Tour the Tampa Theatre

The Tampa Theatre is a protected historic landmark and one of America’s best-preserved examples of grand movie palace architecture. See what makes the building so special during their Balcony-To-Backstage Tours. The tour is an entertaining behind the scenes visit to the Tampa Theatre, where art, mythology, and history are interwoven through one of America’s best preserved examples of grand movie palace architecture. Tours include a performance on the Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ, a magnificent three-manual, 14-rank instrument, which was originally installed when the Tampa Theatre opened in 1926 to accompany silent films. Although the Organ was relocated to a radio station and then a church during the Theatre’s history, it was found, rescued and reinstalled by volunteer members of The Central Florida Theatre Organ Society (CFTOS) in the 1980s.

Tampa Theater
Balcony-To-Backstage Tour Dates

Tue, Jun 10 – 11:30am
Sat, Jun 28 – 11:30am
Sat, Jul 26 – 11:30am
Tue, Aug 5 – 11:30am
Sat, Aug 23 – 11:30am
Tue, Sep 9 – 11:30am

$7.50 General Admission/$5 Kids 2-12

Free for Tampa Theatre Members and Kids under 2.

Tickets are available day-of.  Space is limited. For more info: http://tampatheatre.org/events/balcony-to-backstage-tour/

Don’t miss Tampa Theatre’s Wine Fest!

Tampa-Theatre-Wine-Fest

 

Come support the Tampa Theatre at their 12th annual movie themed wine festival featuring food from Tampa Bay’s finest independent restaurants.

Tickets available NOW at www.tampatheatrewinefest.org

Friday, September 20 – WINE PAIRING at Tampa Theatre

7:00-10:00pm – Tickets $195
Restaurant – Mise en Place
Winery – Augustan Wine Imports

Saturday, September 21 – WINE SEMINAR 
4:30-7:00pm – Sold Out
Winery – Carte Blanche Wines

Saturday, September 21 – WINE TASTING at Tampa Theatre
7:00-8:00pm Premium – Tickets $85 (includes Grand Tasting)
8:00-10:00pm Grand – Tickets $50

Restaurants – Anise Global Gastrobar, AQUA, Bavaro’s, Bern’s Steak House, Catrina’s Cocina y Galeria, Donatello, Ella’s Folk Art Cafe, Sweet Tweets Cakery, and Viktoria Richards Chocolates.

Wineries – Buried Cane Wines, Cadaretta Winery, Clayhouse Wines, Coopers Hawk Winery, Gran Pasion Sparkling Wines, Lobetia Organic Vineyards, Longboard Vineyards, Rutherford Wine Company and more!

Sunday, September 22 – WINE BRUNCH at Tampa Theatre
11:30am-1:30pm – Tickets $40

Brunch Restaurants: Cafe Hey, Catrina’s Cocina y Galeria, La Segunda Central Bakery, Mad Dogs & Englishmen, Michael’s Grill, Pane Rustica, and Victory Coffee.

Brunch Wineries: Auspicion Vineyards, Due Torri Winery, Gran Pasion Sparkling Wines, Lobetia Organic Vineyards, Julia James Winery, Savida Sangria Winery, Villa Rosa Winery and more!

Help Save Tampa’s Historic Bro Bowl

As many of you have seen in the local Tampa media, Tampa’s historic Bro Bowl, an original 1970’s skateboard park located in downtown Tampa, is being threatened by urban redevelopment.

There will be a Public Meeting about the Bro Bowl’s fate today from 6:30-8:00 in the Greather Bethal Missionary Baptist Church at 1207 N Jefferson Street, Tampa, FL 33602.  Please come and help support the historic preservation of the Bro Bowl. Tampa’s Historic Bro Bowl is not only important to skateboarders, it is important to historic preservationists and many young professionals in the Tampa Bay area.

A few facts: The Bro Bowl is 1 of 4 original surviving concrete skate parks from what many consider the golden age of skateboarding in the 1970s. As part of the original Perry Harvey Sr Park (1978), the Bro Bowl is the last remaining historical structure form the park and also from this time period of the Central Avenue district. Besides its historical merit, the Bro Bowl is also culturally and architecturally significant with international fame.

If you cannot attend today, please contact Mayor Bob Buckhorn and let him know you support the Bro Bowl and that it is worth saving!

 

BroTampaniaposterBroBowlTampa

Support Hillsborough County Public Libraries’ Centennial Celebration

Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Libraries’ Centennial Celebration begins on January 1, 2014 – 100 years to the day that Hillsborough County’s first library, the West Tampa Branch Library, was dedicated. Centennial Celebration events and programs, which carry the theme Changing Lives, Transforming Communities, will take place throughout the library system and at other Hillsborough County locations in 2014.

