Dixieland Historic Community: A Darling Near Downtown Lakeland

As you meander south from the heart of downtown Lakeland along South Florida Avenue, the iconic Southside Cleaners sign, with its quirky wisdom, heralds your entry into Dixieland. This sign, once famously advising, "Experience. You get it whether you want it or not," serves as a gateway to one of Lakeland's most nostalgically charming neighborhoods. Dixieland, with its timeless allure, feels like stepping into a Norman Rockwell painting, where every corner tells a story of community, history, and a simpler, more connected way of life.

Dixieland Real Estate and Homes for Sale

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New
841 South Missouri Avenue, LAKELAND

$1,150

841 South Missouri Avenue, LAKELAND

1 Bed 1 Bath 900 SqFt Residential Lease MLS® # L4944941
New
514 West Hancock Street, LAKELAND

$299,900

514 West Hancock Street, LAKELAND

2 Beds 2 Baths 1,200 SqFt Residential MLS® # P4930556
New
101 Lake Hunter Drive 21, LAKELAND

$1,350

101 Lake Hunter Drive 21, LAKELAND

2 Beds 2 Baths 903 SqFt Residential Lease MLS® # L4944456
New
527 West Hancock Street, LAKELAND

$454,900

527 West Hancock Street, LAKELAND

3 Beds 2 Baths 1,927 SqFt Residential MLS® # L4944987
New
302 Ariana Street, LAKELAND

$457,000

302 Ariana Street, LAKELAND

3 Beds 3 Baths 1,760 SqFt Residential MLS® # P4930506
1504 South New York Avenue, LAKELAND

$1,500

1504 South New York Avenue, LAKELAND

2 Beds 1 Bath 1,182 SqFt Residential Lease MLS® # L4944765
1040 South Ohio Avenue, LAKELAND

$299,000

1040 South Ohio Avenue, LAKELAND

2 Beds 2 Baths 1,071 SqFt Residential MLS® # L4944103
1005 Ariana Street, LAKELAND

$409,000

↓ $20,000

1005 Ariana Street, LAKELAND

5 Beds 3 Baths 2,813 SqFt Residential MLS® # O6204260
206 West Hancock Street, LAKELAND

$1,550

206 West Hancock Street, LAKELAND

2 Beds 1 Bath 700 SqFt Residential Lease MLS® # L4944486
302 West Park Street, LAKELAND

$359,999

↓ $10,001

302 West Park Street, LAKELAND

3 Beds 2 Baths 1,162 SqFt Residential MLS® # O6200604
130 West Park Street, LAKELAND

$329,999

↓ $30,000

130 West Park Street, LAKELAND

3 Beds 1 Bath 1,481 SqFt Residential MLS® # L4944245
826 South New York Avenue, LAKELAND

$469,000

↓ $10,000

826 South New York Avenue, LAKELAND

3 Beds 3 Baths 2,230 SqFt Residential MLS® # T3521018
1215 King Avenue, LAKELAND

$387,000

↓ $12,000

1215 King Avenue, LAKELAND

3 Beds 2 Baths 1,500 SqFt Residential MLS® # L4943720
309 Ariana Street, LAKELAND

$135,000

↓ $15,000

309 Ariana Street, LAKELAND

0 Beds 0 Baths 0 SqFt Land MLS® # O6190604
101 Lake Hunter Drive 27 And 28, LAKELAND

$359,900

↑ $10,000

101 Lake Hunter Drive 27 And 28, LAKELAND

4 Beds 2 Baths 1,806 SqFt Residential Income MLS® # L4943580
737 South Florida Avenue, LAKELAND

$325,000

737 South Florida Avenue, LAKELAND

0 Beds 0 Baths 0 SqFt Land MLS® # O6190045
939 South Missouri Avenue, LAKELAND

$289,000

↓ $10,900

939 South Missouri Avenue, LAKELAND

3 Beds 2 Baths 1,031 SqFt Residential MLS® # L4943147
1524 South New York Avenue, LAKELAND

$438,000

↓ $57,000

1524 South New York Avenue, LAKELAND

3 Beds 3 Baths 2,680 SqFt Residential MLS® # T3507390
706 West Patterson Street, LAKELAND

$339,900

↓ $5,000

706 West Patterson Street, LAKELAND

4 Beds 2 Baths 1,580 SqFt Residential MLS® # L4942594
544 West Hancock Street, LAKELAND

$255,000

↓ $11,750

544 West Hancock Street, LAKELAND

3 Beds 1 Bath 1,020 SqFt Residential MLS® # L4942601
614 West Park Street, LAKELAND

$374,000

↓ $10,900

614 West Park Street, LAKELAND

3 Beds 3 Baths 1,470 SqFt Residential MLS® # L4942360
301 West Belvedere Street, LAKELAND

$349,900

↓ $10,000

301 West Belvedere Street, LAKELAND

3 Beds 1 Bath 1,218 SqFt Residential MLS® # T3490594
541 South Florida Avenue, LAKELAND

$4,750,000

↓ $250,000

541 South Florida Avenue, LAKELAND

0 Beds 0 Baths 23,700 SqFt Commercial Sale MLS® # T3353960

A Tapestry of Local Life

Dixieland is a vibrant mosaic of historic homes, local businesses, and community spaces that embody the spirit of Lakeland. This neighborhood is a treasure trove of Lakeland's past and present, where old-time staples like Swift’s Shoe Repair have been mending everything from thrift-store finds to designer labels for over 65 years. Here, community life thrives, evidenced by proud parents at Bomar Trophy Shop, biking enthusiasts gathering at Bent’s Cycling & Fitness, and the simple act of choosing flowers at Petals Flower Shoppe Etc. It's a neighborhood where daily interactions weave the fabric of a tightly-knit community.

