Retirement: Lakeland, Florida!
Lakeland Florida map
And now a little about Lakeland...
Welcome to a brief history of Lakeland, Florida, the city where we live and play approximately four to six months of the year. The balance of the time is spent traveling and visiting our two other children who live in opposite parts of the USA. Lakeland, known for being the home of Florida Southern College (This campus contains nine structures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright) and The Florida Air Museum at Fun ‘n Sun - Specialty Museums.
Lakeland is also known for being a manufactured and mobile home community and there are 89 manufactured and mobile home communities near Lakeland, Florida. The community within which we live is called Beacon Terrace – a beautiful 55+ community. Beacon Terrace provides a rich, fulfilling lifestyle in a scenic, professionally-maintained community. Residents (and we have a mixture of retirees, individuals still working and semi-retired individuals such as myself) can be as active or as inactive as they would like to be. In addition to golf, bowling, and shuffleboard, we entertain ourselves by attending dances, pot-luck suppers, monthly pancake breakfasts, social hour, and what is affectionately known as game night. In addition, some residents keep themselves busy with line-dancing, playing cards, bingo, and many other activities that keep us young and fit both physically and mentally.
Possessing a unique blend of business, culture and recreation, Lakeland is a wonderful city with a proud heritage and rich history. Lakeland residents enjoy a peaceful lifestyle, yet are still afforded easy access to two much larger cities in Florida, namely Tampa and Orlando.
The demographics of Lakeland are as follows:
Population as of July 2009: 93,738 (Population change since 2000: +19.5%); Split 46.5% males vs 53.4% females; estimated median household income in 2009 was $36,013; Florida is $44,376; Estimated per capita income in 2009 was $22,791; Estimated median house or condo value in 2009: $135,200 (it was $71,500 in 2000); Lakeland $135,200 versus Florida at $182,400; Median rent in 2009: $840
Lakeland continues to be the spring training place for the Detroit Tigers (originally arrived to train in 1934). 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. He planned 18 structures, 12 of which were completed and six left on the drawing board. 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 collection of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in one location in the world.
With a current population of 90,000+ Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the U.S. Census Bureau for over 30 years. With tourist attractions such as Disney World, Busch Gardens, Bok Tower, and the recent arrival and opening of Legoland this year, all within half an hour's drive, Lakeland is capitalizing on its ideal central Florida location. With its commitment to downtown development, redevelopment and historical preservation, and keen insight into its past and present, it is a model for other cities.
Is it any wonder why current residents of Lakeland invite others to explore the amazing community of Lakeland today! Wendy's Two Cents: GOOO DETROIT TIGERS!