A visually and cartographically explicit narrative blog about Tampa's built history and development.
(Above banner created from photo in the Burgert Brothers Photographic Collection)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall comes to Tampania

Fall begins in approximately 6 hours and I couldn't be more ecstatic.  From the second the humidity digs iin ts claws in mid-May the dread sets in, ugh another Tampa Summer!  In many ways it was an excruciatingly long summer, and as I get older they just seem to get longer and harder to bear.  And these last few official hours of summer symbolize the hardest wait of all, the time during which the calendar says fall and yet you are still waiting for that first under 90 breezy and dry day that leads into an even cooler night so you can open your windows and hopefully leave them open for months on end.  Well that usually doesn't happen til October, so still we sit and wait.  

Historically the tourist season has been October through May, and Tampa and the rest of Florida would shrink down to a small permanent population during the unbearable and non-air conditioned summer months.  Board of Trade signs use to boast in big letters "Tampa - Florida's Year Round Destination" while in smaller print the truth comes out "Winter months - October through May", as in the sign below that greeted new comers and visitors at Tampa's Union Station.

Luckily modern Floridians enjoy a more comfortable and climate controlled year round situation.  So, as the weather starts to get more bearable and comfortable, I hope to get out more to take more pictures and find more buildings and interesting features to write new posts on.  In the meantime, the waiting begins.  Here's to a pleasant and fruitful Fall!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tampa's "Oldest" House in peril

It seems that historic preservation advocates are on top of things lately.  The story of the threatened status of Tampa's "Oldest" known house has been popping up all over the place lately.  As much as I am an advocate for historic preservation, I wanted to check more into the facts of the story as all causes are subject to sensationalism these days.  Plus I don't always trust the dates of houses shown by the property appraisers office.  The image above is from Google Earth and will be used as a comparison for the house's layout.  Now off to the trusty Tampa Library's Sanborn maps site to do some investigation.  Supposedly, Tampa's current oldest house, at 3210 E Eighth Ave. (shown above), was originally built on the Southeast corner of the City Hall block at Jackson and Florida in 1842.  The current City hall building was built in 1915.