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.


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This train station on Church Street was originally built by the South Florida Railroad in 1889. The South Florida Railroad was bought out the Plant System in 1893, which in turn was taken over by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1902. In 1926 passenger operations were transferred to Orlando Health/Amtrak station. In May 2014, trains will return when Sunrail utilizes it as one of three downtown Orlando stops.


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This collection of historic buildings just east of the train depot are known as Church Street Station.  During the 1980s, Church Street Station was a popular entertainment venue.  Today, it is home to a collection of restaurants, bars and retailers.


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Much of downtown Orlando's recent residential growth has come in the form of major infill mixed-use projects just east of the downtown historic district, within walking distance of Lake Eola Park.


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Looking up at the Vue at Lake Eola.


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The Vue can be seen rising in the background. Completed in 2007, the 424' tower is the second tallest residential structure between Atlanta and Miami.  Downtown Jacksonville's Peninsula tops it at 437'.



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The Sky House is nearing completion.


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A lot is said about scale in discussions about infill development in Jacksonville.  Orlando wants to be a big city and this can clearly be seen from the height and density of many recently constructed projects in the vicinity.


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The Jackson on East Jackson Street.


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Star Tower is on block west of The Jackson.


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101 Eola


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