A Hub for Families and Outdoor Enthusiasts

Dixieland is not just about its aesthetic and commercial charm; it's a prime location for raising a family, with Dixieland Elementary's exceptional reputation and the inviting green spaces of Dobbins Park. For those drawn to the outdoors, the neighborhood's proximity to Lake Hunter and Lake Hollingsworth offers endless recreation opportunities, from the Florida Southern ski team's practice sessions to the tranquil paths embraced by runners and cyclists alike. The neighborhood champions an active lifestyle, highlighted by the Lakeland Runners Club and the celebrated Lake-to-Lake bike path.

Culinary Delights and Social Gatherings

Dixieland is a haven for food enthusiasts, boasting an array of dining experiences that cater to every taste. From the legendary subs at Subs ‘n Such to the Latin-American cuisine of Nineteen61 and the craft beer and boutique wine offerings at Cobb & Pen, Dixieland offers a culinary journey that is both diverse and delectable. Patio 850 and Reececliff Family Diner add to this rich tapestry, offering spaces where the community comes together to enjoy good food, music, and company.

A Thrifter’s Paradise

For those with a penchant for the unique and the vintage, Dixieland is a goldmine. Places like Dixieland Relics and 360° Unlimited offer an eclectic mix of items, from retro theater seats to vintage fashion and music records. The neighborhood’s thrift and antique stores are a testament to its creative spirit and love for all things with a story.

The Heart of Community Events

Dixieland's vibrancy is amplified by its calendar of community events, from the annual Spring Arts Festival to the monthly Last Friday gatherings that celebrate the neighborhood's culture and commerce. Its proximity to downtown Lakeland means residents are also at the heart of city-wide celebrations, enjoying easy access to First Friday events, Food Truck Rallies, and festivities at Munn Park and Lake Mirror.

A Rich History

The designation of Dixieland as a historic site in 1994 recognized the neighborhood's significant architectural heritage, particularly its bungalow-style homes characteristic of the 1920s to 1940s housing boom. The development of Dixieland, envisioned as Lakeland’s "fashionable suburb" by real estate pioneers Henry B. Carter and C.W. Deen, has evolved into a diverse blend of residential and commercial properties that maintain their historical charm while embracing modern living.

Dixieland is more than just a neighborhood; it's a living, breathing testament to Lakeland's rich history and vibrant community life. It’s a place where the past is cherished, the present is celebrated, and the future is bright. For those looking to immerse themselves in the heart of Lakeland, Dixieland offers a unique blend of historic beauty, community warmth, and a dynamic lifestyle.

About Historic Dixieland

Dixieland stands out as one of Lakeland, Florida's most charismatic and dynamic neighborhoods, a true testament to the city's rich architectural and cultural heritage. This neighborhood is celebrated for its historic bungalows and craftsman-style homes, dating from the 1920s to the 1940s, nestled among lush green spaces, timeless churches, reputable schools, and an invigorating commercial strip. This strip buzzes with an eclectic mix of vintage shops, appetizing restaurants, and cozy coffeehouses, making Dixieland not just a place to live but a vibrant community to experience.

A cornerstone of family life and walkability, Dixieland is enhanced by an engaged neighborhood association that fosters a tight-knit community atmosphere. This sense of belonging is further amplified in its commercial areas, which are recognized as one of the three Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) districts within Lakeland. This designation has spurred economic development while preserving the neighborhood's unique historical charm.

The honor of being listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994 underscores Dixieland's significance in Lakeland's urban tapestry. Its traditional layout, marked by a grid of streets and alleys under a canopy of mature trees and illuminated by historic streetlights, evokes a sense of nostalgia and timeless appeal. The neighborhood's boundaries are clearly defined, from South Florida Avenue to the east, Lake Hunter to the west, Dobbins Park to the south, and the bustling downtown to the north, encapsulating a diverse and inclusive community.

Dixieland's history traces back to its early development, with the first platted subdivision, Riggins & Stephenson’s Addition, established in 1885. However, the area truly began to flourish following the creation of the "Dixieland" subdivision in 1907 by Patterson, Finney, and Cox, a vision brought to life by Henry B. Carter and C.W. Deen. By 1910, the neighborhood boasted a modern water system and local newspapers hailed it as a "fashionable suburb," a reputation it continues to uphold.

In recent years, Dixieland's commercial corridor has been adorned with stunning murals through the CRA-sponsored Dixieland Art Infusion project, adding a modern twist to its historic charm. These murals not only beautify the neighborhood but also serve as a canvas that tells the story of Dixieland's past, present, and future, further solidifying its place as a cultural and historic landmark in Lakeland.