Sponsorship Needs
Sponsorships are needed to cover costs or provide in-kind services for Centennial Celebration events and programs; advertisements; print and collateral materials to provide public information and promotion; food for the public; and more.

Packages of $100; $500; $1,000; $5,000; and $10,000 are available to address the charitable interests of local families, organizations and businesses. Custom sponsorship packages can be arranged.

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Sponsorship Benefits
Sponsors receive a variety of benefits, such as VIP access, promotional space, signage and recognition at Centennial Celebration events; their business name or logo on the Centennial Celebration Web page with a link to their business or organization website; and commemorative memorabilia.

By becoming sponsors, local organizations will honor the people and organizations that established Hillsborough County’s first library a century ago; will help call attention to the ways in which libraries have and will continue to change lives and transform communities; and will help to illustrate the ways in which libraries embrace the use of emerging technologies to help drive innovation and our local economy in the digital age.

For More Information
Visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org/sponsor to see the official sponsorship packages, and call Jennifer Hall at 813-276-8368 for more information.

Organizations interested in sponsoring must send a letter of interest to:

Lori Hudson
Hillsborough County Communications & Digital Media Services Department
County Center, 21st Floor
601 E. Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33602

History-related Holiday Gift Idea #1

Want to get something unique for the Tampa-lover on your list? Consider these great notecards from Tampa Changing that feature iconic Tampa architecture. Website owner and Tampa native Bryan Weinstein finds historic photographs of historic buildings and rephotographs the buildings for great Now and Then images that document our area’s changing history. The set of ten 5″x7″ notecards include images of Tampa Theatre, The Tampa Bay Hotel, Franklin Street, 7th Avenue, and the J.C. Newman Cigar Factory.

Prints of each of the rephotographs are also available on the website which are suitable for framing. Many of these prints are available at the Tampa Bay History Center Gift Shop as well.

Oak Lawn Cemetery Designation

Good news today from Gus Paras, Tampa architect and preservationist:

The Historic Preservation Commission of the City of Tampa today voted to recommend to the City Council that they vote to make Oak Lawn Cemetery a locally designated historic site within the City of Tampa. Dennis Fernandez prepared and presented a very well done PowerPoint presentation about the history of the cemetery. Thanks to Dennis and his staff for working so diligently on this very important site designation.

The Catholic Church had a representative present who indicated that the local Catholic Diocese was in favor of the designation and that they had a great interest in seeing the cemetery preserved and rehabilitated. I also expressed the interest of the Architectural Heritage Committee and AIA in seeing the cemetery, one of the true historical treasures of Tampa preserved.

Oaklawn Cemetery was created in 1850, when Tampa was a struggling town of around 500 persons.  In the minutes of the Alachua County Commissioners meeting, Oaklawn was designated as a public burying ground for “white and slave, rich and poor.”  Originally, most of the grave markers were wood (usually carved cypress), since stone for memorials necessitated an expensive combination of sail, steamship, and wagon transportation. Wood markers were destroyed by fire, rot, and storms, leaving many graves without durable markers.   Additionally, the original plat of the cemetery was misplaced after the Civil War, and the locations and identities of many early interments were lost.

At Oaklawn are buried many of Tampa’s pioneer families, thirteen mayors of the City, one Florida Governor, two Florida Supreme Court Justices, and the framers of five State Constitutions.  A portion of the cemetery was set aside for slaves and “marginal” persons (such as pirates), and public monies were designated to bury indigents. For more information on the cemetery and a self-guided tour go to http://www.tampagov.net/dept_parks_and_recreation/information_resources/cemeteries/files/Oaklawn_Tour.pdf.

History Hunt #5

This 1924 street scene shows an intersection in the northern end of downtown Tampa that had already changed dramatically by 1931. There are several significant downtown historic landmarks remaining in the vicinity, two of which have been part of an ongoing preservation struggle. A historic 3-story brick building with an interesting history replaced the 2-1/2 story rooming house but the building on the left is now gone. A free t-shirt will be given to the first person who correctly guesses where this photo was taken.

Tampa historic photo

Asa a side note: notice the small railroad crossing tower on posts on the right side of the photo. They were once common throughout the Tampa, located at major intersections. For some more information and images, see this post. We are not aware of any remaining towers in Tampa, so if you know of one, please let us know.