TPI Preservation Awards Celebration


Preservation Awards Ceremony Registration

Tampa Preservation, Inc. invites you to attend the 29th Annual Preservation Celebration on Thursday, October 30th, 2014. Preservation Awards begin at 7:00 pm followed by a Reception at the Seminole Heights Garden Center, 5800 Central Avenue, Tampa, FL. Registration is $10 per person for current TPI members, $25 per person for non-members.

Please RSVP by October 24th by mailing check payable to TPI to P.O. Box 18061 Tampa, FL 33679 or online at

Call 248-5437 for more info.

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Preservation Roundtable – August 2014

TPI color LogoHope everyone has been having a good summer – time to start getting back into the swing!
The Preservation Roundtable will meet on Wednesday, August 6th at 9:00 AM at the offices of TPI/Ybor Museum Society – corner of Palm Avenue and 18th St. (Angel Oliva Sr. Drive). in Ybor City.
Hope to see you there!

Historic Homes Workshop 2012

Join Tampa Preservation, Inc. on April 14, 2012 for the 2nd annual FREE Historic Homes Workshop. The one day series of workshops offers tips and advice to owners of historic homes looking to restore their property including topics like Repairing Historic Wood Windows, Refinishing Wood Floors, Making Your Home More Energy Efficient, Florida Friendly Landscaping, Researching Your Home’s History, Painting Your Historic Home and Restoring Your Porch. This year the event takes place at the historic Seminole Heights United Methodist Church from 10 am to 4 pm.

The series of 12 workshops will run 3 at a time so you will have to plan accordingly. The schedule is posted below. Food will be available at the event site.

Event sponsors include: Through the Woods Fine Wood Floors, Wood Window Makeover and Historic Shed.
Historic Homes Workshop Tampa


Track 1- 10:30-11:20
ROOM 1:  Energy Efficiency in Historic Homes by Jo-Anne Peck of Historic Shed
ROOM 2: Researching Your Homes History by Lucy Jones of Cardno ENTRIX
ROOM 3: Painting to Preserve and Protect by Jett Tanner of the Tanner Paint Company

Track 2- 11:30-12:20
OUTSIDE: Repairing and Refinishing Wood Floors by Dennis Prieur of Through the Wood Fine Wood Floors
ROOM 1: Exterior Details by Alan Dobbs of Florida Design Studio
ROOM 2: Living in a Historic District by Dennis Fernandez of the City of Tampa, Historic Preservation

Lunch 12:30-1:30

Track 3- 1:30-2:20
OUTSIDE: Built-ins and Trim by Brian Manne, Carpenter
ROOM 1: Florida Friendly Native Landscaping by Michael Manlowe of Twigs and Leaves
ROOM 2: Preservation: Past, Present and Future by Becky Clarke of Tampa Preservation, Inc.

Track 4- 2:30-3:20
OUTSIDE: Restoring Your Old Wood Windows by Steve Quilian of Wood Window Makeover
ROOM 2: Salvaged Wood / Goodwin Heart Pine by Carol Goodwin of Goodwin Heart Pine
ROOM 3: Lessons Learned / Illustrated Intro to the Secretary of Interior Standards by Kim & Richard Headland, Architects

When you think of historic buildings at risk, visions of heritage train stations, courthouses and other culturally significant buildings come to mind. And sadly, every day these magnificent structures do face the wrecking ball. But, on a smaller, but no less important scale, is the loss of pieces of our own neighborhood history, due to the lack of knowledge of their value and the lack of skill for their care. Wood windows, original flooring and built-in bookcases are demolished every day, destroying architectural features and beauty and reducing home values.

Tampa Preservation, Inc., a private, non-profit organization, established in 1973., is dedicated to the preservation of the historic structures and neighborhoods of the Tampa Bay area and Hillsborough County, and to the education of the  area’s school children and residents about their unique heritage.

TPI’s Historic Home Workshops provide tips from over a dozen experts on how to save these historic materials. This
year’s event will be held at the Historic Seminole Heights United Methodist Church, 6111 N Central Ave on Saturday, April 14 10 am and end at 4 pm. This church, located on the southeast corner of Hanna and Central Avenues was built in 1927 and has its own story of revitalization. Admission to the workshop is free.