Discovering Dixieland: The Heartbeat of Lakeland, Florida

The Dixieland neighborhood emerges as not just a picturesque embodiment of community charm and historic allure but also as a nationally recognized historic district. This unique enclave, bounded by Walnut Street, Florida Avenue, Lake Hunter, Hartsell Avenue, and Belvedere Street, proudly boasts 556 historic buildings, each telling its own story of the early 20th century. As we delve into the heart of Dixieland, we uncover the myriad reasons that make this neighborhood not just a place to live, but a place to thrive, enriched by its past and embracing its present.


The Dixieland Dragon

Dixieland Dragon

The "Dixieland Dragon" guards the alley along West Park Street behind Hungry Howie's Pizza. The 30-foot-long sculpture made from recycled metal was created by Lakeland welder Keith Williams, owner of 4th Dimension Art & Fab.


A Stroll Through History

The Dixieland Historic District, a testament to Lakeland's architectural and cultural heritage, stands as a vibrant reminder of the community's dedication to preserving its historical identity. The streets of Dixieland are lined with historic bungalows and craftsman-style homes that whisper tales of the past, each structure a piece of the larger tapestry that has been nationally recognized for its significance.

Dixieland Fire Department

The City of Lakeland's second fire station was built in Dixieland in 1925. Station No. 2 remained at this location until 1955 when the city built a larger facility.

Originally called Dixieland Grammar School, Dixieland Elementary

Originally called Dixieland Grammar School, Dixieland Elementary was built in 1924 at a cost of $67,500. The brick and stucco building opened its doors to students in September 1924 and has been in continuous use as a school ever since. It underwent a $1.5 million renovation in 1993.

Historic Dixieland Neighborhood Association

Contact Historic Dixieland Neighborhood Here or by mail PO Box 8919 Lakeland, FL 33806

Celebrating Community and Heritage: The Historic Dixieland Neighborhood Association

The Historic Dixieland Neighborhood Association stands as a beacon of community spirit and historical preservation in Lakeland, Florida. With a motto that resonates with warmth and unity - "Neighbors helping neighbors building a stronger Neighborhood" - the association is dedicated to fostering a sense of belonging and mutual support among its residents. This commitment not only enhances the quality of life within Dixieland but also ensures the preservation and appreciation of its rich history.

Current Endeavors and Engagements

The Association is actively involved in various projects aimed at enhancing the neighborhood's charm and livability. Among these initiatives, the Century Homes Project stands out as a testament to the community's dedication to honoring its architectural and historical legacy. This initiative celebrates homes that have stood the test of time, marking them with a distinctive recognition that tells a story of endurance and heritage.

Century Homes Project: A Tribute to History

The Century Homes Project is a signature effort by the Historic Dixieland Neighborhood Association to recognize and celebrate the historic homes within the district. It encompasses:

  • The Map:  A detailed representation highlighting homes that have been acknowledged as part of the Century Homes Project, offering residents and visitors alike a journey through time as they explore the neighborhood.
  • The Marker:  Crafted from solid, cast bronze, the marker is a tangible symbol of a home's historical significance. Measuring 11 inches wide by 8 1/2 inches tall and weighing approximately eight pounds, it serves as a badge of honor for the enduring legacy of Dixieland's residences. Homeowners can display the marker with pride, either within their homes, on the exterior, or mounted on a bronze garden stake, adding a physical marker to the rich tapestry of Dixieland's history.
  • The Stories:  Behind every marker lies a story, tales of the families, events, and transformations that these century-old homes have witnessed. The Association endeavors to collect and share these narratives, enriching Dixieland's cultural landscape.

Guidelines for Marker Installation

In keeping with the neighborhood's commitment to preservation, the Association provides clear guidelines for the appropriate installation of the historical markers, as advised by Emily Foster, the city’s senior planner for historic preservation. These guidelines ensure that the markers celebrate history without compromising the architectural integrity of the homes. They include recommendations on placement to avoid obscuring significant features, and the use of reversible methods for attaching the markers, to prevent damage to the historic fabric of the buildings.

Engaging with the Community

The Historic Dixieland Neighborhood Association invites all residents to engage with their initiatives, from attending the annual State of Dixieland meeting to participating in monthly agendas. Moreover, the Association offers unique merchandise, such as garden flags, allowing residents to visibly show their support and pride in their community.

For those interested in learning more about living in a historic district, preserving their home, or contributing to the Century Homes Project, Emily Foster at the City of Lakeland serves as a valuable resource. Her expertise and guidance are instrumental in navigating the nuances of historic preservation and community involvement.

A Call to Action

The Historic Dixieland Neighborhood Association embodies the essence of community and the importance of preserving our shared heritage. Through projects like the Century Homes Project, the Association not only celebrates the architectural beauty of Dixieland but also fosters a deeper connection among its residents. It's a call to action for all neighbors to come together, support one another, and contribute to building a stronger, more vibrant neighborhood that honors its past while looking forward to its future.