Before and after: Attorney Sam Houghton wants to transform the vacant 1950s-era Vito’s restaurant building (left) on Florida Avenue in Dixieland into a law office (right). He plans to retain the landmark Vito’s sign but move it and change the wording. In case you were wondering, Houghton plans to keep the words “air conditioning” on the sign, his architect, Brad Lunz, said. Lakeland’s Historic Design Review Committee approved the plan today, qualifying the project for a facade improvement grant from the Lakeland Community Redevelopment Agency.

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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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