Lutz began with the construction of a small train depot on the Tampa Northern Railroad. The area surrounding the depot officially became known as Lutz when the U.S. Postal Service authorized a post office. The community was named for W. P. Lutz, who was credited with bringing the railroad to town.
As people moved to the rural community from Tampa, the Lutz area continued to grow until it no longer depended on the "Lutz Junction", which was demolished in the late 1960s.
In 2000, a replica of the depot was rebuilt in the approximate location, which is now at the intersection of Lutz-Lake Fern Rd. and U.S. Highway 41. The post office's structure is still in the same place today, although it is now an art gallery. A public library is located behind the train depot replica. This area is known as "Beautiful Downtown Lutz".
Part of the movie Edward Scissorhands was filmed on Tinsmith Circle in the neighborhood of Carpenter's Run in Lutz. In the credits the town is named in the "Thank you" section.