Crescent Heights is one of the smallest neighborhoods in Lakeland with fewer than 20 occupied homes, but it is rich in history and character. It was formerly known as Robinson Quarters and was one of the earliest historically Black neighborhoods in Lakeland, formed during the railroad construction boom that began in the mid-1880s. Many residents are descendants of rail workers.
The community lies between Lake Beulah and Lake Bonnet. It is bounded by N. Webster Avenue on the east and the new 168-acre Bonnet Springs Park to the north. Its southern border is the railroad tracks, now owned by CSX, that its first residents helped to construct.
Neighbors live on N. Sloan Avenue, Prospect Street., N. Webster Avenue, and N. Crescent Avenue. The quiet roads curve through stands of mature native trees and slope to an elevation of about 200 feet, hence the “heights” in the community’s name. With so much green space nearby, wildlife sightings are common.
Few original structures remain, with some houses moved and others demolished. Most current homes were built between the 1920s and 1960s, with a few newer properties. Many houses sit on two or three lots, because the original parcels were very small (40 feet by 100 feet). Set back from the homes are a handful of businesses facing George Jenkins Boulevard. They include ARC Towing, J & B Auto Upholstery, and Superior Screen Printing Services.
Crescent Heights is part of the Midtown Community Redevelopment Area. The neighborhood petitioned successfully for water hydrants after a fire destroyed four homes, however efforts to connect to city sewer lines have not yet yielded results. The city has contracted an engineering firm to explore the feasibility of a pump station for a septic-to-sewer conversion.
Unidentified laborers laying tracks for the railroad, circa 1884
Learn more about Crescent Heights' history at the Lakeland History & Culture Center.
Meetings: The Neighborhood Association Coalition meets quarterly during the year on the first Thursday of February, May, August and November at 6 pm in the City Commission Conference Room, Third Floor, City Hall.