The wife and I decided to take a side trip to Lakeland Florida today. Lakeland is about 50 miles south-west of Orlando on I-4. It's the home of Florida Southern College and Publix, and has citrus, cattle and phosphate mining as industries. Unfortunately, Lakeland currently suffers from an 11% unemployment rate, along with much of the rest of Florida.
The first place we stopped was Florida Southern, primarily to look at the Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. One building that caught my eye was the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel.
Not all the architecture was by Wright, but appeared to be influenced non-the-less. These recent student dorms were interesting.
Lakeland still has a lot of "old Florida" buildings in the city. The Southgate Shopping Center entrance is classic 1960's Florida architecture.
The economic downturn has hit Lakeland as hard, if not harder, than Orlando. This closed Barnes & Noble book store is the first and only one I've seen in the area between Tampa and Orlando. We also found a lot of other closed stores, from service stations to major restaurants like Roadhouse and stores like Staples.
Some of the closed businesses have been re-tasked for temporary tasks, such as this produce market. Tomatoes and fruit are sold between idle gas pumps.
Everything shown here taken with the E-P2 and the M.Zuiko 9-18mm UWA zoom.