Located in McFarland Park, the $2 million Center has impressive displays and exhibits designed by Method-1, a division of ExpoDisplays of Birmingham. These exhibits feature the area’s tourism assets, including the music heritage, Wilson Dam, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Rosenbaum Home and other architecture, Native American artifacts, as well as tributes to famous faces like W.C. Handy, Helen Keller, Billy Reid and Natalie Chanin. Another highlight is a large aquarium with local fish and information on the abundant fishing that can be found on Pickwick and Wilson Lakes.
Tourism officials broke ground on the Center in early 2013. Architect Robert Whitten was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture for the 7,500-square-foot building. Both Whitten and the local contractor Parallax Building Systems utilized local vendors like Block USA, Monarch Tile and Centiva for all aspects of the design. Award-winning wood artist and furniture maker Robin Wade provided benches, lectern and tables made of local wood.
The offices for the Florence/Lauderdale Tourism staff are now located in the Center. Two Visitor Experience Specialists have been hired to assist travelers. The staff will train a corps of volunteers for the Center this summer.
Photos by Dave Reasons.
Florence/Lauderdale Visitor’s Center
200 Jim Spain Drive
Florence, AL 35630
1-888-356-8687 or 256-740-4141