2009 Preservation Awards

The application for the 2009 Tampa Preservation Awards is now available. Since 1982, Tampa Preservation, Inc. has been recognizing significant contributions to the preservation of Tampa Bay area historic resources through its Annual Award Program. The Award Program recognizes outstanding historic preservation projects, programs and achievements by individuals and organizations. Awards categories include:

  • Restoration/ Rehabilitation
  • Individual Achievement
  • Organizational Achievement
  • Educational Program or Project

Projects located anywhere within Hillsborough County can be submitted for awards consideration, but must have been originally built prior to 1959. The guidelines for the Restoration/Rehabilitation award include consideration of sensitivity to the historic integrity of the site following the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Rehabilitation. Preference is given to projects that exemplify Tampa Bay’s cultural, historical, and architectural heritage.

All winners will be honored at the annual awards ceremony and reception and are given a certificate suitable for framing. Winners in the Restoration/ Rehabilitation category are given a Banner to display on their building.

For further information call Tampa Preservation, Inc. or go to www.tampapreservation.com for details and to download an awards application. Applications are due by February 28, 2009.

Great American Teach-In

Tampa Preservation, Inc. participated in the Great American Teach-In this past November. Six fourth grade classes of excellent, eager-to-learn students at Forest Hills Elementary learned about Tampa’s rich history and heritage through the book If Our House Could Talk, featuring the 1914 National Register listed Leiman-Wilson House located in the Hyde Park Historic District.


TPI Education Coordinator and the book’s author, Robin Gonzalez, shared items that she bought on EBay, including stereo-view cards from the Spanish-American War, along with lemonade glasses and a cut glass vase bought at a yard sale from the previous Leiman-Wilson House owners. When asked by one student why anyone would want these old things, Mrs. Gonzalez replied, “I think you just want a little piece of history.”


After reading the book and a lot of Question and Answer time, each student received their own copy of the book to keep. Mrs. Gonzalez asked that they all think about becoming preservationists, and judging from their conversations, some of them are already picking out buildings that need their help!


* If Our House Could Talk is a TPI publication that young and old alike can enjoy. It makes a great Holiday gift or stocking stuffer. The book is available for purchase at Inkwood Books, the Henry B. Plant Museum Store or through TPI for larger orders.

Historic Schools Tour

The Second Annual TPI Historic Schools Tour was held on Saturday, April 19th. This year’s tour included Plant High School, Roosevelt Elementary, Gorrie Elementary, Mitchell Elementary and Wilson Middle School. Everyone met at Plant and hopped on a yellow school bus for an “authentic” experience.

Each Principal greeted participants, took them on a tour and shared their facility’s unique history. Assistant Superintendent of Facilities Cathy Valdes informed the group that the Hillsborough County School District has the second largest inventory of historic schools in the state and is the largest steward of historic properties in the county. What a huge responsibility!

Tampa Preservation’s own Paula Meckley was a featured speaker at both Wilson and Mitchell where she has taken her knowledge and skills as a preservationist and put them to work. Whether procuring and installing salvaged wood floors or writing grants to fund a new lunchroom at Mitchell, Paula can’t be stopped! Everyone was inspired by her stories and enthusiasm. She is proof that preservation works.

As the yellow bus pulled into the Plant parking lot everyone received a Tampa Preservation Salutes Historic Schools poster. Old friends visited and new friends were made on the short outing. Something about “going back to school” is special for everyone. Don’t miss the Third Annual Historic Schools Tour next year!

TPI Awards 2008

The 2008 Awards Celebration was held on April 11 at the historic Italian Club in Ybor City. Sponsors of the event were L’Unione Italiana and Southern Spirits and Wine. The event was part of the AIA Heritage Committee ReNew Tampa Conference.

Serving on the Awards Jury were Roger Grunke, AIA, Bob Jefferies, AIA, Gus Paras, AIA along with TPI Board Members Becky Clarke, Beth Strong, and Nootchie Smith. Many thanks for their hard work!

Residential Restoration Achievement Awards were awarded to the following projects:
505 E. Amelia Ave.
1301 E. Columbus Dr.
919 W. Kentucky
813 S. Packwood

Commercial Restoration Achievement Awards were awarded to the following
The Arlington Building – 1209-1229 N. Franklin Street
The Berriman-Morgan Cigar Factory – 1403 N. Howard Ave.
The Tampa Fire Fighters Museum – 720 E. Zack Street

The Silk Purse Award is given to a project that rescues a vacant neglected building through careful renovations affecting a positive visual and economic impact on the neighborhood and community. Silk Purse Awards were given to the following:

1202 N. Franklin Street – Fly Restaurant
3701 Henderson Blvd. – Square One Burger Restaurant

An Individual Achievement Award recognized Nancy Henderson for her artistic pen and ink drawings of Tampa’s historic buildings. Her renderings have promoted an awareness of and appreciation for Tampa’s architectural heritage.

An Organizational Achievement Award was presented to the Tampa Fire Fighters Museum Board of Directors’ commitment to the restoration of and sensitive expansion to Old Fire Station # 1. The members’ determination over came multiple difficulties that fired up during the ten year evolution.

Certificates of Appreciation were given to Elaine Lund for her contributions to the TPI newsletter Cornerstone and to Richard Clarke for countless years of his photographic documentation of TPI Events.