Browsing through the digitized Burgert Bros. Collection a few years ago I stumbled upon this beauty (I admit it was the lit sign and font that did it). The inspiration for the name of this blog, the entrance gate to the Tampania subdivision. The gate spanned a narrow West Shore Boulevard at North B Street.
As the Florida real estate market boomed in the early 20s companies were scrambling to buy up the wilderness, subdivide it into nice little lots and sell the Florida dream to sunshine seeking Northerners. When companies bought up this land the first thing they would do was clear it and plop down an elaborate entrance and maybe a sales office, usually a large arched gate would mark the entrance. Once these were in place the cold hard selling could begin. In Tampania's instance, the gate also served as the sales, or "field", office. Here you can see the company had it's own sales bus that could bring potential buyers right to the site.
You can tell that the Florida Real Estate bust of the mid 20s hit the neighborhood hard. From this picture you can see that there is already damage to the roof of the gate, most of the lots were undeveloped and the ones that were developed were mostly apartment buildings. I can only assume that the gate was torn down sometime in the 50s / early 60s as the Howard Frankland went up and traffic along westshore would have swelled (trucks were probably getting taller too). Soon most of the neighborhood would be demolished to make way for Westshore Mall and the surrounding businesses. Stayed tuned for more gate posting fun in the future!The Tampania subdivision was originally platted and registered with the county in 1917. But the gate wasn't built until 1926. Set out in the burbs, this land wouldn't become a part of the City until the 1953 annexation, Tampania would have been an ideal subdivision. Near the bay and situated along the Memorial Highway (which ran down Kennedy) it had easy access to both Tampa and Pinellas County. Tampania was your typical Mediterranean Styled housing development and featured a mix of both apartment buildings and single family houses. Here is a beautiful Cirkut panorama of part of the subdivision as it looked in 1937 (bigger view here):