About Us







Mission Statement

Historic Lakeland is a not for profit organization dedicated to promoting appreciation of Lakeland’s unique architectural heritage, advocating for the preservation of its historic structures and using our City’s past to guide our community’s future.

What We Do

Historic Lakeland was founded in 1979 for the preservation of maintaining our architectural heritage. One of our first challenges was the Frances Langford Promenade on Lake Mirror which was in deplorable condition after years of neglect. Since then, we have acted as the community’s conscience in matters of preservation.

Despite Historic Lakeland’s success in its mission to “promote awareness, understanding, and an appreciation of Lakeland’s history, and to insure the preservation of those things which represent the character of our city and are significant to its history”, voices are still heard advocating demolition of important buildings. Historic Lakeland has actively worked to save the old Lakeland High School Building (now Lawton Chiles Middle Academy), the Lakeland Terrace Hotel and the Coca-Cola Building (now the Lakeland Fire Department). Sites not actually threatened by demolition, but beautifully restored by other groups include Munn Park, the Antiques District, the Polk Theatre and the John Cox Grammar School (Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine). For more details please view our Success Stories section, with pictures of some of these preservation efforts.

Historic Lakeland applauds these valuable additions to our community. Annually we recognize owners of commercial and residential structures in Lakeland who have renovated and/or restored their properties in a manner consistent with the historic character of the structure and the area surrounding it. Awards are presented at an event held during National Preservation Week in May.

Board of Directors



  • Jesse Bryant
  • Jean Bunch
  • Alice Collins
  • Dr. James Denham
  • Larry Durrence
  • Jonathan Kirk
  • Sean Malott
  • Grant Miller
  • Richard Nicholson
  • Ekho Powell
  • Ursula Radabaugh
  • Beatty Raymond
  • Lynn Anne Schindler
  • Linda Trumble
  • John White

2016 Officers

  • Steve Shelnut, President
  • LaBron Taylor Vice President
  • Ann Hilliard, Treasurer
  • Tisha Shelden, Secretary

Historic Preservation Board

    • George Ross, Chairman
    • John White, Vice Chairman
    • Kyle Clyne
    • Terry Dennis
    • Derek Hartman
    • Brad Lunz
    • Tim Calhoon
    • Linda Trumble
    • Brian Waller
    • Tom Winslow

2 Replies to “About Us”

  1. We are holding a preservation conference in Titusville on April 28-30 as part of their year-long 150th anniversary celebration. Thought you and your staff would be interested in attending. The conference is designed to appeal to various disciplines in historic preservation including historic house museums, historic review boards, urban planners, architects, realtors, developers, historic home owners, etc. A part of our focus is adaptive reuse of historic structures.

    I would like to send you our information sheet and flyer. We would appreciate any publicity you can give us for this important event. The event is listed on EventBrite.com The Many Faces of Preservation.

    If you have questions or need additional information please do not hesitate to contact me at 757-477-2795 or at ruth,akright@verizon.net. Hope to see you at the end of the month.

    Ruth Akright
    Classic Property Resources

  2. Hello,

    My Grandfather, Mr. Howard O. Bradley was a grocer in Lakeland during the 1930’s and ’40’s. His store, The Western Market, was located in Dixieland. I am in possession of a couple of pictures taken during the 1930’s and am wondering if there is an organization in Lakeland where I could donate these photographs.

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