- Permanent Link:
- An Early view of the Tampa Bay Hotel.
- Burgert Brothers, 1917- ( Photographer )
- Publication Date:
- Physical Description:
- 1 photograph ( 8 x 10 cm )
- Subjects / Keywords:
- Hotel ( Building, Structures ) ( nmc )
Tampa Bay Hotel (West Lafayette and Hyde Park Avenue) ( nmc )
Hotels ( lctgm )
- Spatial Coverage:
- Tampa |z 1271000 |2 ceeus
Hillsborough County |z 12057 |2 ceeus
United States of America -- Florida -- Hillsborough County -- Tampa
- General Note:
- When Henry B. Plant brought the railroad to Tampa in 1884, he opened the door for many businesses to locate and flourish here. The railroad was at the center of the city's economy. From downtown it went to Port Tampa where one could board a Plant steamship to Jamaica, Cuba, New Orleans, Bermuda or other destinations. A spur of the rail line brought the train up to the west front of the hotel so guests could depart the train and walk directly into the lobby.
The Tampa Bay Hotel cost approximately 2.5 million dollars to build and $500,000 to furnish. Consisting of 511 rooms, some of which were suites of 3-7 rooms, it provided a degree of luxury never before seen in Tampa. Most of the rooms had their own baths and all had electricity and telephones. In addition, guests were surrounded by a varied collection of furniture, porcelains, Venetian-style mirrors, and sculptures gathered by Mr. and Mrs. Plant in their travels in Europe.
The Tampa Bay Hotel opened in 1891 amid wide fanfare and celebration. Henry Plant's dream was now a reality. The newspapers of the day described it as "brightly illuminated, filled with sumptuous decorations, thrilling music and graced with turrets, domes and minarets towering heavenward and glistening in the sun." It was a Victorian palace.
The hotel was a lively place with balls, tea parties, and organized hunts during the winter social season. It was open seasonally from December to April in the 1890's. Once a guest arrived at the hotel, he needed to be entertained. Guests went wild game hunting as well as fresh and salt-water fishing. Water sports were also included like sailing, rowing, and canoeing. For the less adventuresome, there were bicycles, carriages, and rickshaws to ride you around the property. The hotel also offered golf, tennis, shuffleboard, billiards, and even a racetrack.
- Funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Ephemeral Cities Project.
- Source Institution:
- University of South Florida
- Holding Location:
- University of South Florida, Tampa FLorida, Special Collection
- Rights Management:
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- Resource Identifier: