Culture + Creativity

DTOrigins: Celebrate our Diverse Culture and Heritage

Authored by: Jamie Kruger
September 13, 2022

While Orlando is a young city, it has transformed itself time and again to attract and sustain industry and meet the needs of its residents. Understanding where we have been empowers us to go anywhere we dare to dream as a downtown. 

Downtown Orlando is comprised of eclectic neighborhoods, each with its own unique history, culture, and undeniable character. Six of these neighborhoods are designated historic districts, and three districts, Holden/Parramore, Griffin Park, and Lake Eola Heights, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to those within our downtown CRA boundary, there are also two local historic districts and three National Register districts surrounding the DTO core, as well as the Greenwood Cemetery which preserves and celebrates our history with nighttime walking tours of notable Orlandoan gravesites dating back to 1880. Each and every one of these places adds richness to our heritage and spirit. 

The distinct “personality areas” of downtown Orlando make its neighborhoods and districts come to life, providing a strong sense of place by respecting the community’s history and reflecting its rich cultural heritage. The diversity of Orlando’s people supports a strong, innovative economy, a culturally vibrant community, and allows us to easily adapt to new technologies and ideas. We want to leverage these assets into an identity that captures the authentic Orlando and capitalizes on our unique personalities and characteristics. 

To accomplish this, it will be crucial to further strengthen our neighborhoods by providing the resources they need to preserve their history as DTO grows into the future. 

We will celebrate our diverse culture and heritage by: 

  • Embracing our diversity as the backbone of our community and our economy. This will not only strengthen our social fabric, but also bring awareness to residents and visitors to showcase downtown Orlando as a place for everyone. 
  • Cherishing the historic places that remain in downtown Orlando. 
  • Honoring the leaders who got us to where we are today.

View the entire Project DTO Vision Plan

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