University of Tampa/old Tampa Bay Hotel

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Free Spirit on June 23, 2001

You might ask, "Why would I go to a university when I wanted to sight see?" Well, it is on Kennedy Blvd. just before one reaches the center of town and the Convention Center. Passing it, one is amazed at the architectural beauty. I thought it would also be a good place to find someone from the Tampa area who could give good directions and suggestions. I was not disappointed. I spoke at length with students and a lady who worked in one of the offices. The lady was a local and knew all about the building. It is a National Historic Landmark. It dates back to the late 1800's and was built by Henry B. Plant. The Plant Museum in the main building was not open, but I wandered around the buildings and grounds on my own and enjoyed looking all along the walls at the black and white pictures of years gone by when it was a grand hotel. Its guests included Teddy Roosevelt when he was embarking to the Spanish American War.

The dining room is grand. Beside the museum entrance is an old Otis elevator, probably the oldest in Florida. The architecture of the building is special. The front veranda is huge and wonderful. The restoration of the roof with its minarets cost 10 million dollars. I really enjoyed this sight. The museum was supposed to be open, but looking around and reading about the building was fine. The lady who was so nice told me that at one time the area to see or live in Tampa was "South" Tampa. I wanted to see the bay most of all, and she told me to cross Kennedy and go south on South Blvd. She thought I would enjoy looking at the homes. I followed her advice and was not disappointed.

University of Tampa / old Tampa Bay Hotel
401 W. Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida, 33606

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