelandGov TV.

“Lakeland’s historic buildings and places are the tangible links to our collective past and provide unique community character. Our city is fortunate to have such wonderful and varied historic architecture,” Foster said. “Recognizing that it takes a great deal of effort, expense, and care to maintain and protect these irreplaceable structures, the people that have done this work in the past – and are continuing to do so today – are truly appreciated and celebrated.”

Stay tuned to the City of Lakeland’s social media throughout the month for more ways to discover, celebrate, and save our city’s historic treasures.

For more information, please call Emily Foster, Historic Preservation Planner at 863-834-6094.

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