neon look

Historic preservation enthusiasts who saw plans today to spruce up the 1930s LkldTV building downtown liked the revamp of the part of the building that faces Munn Park — but they loved the curved neon-look lights on the building’s Art Deco overhang:

  • “If you pull it off with the neon lights, the midcentury buffs are going to love it. I know; I live with one,” city Community Development Director Jim Studiale said.
  • “I think it’s absolutely wonderful and adds a little excitement to downtown,” said Dan Fowler, an architect and member of the city Historic Preservation Board.

That board’s Design Review Committee today approved exterior plans for a facelift of the building known for its curved overhang at Massachusetts Avenue and Cedar Street and its past as a Firestone Tire building.

The “neon” lights are actually strips of LED lights that emulate classic neon. Colors can change easily, and building owner Randy Borden said the color scheme will change for holidays and other events.

Borden is planning the facelift in advance of launching a new  phase of his LkldTV venture. (We’ll be writing more about that in the future.)

[box]Disclosure: Lkldnow and LkldTV, while separate organizations, collaborate on story planning.[/box]

The biggest changes to the building come on the two-story portion facing Kentucky Avenue, which Borden conceded currently has an unfinished look.

Before and after: The portion of the building facing Kentucky Avenue

| WMB Architecture

WMB Architecture plans to unify the original one-story structure and the two-story addition through use of similar finishes and warm, contemporary colors. Residences will be added to the second story.

Columns and an overhang should produce a more finished look, and the current wrought-iron railings will be replaced with simpler rails that fit with the Art Deco look, city historic planner Emily Foster said in her report about the building.

202 Massachusetts
The curved overhang at Massachusetts and Cedar. |

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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