Lake Eola Park is getting a master plan that could change the flow of Orlando’s iconic public park for future generations.
The park, crowned by the historic Linton E. Allen Memorial Fountain, currently hosts over 100 events a year that bring over three million visitors to downtown. The demands for the park were starting to outpace the abilities of its current infrastructure and an initiative to build new, more modern restrooms triggered a need to look at the park more holistically in the anticipation of what the next 50 years may demand of it.
John Perrone, division parks manager for Lake Eola told Bungalower, that that’s when they decided they needed a new master plan that would not only determine the physical changes needed but also a document that could help guide the park’s place in its context of the larger downtown, city, and region.
Perrone also told us that the project to re-envision the park was in the very early stages of development before the pandemic hit, delaying it by roughly five months. City staff has been out gathering information about current environmental conditions that could create opportunities or challenges in the future design of the park, and are also trying to understand the needs and desires of the community by speaking with key stakeholders and neighbors that will help shape the future master plan.
The process, which is being guided by GAI Consultants, will involve the first stage of ideation followed by a new standards/maintenance plan for the park, followed in turn by digital questionnaires going out to the public. A conceptual Master Plan is expected to be completed by January or February 2021 with a final Master Plan report coming in March 2021.
Perrone shared an early wish list for an improved Lake Eola Park that included better wayfinding signage, modern lighting, expanding power outlet capabilities for event rentals, an SOP for the park when they book events, and also reworking the sides of the park to function more like gateways, like the southern side of the park that faces Central – to better integrate the park and its flow/transition into the surrounding neighborhoods.
Maybe one day you would even be allowed to swim in the lake.
Master Plan Community Meetings will be held virtually on November 12 and 14 and you can find out more about how to attend by clicking HERE.