15 things you probably don't know about Orlando

Lake Eola is a giant sinkhole and other tidbits about The City Beautiful

By Daniel Dahm - Digital Manager

ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando may be a tourist mecca, but there's a lot of information about the city that many people likely don't know.

With the help of the city of Orlando, here are 15 interesting tidbits about The City Beautiful.

  • No one knows how Orlando officially received its name. Four tales exist, but no conclusion has ever been reached.
  • Orlando has had various nicknames throughout its history, including City Phenomenal, City of Light and The City Beautiful.
  • Lake Eola is a giant sinkhole, and its deepest point reaches 80 feet.
  • In 1986, eight months before Orlando was awarded an NBA franchise, a contest was held to name the city’s future basketball team. The finalists were Heat, Tropics, Juice and Magic.
  • The first person to make a solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in a gas balloon was Orlando resident Joe Kittinger in 1978.
  • The road Semoran was named by putting the words Seminole and Orange together.
  • Church Street Station, also known as the Old Orlando Railroad Depot, was built in 1889 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. SunRail now has a stop nearby.
  • The first highway in Central Florida was Colonial Drive, which was originally paved brick.
  • There are more than 50 swans at Lake Eola, from five different breeds, including whooper, royal mute, trumpeter, Australian black and black neck.
  • The movie "Lethal Weapon 3" features the demolition of Orlando’s old City Hall in its opening scene.
  • At 290,000 square feet, the Orlando Public Library is the largest public library building in the state of Florida.
  • A former Orlando Naval Training Center was located where Baldwin Park now is found.
  • Likely between 350 and 400 years old, the oldest tree in Orlando is located at Big Tree Park on North Thornton Avenue.
  • Orlando City Hall has two free art galleries that are open to the public.
  • Orlando is home to more than 100 lakes.

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