START: EXIT I-275 at
Like most large urban centers, manyof
Street, you'll notice the: (1) STRAZ PERFORMING ARTS CENTER (l987),
a massive three-theater complex (largest in southeast) located along the
Hillsborough River. CONTINUE
Just past a multi-story parking garage is the focal point of the waterfront redevelopment: (3) THE TAMPA ART MUSEUM on the river and the GLAZER CHILDREN'S MUSEUM. Both museums overlook the vast CURTIS HIXON PARK, located on the site of the 1965 original convention hall Hixon , where Elvis and Spiro Agnew were hits, but Liberace was a flop, Cheech and Chong were busted on stage for smoking pot.
Across is the river symbol of downtown THE TAMPA BAY HOTEL, Henry
B. Plant's 1892 hotel, now the
DOWN ASHLEY past
If you continue down Ashley and follow the city signs you will past the Aloft and Sharaton hotels and head toward HARBOUR ISLAND, downtown's residential island; the massive TAMPA CONVENTION CENTER and the TAMPA HISTORY CENTER, on Franklin Street; you can get on a trolley to go over to the AMALIE ARENA (still called by many the ICE PALACE), Tampa's downtown arena, located near the Channelside area of hotels, condos, and restaurants.
FOR THIS ROUTE, however, CONTINUE DOWN ASHLEY PAST
AFTER FIVE BLOCKS, TURN LEFT ON MORGAN AND STOP AT KENNEDY. You'll note across the street on your left the granite sides of the (6) HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY COURTHOUSE (l949), designed by William O. Sparklin. This is not the original – even newer is the ANNEX COMPLEX on the next block.
TURN LEFT ON KENNEDY. On your right is the (7) HILLSBOROUGH LODGE
(1928), 508 Kennedy, the two-story headquarters of one of
STOP AT FLORIDA AVENUE and look left to Elliott's most famous structure, (9) TAMPA CITY HALL (1914), a two-tiered creation topped by Hortense the Clock, named in honor of Mrs Hortense Ford, daughter of Tampa's first doctor, and fundraiser for the clock.
A block down
The block behind Sacred Heart contains the 1907 ST ANDREWS EPISCOPAL CHURCH and the Courthouse Annex.
Near door is the imposing (12) LE MERIDIEN HOTEL once the FEDERAL
COURTHOUSE/POST OFFICE (1902), James Knox Taylor's Renaissance and
Neo-Classical Revival fortress of granite. The post office in the basement is now the hotel lobby and the main front stairs now goes to a restaurant and bar.
A few blocks away is the gigantic new Federal building (1997). BEFORE CROSSING
ZACK STREET, NOTICE TO YOUR RIGHT the: (13) FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH BUILDING
(1930), 412 Zack Street, a lovely Spanish mission church with two front
entrances flanking the main portal and a pointed 70-foot corner tower.
Closer to you is the (14) BRUEN & WEBB BUILDING (1913), a masonry row built by Frank Baum, founder of the Tampa Gas Company, and Captain R, F. Webb, whose Desoto Hotel was the city's first large hotel. The busy
Before TURNING LEFT ON TYLER STREET, notice the ultramodern (18) FIRST METHODIST CHURCH (1968) which hardly resembles the cabin used in 1846 by circuit rider J. C. Lay when it was Tampa's first church.
NORTHSIDE OPTION: Instead of turning left on Tyler, one could continue
north on Florida and turn right on Harrison one block to the (19) ST. PAUL'S
A.M.E. CHURCH (1914), home to Tampa's oldest African-American congregation
(1870 by Rev. Thomas W. Long) and mother church to a dozen area churches. One
block up Morgan Street is (20) OAK LAWN CEMETERY (1850), the
burial place of one Governor, men who signed Florida's first two Constitution,
and Ybor City's founder Vicente Martinez Ybor. Due to transients, touring the cemetery is best with
THOSE DRIVING WEST ON TYLER STREET to the original starting point should note the (22) HERMAN C. MASSEY PARK, on the site of the Henderson Building, a decorative three-story place where Glenn Henderson sold bicycles to three generations of Tampans. In the next block is (23) CUTRO'S MUSIC STORE (1911),
On the left at
PAST TWIGGS on the right
is the (C) EXCHANGE NATIONAL BANK BUILDING (1917), organized by three of
Tampa's titans, John Trice, Edward Manrara, and Peter
O. Knight. Across the street was the block long (D) MAAS BROTHERS BUILDING
SITE (1921), former headquarters for the department store set up by Tampans Abe and Isaac Maas. Condos
are going up and old buildings are goingd own.
On the right side is the "gem of
Franklin Street", the (E) TAMPA
THEATER (1926), a lavish motion picture house by John Eberson. The interior, perfectly restored by the City of