Long before there was LEGOLAND®, there was Cypress Gardens, Florida’s first theme park. Although LEGOLAND® Florida now occupies the former site of Cypress Gardens, much of it lives on thanks to the recycling and preservation efforts employed during LEGOLAND®’s construction.
During the accelerated 13-month design-build schedule, a cross-functional team that included experts from BrightView Design Group and BrightView Landscape Development analyzed opportunities to repurpose and restore the assets of the existing site. Landscape architects and arborists collaborated to assess the health of the site’s trees, and create a site plan that would minimize impact on the existing canopy. Ultimately, over 80% of the existing canopy was preserved in place. BrightView also relocated 20 specimen trees-- some weighing as much as 78,000 pounds-- to other parts of the park. In addition, more than 160 one-of-a-kind specimen plants received new homes throughout the park.
Cypress Garden’s old, non-ADA compliant walkways were also recycled. The concrete was separated and ground to use as subbase for the new LEGOLAND® Florida hardscape. And much to the delight of visitors familiar with the park’s historic roots, Cypress Gardens’ Botanical Gardens were preserved. The Botanical Gardens’ Southern Belles, one of its most memorable attractions, were recreated in LEGO® bricks.
LEGOLAND® Florida opened on-time and under budget, in part thanks to the preservation efforts of the design-build team. The park has enjoyed great success, and has been deemed by its parent company “the most beautiful LEGOLAND® in the world.”
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