Tuesday, May 10, 2022

University of Tampa


The building actually opened back in 1891 as the Tampa Bay Hotel, a $3-million winter resort for wealthy and famous Victorians to visit during the cold winter months up north.  Famous names including Teddy Roosevelt, the Queen of England, Booker T. Washington, and Babe Ruth are said to have stayed there.

The hotel had 511 rooms, an indoor swimming pool, and a performing arts center. It holds the distinction of being the first building in the state to be completely electrified, and also had one of the first elevators in Florida.

“The architecture of this building is really like nothing that you see anywhere else – sort of a Moorish revival architecture style – beautiful red brick and those arches everywhere in the building, both inside and outside,” explained the Henry B. Plant Museum’s Lindsay Huban.

The domes and minarets are what make it so unique that it has become a symbol of the city of Tampa. There are 13 structures on the roof of the building: Six minarets, four finials, and three domes.

Plant and architect John A. Wood wanted a building that was going to look exotic, so they put the minarets and crescent moon shapes on top of the structure.

“They’d been reading things like ‘Arabian Nights’ and this was a way for them to build a building that people would remember,” Huban continued.

The building functioned as a hotel for four decades, until 1941.  The University of Tampa moved in two years later, and now the building houses a variety of school offices and classrooms, along with the Henry B. Plant Museum – a tribute to the man who built it.

The building is now a national historic landmark.



Lillian said...

Thank you for showing me such a wonderful place

Joanne said...

That is such a neat building and I love hearing the story behind it! Thanks for sharing.

Lydia C. Lee said...

Lovely building.Esp the dome #Skywatch

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

This building is one of my favorite things to see as drive in downtown Tampa. I have imagined many times what staying there was like at the beginning. I've read the huge gardens around the building were phenomenal.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

That is totally wild!! I love the building has been repurposed and is still in use. What a landmark.

Jim said...

Amazing domes.

carol l mckenna said...

Amazing building ~ great domes ~ Xo

Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,

A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Really an interesting history to this beautiful building. When I viewed the first couple photos, I thought to myself "This can't be Tampa!"

Light and Voices said...

If only those walls could speak? Such famous people stayed at that hotel. I am so proud that this building has been repurposed and NOT torn down. It has awesome!

csuhpat1 said...

So very beautiful. Thanks for sharing it.