The City of Lakeland proposed historic district status in the early 1980's for what was known as the South Lake Morton neighborhood, with boundaries on the north of Lake Morton and Palmetto St., on the west behind the S. Florida Ave. business strip, on the south at Lake Hollingsworth, and the east at Florida Southern College and Ingraham Avenue.
The City contracted to have a survey of the nieghborhood done in early 1984, which found that 75% of the 760 buildings in the neighborhood were significant and contributed to the character of the neighborhood. Nearly 96% of the surveyed structures were residential, with 90% of them built between 1918 and 1927, the so-called "boom period" of Lakeland's development. As part of the survey, photographs were taken of the significant and contributing structures and the photos were linked to the survey forms completed for each structure. This collection consists of those photos taken in 1984.
In 1992, the East Lake Morton neighborhood between downtown and Lake Morton was surveyed and the East Lake Morton Historic District established to complement the previously created South Lake Morton Historic District. Development in this area began earlier, about 1900, and was largely completed by 1928. Residences of many of Lakeland's early community leaders, as well as a number of early civic and community buildings are located here. Photos from the East Lake Morton Historic District are not available in this collection, though photos of some of the more prominent buildings in the district, including the first public library, the Sorosis Club Building and the Lakeland Woman's Club Building, are available in other collections.