We live in an area that is steeped in history. It has more interesting historical factors then two Super Bowls. Where my husband grew up, there were Indian mounds where he and his brother found all kinds of arrow heads.
But back in the 1800's the railroad came to town. And
this hotel was built to accommodate many wealthy Northerners whose desire
was to escape the frigid winters.
Let me tell you, this is one magnificent building.
by Railroad owner, Henry B. Plant, The Tampa Bay Hotel was in a class
of it's own. Henry Plant built several hotels along his railroad line.
This one may be the only one that has survived.
hotel was financed by Plant personally, not investors, at a cost of
$2,500,000 and an additional $500,000 was spent for furnishings. It took
two years to build, covered six acres and was one-quarter mile long.
The 511 rooms were the first in Florida to be electrified.
grounds of the Hotel spanned 150 acres. The amenities included an 9-hole
golf course, flower conservatory, tennis courts, croquet courts,
boathouse, hunting and fishing grounds, stables, racetrack, kennels,
exposition hall with Florida products on view, casino with 2000 seat
auditorium, heated indoor swimming pool, bowling alley, spa facilities
and card rooms, totaling 21 buildings in all. Not a bad winter
There were many celebrated guests of the
hotel, most noteably Theodore Roosevelt. Teddy Roosevelt headquartered
his Rough Riders at the hotel before deploying to Cuba.
closed after Henry B. Plant died, but the city eventually bought it
from his heirs. It now houses a University, but the building still
stands in all of its magnificent beauty.