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Contact: Brittany Lesser,

Secretary Detzner Announces National Register Designation of Cypress Gardens

Tallahassee –

Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced today that the historic gardens of one of Florida’s most iconic tourist attractions, Cypress Gardens in Polk County, were recently listed in the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.

"I am pleased to announce the listing of Cypress Gardens in the National Register of Historic Places,” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “LEGOLAND® Florida, the current owner of this important property, has been a conscientious and respectful steward of the Cypress Gardens legacy."

Historic Cypress Gardens

One of the nation’s oldest and most well-known central Florida tourist attractions, Cypress Gardens opened in 1936 as the dream of Richard Downing Pope Sr. and his wife Julie. From 1936-2009, the Cypress Gardens attraction entertained over 45 million visitors. Imagined as a picturesque botanical park, the water skiing shows and ‘Southern Belle’ park guides developed after World War II to attract the state’s growing tourism market. Historically, the entire park encompassed nearly 200 acres. The 16 acres of historic gardens now preserved in the northwest section reflect the old growth cypress hammock for which the old Cypress Gardens attraction was best known. Noteworthy features include winding paths through the gardens and a pool in the shape of the State of Florida, also recently restored by LEGOLAND® Florida.  LEGOLAND® Florida has taken great care to preserve the soul of the park – the historic gardens established more than 75 years ago on the grounds of its Cypress Gardens predecessor.

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About the National Register of Historic Places

The National Register of Historic Places is a list maintained by the National Park Service which includes historical or archaeological properties (buildings, structures, sites, objects, and districts) that are considered worthy of preservation because of their local, statewide and/or national significance.  Nominations for properties in Florida are submitted to the National Park Service through the Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State.  Florida has over 1,600 listings in the National Register, including 275 historical districts and 170 archaeological sites. To learn more visit

About the Bureau of Historic Preservation

The Bureau of Historic Preservation conducts historic preservation and folklife programs aimed at identifying, evaluating, preserving and interpreting the historic and cultural resources of the state. The Bureau manages a grants-in-aid program to help preserve and maintain Florida’s historic buildings and archaeological sites, and coordinates the State Historic Markers program and the Florida Main Street Program.  Under federal and state laws, the Bureau oversees the National Register of Historic Places program for Florida, maintains an inventory of the state's historical resources in the Florida Master Site File, assists applicants in federal tax benefit and local government ad valorem tax relief programs for historic buildings, and reviews the impact that development projects may have on significant historic resources. The Florida Folklife program identifies and promotes the state's traditional cultures, and coordinates folklife apprenticeship and award programs. For more information visit