Historic Markers Across Florida

The Oates Building

Marker ID:  
Location: 230 South Florida Avenue, Lakeland, FL
County: Polk
Coordinates: N 28° 2.516    W 081° 57.423
  28.04193333    -81.95705
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMHAYD


The Oates Building is a prime example of Florida "Boom Time" architecture, expressed in the Mediterranean Revival style. Built in 1925 by Mr. Alvah Y. Oates, the building was designed by noted Florida and local architect E.C. Hosford. Originally a show room for the Oates Corley Furniture Company, the building stands as one of the earliest mercantile structures exceeding three stories, and is a recognized landmark of downtown Lakeland.

As home until 1967 to the renamed Oates Furniture Company, the Oates Building remained architecturally unaltered through the 1980's until it became vacant and was damaged by water intrusion and fire. The building was purchased by Jerry Herring, rehabilitated and placed back in service in 1994, with the significant architectural detailing restored. This includes the restoration of the exterior of the building and the colonnaded walkway, the wrought iron chandeliers, light fixtures, and railing, and the preservation of the atrium and corresponding mezzanine. The windows were restored to their original design. A service addition was built on the north wall of the building to house functions such as elevator and firestairs thus allowing for the greatest preservation of the historic character of the original building.