Lake Mirror Park, Lakeland, FL

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    Welcome to Lake Mirror Park

    People taking in scenic views at Lake Mirror in Lakeland, Florida
    ••• People taking in scenic views and watching the swans at Lake Mirror in Lakeland, Florida. © Dawn Henthorn, licensed to About.com

    Located in the heart of downtown Lakeland is Lake Mirror and its Promenade. The community recreation area was the vision of Tom Appleyard, the manager of Lakeland's Chamber of Commerce in the early 1920s. Charles W. Leavitt, the noted New York landscape architect brought Appleyard's vision to reality.

    The original design, called for an amphitheatre and a sculpture that were eliminated due to the cost, but the seawall along the northern and southern shores and the wide pedestrian path were completed in 1926.

    Lake Mirror Park and amphitheater were dedicated in the fall of 1999 and Hollis Garden opened in 2000 on the southeast shore of the lake. A sculpture also graces the northeast shore.

    Directions:

    Lake Mirror is located off Massachusetts Avenue (Hwy. 33) in Downtown Lakeland. It is bordered by Lake Mirror Drive.

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    The Promenade

    The Promenade at Lake Mirror Park in Lakeland
    ••• The Promenade at Lake Mirror in Lakeland is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. © Panoramic Images/Getty Images

    Throughout the years, the Promenade, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been a source of pride within the community. While conceived in the 1920s, about 20 years ago reconstruction began to restore the Promenade to its original grandeur and vision.

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    Hollis Garden

    Hollis Garden at Lake Mirror, Lakeland, Florida
    ••• ©Dawn Henthorn

    Hollis Garden provides the focal point of the southern shore of Lake Mirror. The roof of its neoclassical, Tuscan gazebo can be seen from across the lake. Opened in 2000, Hollis is a formal garden located within the historic Lake Mirror Park. Over 10,000 flowers, ornamental shrubs and shade trees grace the tiered garden.

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    Fountain View

    Hollis Garden in full bloom.
    ••• Hollis Garden in full bloom. © Panoramic Images/Getty Images

    The fountain is the focal point of Hollis Garden. A series of bowls and runnels lead from just below the fountain to the edge of Lake Mirror, representing man's ability to control food water to his benefit. Since the garden becomes increasingly aesthetic as one approaches the lake, it shows how man can enhance the beauty of Florida's land and its flora.

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    "Tribute to the Spirit of Volunteerism" Sculpture

    Tribute to the Spirit of Volunteerism sculpture at Lake Mirror Park in Lakeland FL
    ••• Tribute to the Spirit of Volunteerism sculpture is a focal point at Lake Mirror Park. © Panoramic Images/Getty Images

    Installed in April 2004, the modern "Tribute to the Spirit of Volunteerism" sculpture, designed by sculptor Albert Paley, is the controversial centerpiece of Lake Mirror Park.

    The 41-foot-tall, 18,000-pound metal sculpture consists of a purple central column, buttressed by a tilted yellow spear and fan-like bursts. It is topped by curling, golden ribbons that are offset by five bright red spikes reaching upward at contracting angles.

    Whether you love it or hate it, the sculpture definitely gets your attention because it seems a bit out of place in its historical surroundings.

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    Barnett Family Park

    Barnett Family Park at Lake Mirror in Lakeland, Florida
    ••• ©Dawn Henthorn

    Located on Lakeland's Lake Mirror, is a five-building complex that offers a wide range of facilities for community entertainment and recreation, including senior adult activities, theatre productions and building rental for the community.

    Hidden from view from the lake, but part of the recreation complex is Barnett Family Park. It is a unique community recreational area featuring an awesome playground, a water play area and a large picnic pavilion. All this in the heart of Downtown Lakeland.

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    Swan Lake

    Swan on Lake Mirror in Lakeland, FL
    ••• Swan at Lake Mirror in Lakeland seems to pause long enough for a picture. © Dawn Henthorn, licensed to About.com
    You are likely to see many different birds on your visit to Mirror Lake, including seagulls and large pelicans; but, it is the swans that add a touch of romance and beauty to the lake. While there are both both black swans and white swans, only this one seemed willing to pause long enough for a picture.
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    Palm-lined Pathways

    Palms line sidewalk at Lake Mirror in Lakeland
    ••• Palm trees line the sidewalk on the north side of Lake Mirror in Lakeland. © Dawn Henthorn, licensed to About.com
    Like sentinels standing guard over strolling pedestrians, these palms line the street-side of the northern shore's pathway at Lake Mirror Park in Lakeland.
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    Ornate Loggia

    Lake Mirror's Promenade with a view of the ornate loggia where flags are flying.
    ••• Lake Mirror's Promenade with a view of the ornate loggia where flags are flying. © Panoramic Images/Getty Images

    You might be asking yourself, "What is a loggia?" I did. A loggia is a roofed open gallery within the side of a building, looking down on an open court. In this case, this loggia is located at the foot of Massachusetts Avenue along the western shore of Lake Mirror. It architecturally ties in the towering street to the lake below.

    The flags seem to offer a quiet tribute to the long ago vision of one man. The vision that not only became a reality, but has served a community for over a half century.

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    Reflections

    ••• ©Dawn Henthorn
    Lakeland's Lake Mirror Park is the perfect place to come to reflect on a busy day.