A visually and cartographically explicit narrative blog about Tampa's built history and development.
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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Greetings from a Tampa Park

Postcard mailed May 1963, the back reads"Tony Jannus Park showing skyline of Tampa, Florida in background"
Two weeks ago, I managed to make some room in my Sunday for a visit to the Floridiana Festival and Highwayman Art Show at the Palladium in St. Petersburg.  I have never been before and had heard good things about it in the past.  I must admit I was a little disappointed; very few vendors, cramped space, and  don't get me started on the lectures about Hawaiian Shirts!  However, it was great to see that there is enough enthusiasm for vintage Florida ephemera that something like this can take place.   I did happen to walk away with a few small nick-knacks and the postcard shown above was one of them.  I was immediately drawn to it.  Postcards of skylines are commonplace, however this one focuses on Tony Jannus Park, located along the Hillsborough River at the Northeast corner of Platt and Bayshore.  You can see the beginnings of Platt Street bridge ballustrade in the lower right.  The sign in the middle says:
City of Tampa
Tampa Federation of Garden Club Circles
Hillsborough County Aviation Authority
Dedicated July 4th, 1955

Tony Jannus Park remains the sad younger sister to Tampa's crown jewel, Bayshore Boulevard.  In the 60s the Borein bridge was built along the North end of park, increasing traffic flow and speed around the park, with very little thought to pedestrian flow and access.  Later on the Crosstown Expressway was built over the park, casting a shadow over the North half.

Tony Jannus Park aerial view 1957 (PALMM FCLA)

Tony Jannus Park today (Google Earth)