Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tampa Bay Hotel

We live in an area that is steeped in history. It has more interesting historical factors then two Super Bowls.

One point of interest is the Tampa Bay Hotel.

In the 1800's the railroad came to town. And this hotel was built to accommodate many wealthy northerns whose desire was to escape the frigid winters.

Built by Railroad owner, Henry B. Plant, The Tampa Bay Hotel was in a class of it's own. Henry Plant built several hotels along his railroad line. This one may be the only one that has survived.

The hotel was financed by Plant personally, not investors, at a cost of $2,500,000 and an additional $500,000 was spent for furnishings. It took two years to build, covered six acres and was one-quarter mile long. The 511 rooms were the first in Florida to be electrified.

The grounds of the Hotel spanned 150 acres. The amenities included an 9-hole golf course, flower conservatory, tennis courts, croquet courts, boathouse, hunting and fishing grounds, stables, racetrack, kennels, exposition hall with Florida products on view, casino with 2000 seat auditorium, heated indoor swimming pool, bowling alley, spa facilities and card rooms, totaling 21 buildings in all. Not a bad winter destination :-)

There were many celebrated guests of the hotel, most noteably Theodore Roosevelt. Teddy Roosevelt headquartered his Rough Riders at the hotel before deploying to Cuba.

The hotel closed after Henry B. Plant died, but the city eventually bought it from his heirs. It now houses a University, but the building still stands in all of its magnificent beauty.

Please join Coloradolady's Vintage Thingie Thursday.

11 comments:

Maureen said...

What a beautiful place! Too bad it isn't still a hotel.

viridian said...

What a magnificent building!
Thanks for sharing.
Happy VTT!

LV said...

Thank you for a great lesson in history. History was not my favorite subject, but it is interesting listening to others tell about it.

Val said...

Oh I didn't love history while in school but I love it now. A little late, huh? This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Diann said...

Wow, that is a gorgeous hotel!!

Sally Annie Magundy said...

Such a gorgeous building, thank you so much for sharing it with us!

Happy VTT,
Sally

Postcardy said...

It's too bad it isn't still a hotel. It would be fun to stay there.

Rebecca said...

What a neat place-wish I could visit there in person!

Allie said...

Oh my gosh I want to live there....

Ms. Bake-it said...

Hello,

Great informational post on the hotel! I like to see the the silver minarets peeking over and through the tree tops. I love the architectural design.

~ Tracy

Anna said...

That's so interesting. What a great building to go to school in. TFS!