Demolition began Monday on a building that had formerly housed a 7-Eleven in downtown Orlando, clearing the way for an expansion of Lake Eola Park.
The land where the Murrell Building formerly stood on Rosalind Avenue and Central Boulevard, near the southwest corner of Lake Eola Park, will be converted into public green space as part of a collaboration between the City of Orlando and the Orlando Land Trust. The project is currently on track to be done by the fall.
The City of Orlando posted a video of the demolition this afternoon via social media — complete with righteous “let’s open this pit up”-style metal breakdown — but the end result will be a much more sedate addition to downtown Orlando’s geography.
This is a process that began as far back as 2015, when the “little old ladies” of the Orlando Land Trust began their fundraising campaign to purchase the land for $3.25 million (with Orlando’s city government kicking in some cash) to turn it into green space to be enjoyed by all Orlandoans.
The Orlando Land Trust, alongside thousands of donors, saved the land from a developer that wanted to build a 28-story, multi-use complex where the Murrell Building stood. The nonprofit Trust outright bought the land, then donated it back to Orlando’s Community Redevelopment Agency with the proviso that it be designated a green area.
“We have said all along that this issue is about protecting the quality of life we all enjoy here in Orlando. Cities are living, breathing things, and while growth is important, so is protecting the city’s heart and soul,” said Lynn Long of the Orlando Land Trust when the Trust purchased the land last year.
Watch the carnage (good carnage though) below.
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