Downtown Beautification: Orlando

September 17, 2013 26 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Orlando wants to have a "big city" downtown. While not there yet, it's well on its way. Over the last decade, the skyline has doubled in size and the number of downtown residents has increased to 12,000. From Bus Rapid Transit and commuter rail to allowing billboards, sidewalk dining and attracting suburban colleges to invest in the core, the elements of urbanism that Jacksonville continues to struggle to embrace are finding a way to flourish in this urban setting. Nevertheless, what really stands out is the high level of service applied to keeping the streets clean and public spaces well landscaped and maintained. Metro Jacksonville wants you to see for yourself. Here is a brief look at the streets of downtown Orlando.


The LYNX LYMMO is intended to accomplish what the Skyway Express does for downtown Jacksonville.  This BRT system operates as a free three-mile loop downtown circulator with several stops in the core.  Plans are underway to add two additional LYMMO routes in downtown.  The Downtown East/West route will connect downtown with adjacent neighborhoods, Thornton Park and Parramore. A second Parramore route will tie the neighborhood with Creative Village, downtown, LYNX Central Station and Sunrail.


The LYNX LYMMO system includes dedicated lanes for BRT buses.  Unlike Jacksonville's proposed BRT system, regular city buses do not utilize this infrastructure.


The LYNX LYMMO BRT corridor on Orange Avenue.


The Orange County Regional History Center is located in the heart of downtown Orlando, near the intersection of Orange Avenue and Central Boulevard.


Looking down East Pine Street. While downtown Orlando's skyline appears to be modern, the core is actually a historic district.  Orlando's historic core contains the lion's share of downtown's restaurants and bars.


The Metcalf Building at 100 South Orange Avenue was dedicated in 1924.


This Art Deco building was built in 1936 for the S.H. Kress & Company store.


Gitto's on South Orange Avenue serves pizza 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Orange Avenue is downtown Orlando's historic major commercial spine.  The base of the historic 11-story Angebilt Hotel can be seen on the left.  When it opened in 1923, it was Orlando's tallest building.


The intersection of Orange Avenue and Central Boulevard.  The building with the arched windows was completed in 1924 as a 10-story structure for the State Bank of Orlando & Trust Company.  The 5-story structure in the background opened in 1914 as the Yowell-Duckworth Department Story.  For many years, it was occupied by Ivey's Department Store.

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