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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Cypress Gardens
Reference Number 14000152
State Florida
County Polk
Town Winter Haven
Street Address One L EGOLAND WAY
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 4/14/2014
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"Cypress Gardens has local and statewide significance under Criteria A and B in the area of Entertainment/Recreation as one most widely recognized tourist attractions in Florida's history, and for its association with its creator and promoter, Richard Downing (Dick) Pope, who was often called the ""Father of Florida Tourism."" Cypress Gardens was built on the shores of Lake Eloise near Winter Haven as botanical gardens by Pope and his wife Julie, and opened as one of Florida's first theme parks in 1936. Besides its botanical gardens, the park became well known for its water skiing shows on Lake Eloise and its role in the development of water skiing as a major sport. Dick Pope used water skiing, the gardens, and photography to masterfully promote Florida's citrus and tourism industries and made Cypress Gardens in Florida a nationally recognized household name from the 1930s to the 1970s. The historic gardens of Cypress Gardens are also significant under Criterion C in the area of Landscape Architecture because they include botanical specimens from around the world, and the trails and canals that meander throughout the gardens. "

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria