A visually and cartographically explicit narrative blog about Tampa's built history and development.
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sarasota School in Tampa

The Sarasota school of architecture has recently undergone a resurrgence in popularity, prompted by several books and the recent fight and unfortunate demolition of Paul Rudolph's masterpiece, Riverview High School in Sarasota.  Two styles of regional modernism emerged in Florida in the mid-twentieth century, the Sarasota School on the west central coast and Tropical Modernism in South Florida.  There are examples of both schools of work in Tampa, but the Sarasota School is the most prominent of the two here. While most of the members of the Sarasota School came from other areas of the country, Tampa boasted the only native, Mark Hampton.  Mark Hampton worked directly under Paul Rudolph in the Rudolph and Twitchell firm. Hampton then moved back to Tampa where opened his own office and worked in the area until the 1970s, when he moved to Coconut Grove.  Hampton's most famous designs in Tampa were Galloway's furniture gallery, the old St. Mary's Episcopal church, the Horizon House and the Webb residence.

Galloway's Furniture gallery

Galloways was the local purveyor of modern furniture in West Central florida they had their own factory but also become wholesalers of some of the more popular mass produced items of the day, such as Eames chairs and loungers.  Paul Rudolph and his fellow architects would use their furniture in photos promoting their completed work (usually taken by noted architectural photographer Ezra Stoller) later Galloway's would commission architects to construct new showrooms in up to seven different Florida locations as their business grew.  In Tampa, where the company originated, the natural choice was Mark Hampton.  The location was Henderson and Horatio in South Tampa.  For that location Hampton created a simple box store incorporating several of the signatures of the Sarasota school; large walls of windows with large roof overhangs and thin, sleek columns supporting the overhangs.  As business began to lag in the 1970s, galloway's closed most of its satellite locations and remained at the Henderson location.  Mr. Galloway died in 2002 and in 2007 the family finally closed the business for good.  The building is currently a Famous Tates showroom and has undergone some renovations over the years.  You can see the signatures of Sarasota Modern style in the picture above, featured in the St. Pete Times with Mr. Galloway's obituary in 2002.  The bottom photo is the current view of the building from Google Street View, you can see it was taken at the time the store was closing.

Galloway's Sarasota showroom was a more distinct building.  It was designed by one of the more famous Sarasota School architects, Victor Lundy.  Lundy designed a distinctive, round, two-story showroom, with large windows and rich interiors which would attract people passing the site on Tamiami Trail.  The showroom opened in October 1959, but was already closed in 1966 when an artist tried to turn it into a gallery for his religious paintings.  The sheet below is from an edition of the Sarasota Herald Tribune on October 11, 1959 that features 3 full pages of ads, features and congratulatory notes on the opening of the new showroom, praise was given to both Lundy and Galloway.


  1. I was an owner of Galloway's and you got the history correct. Very nice job. johngalloway@me.com

  2. I owned Galloway's furniture store and you got the history correct. Nice job. liberty.galloway@gmail.com

  3. Hello Again, please contact me regarding Galloway's. I am so amazed that you have the facts correct and I would like to discuss more with you . Thanks! John Galloway / johngalloway@me.com 813 857-9607