“Historic homeowners often wish to take a hands-on approach to restoring their houses. This workshop will offer
information on some of the skills required,” observes Becky Clarke, TPI President. “The homeowner who wishes to hire professionals will come away more educated on what is available and how to best utilize restoration experts.”

Kim and Richard Headland, two architects who own a bungalow in VM Ybor will talk about the mistakes that can be made in renovating an old house and how to rectify some of the worst horrors. Plenty of photographs and personal experience will lead attendees through some lesser known facts on how to restore a home in a manner that is historically appropriate and retains its value, while allowing for modern conveniences.

Other topics to be covered are landscaping, restoring wood windows and refinishing wood floors. Each will provide
information learned from the speakers’ many years of experience.

Last year’s premier event opened with a line of people standing out into the street. Attendees were enthusiastic about
applying what they learned. Their only complaint was that the venue was too small. We have remedied it this year. There will be space for all!

The event will start at 10 am and end at 4 pm. Three workshops will be presented every hour, with a break at for lunch and a chance to chat with the displayers and fellow attendees, and view historic photos from Steve and Mario of The Tampa Natives Show.

Sign Up to be Notified of Upcoming Workshops

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Port Tampa Display at the Tampa Bay History Center

The City of Port Tampa Civic Association has installed a display at the Tampa Bay History Center Community Case. This wonderful little port community located just west of The MacDill Air Force Base was first settled in the late 1800’s when Henry Plant extended his railroad line southwest from Tampa. Chartered as an independent City in 1893, Port Tampa was annexed by the City of Tampa in 1961. The display contains a few rare artifacts, photos and postcards, and a little history of the areaThe display will only be in until the last week in February.

The Fitzgerald Building

Port Tampa City, known earlier as Passage Point or Black Point, was established in 1893 at the end of a Henry Plant Railroad spur line. Early Port Tampa history revolved around the Plant System of railroads, hotels and steamships, serving as a steamship port to Cuba as well as home to several hotels. Absorbed by the City of Tampa in 1961, Port Tampa still has a small town atmosphere secluded from Tampa’s city life. The area retains much of its historic charm with brick streets, 1926 marble Port Tampa City Library, quaint churches and historic homes. In addition, the area capitalizes on its environmental assets with Tampa’s Greenways Trail and Picnic Island, featuring a beach, boat ramp, fishing pier, and bird sanctuary.

Within this setting is a threatened piece of architecture inherently tied with Port Tampa history known as the FitzGerald Building. The building was built by Captain James W. FitzGerald, a stockholder of the Peoples Line Steamers and Superintendent of Plant’s steamship line. FitzGerald was captain of the steamboat h. b. plant from 1880 to 1886.

Captain FitzGerald arrived in the area that was to be Port Tampa City in 1885 and partnered with Charles W. Prescott of Erie, Pennsylvania. Together they purchased a section of land that they platted with the streets and blocks of the town, then chartered as Port Tampa City. Captain FitzGerald and Mr. Prescott, along with sea captain Henry G. “Harry” Warner, also formed the Port Tampa Building and Loan Association.According to City of Tampa property records, the FitzGerald Building was constructed in 1890. Approximately 1,300 sf, the brick building is two-stories high and has a pressed metal cornice. All indications are that it was built as the Captain’s place of business, although no official documentation has been found. The Sanborn Fire Insurance Co. map of 1899 depicted the footprint of the FitzGerald Building as it stands today.

Mrs. FitzGerald died in 1904, Captain FitzGerald died in 1909, and the heirs retained ownership of the property until 1944. Thus, the FitzGerald family owned this particular piece of land for 51 years. The building then went through a succession of owners who utilized the building for various commercial and residential uses. One owner, with plans for a nightclub, gutted the building interior, but never completed the remodeling. The current owners, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Devoe, purchased the Fitzgerald Building in 1976, to use for equipment storage for their contracting business. The building has been vacant since the Devoe’s retirement and is now in need of stabilization to prevent further deterioration.

A developer planned to purchase the property a couple of years ago, with intentions of demolishing the building; however due to the historic significance of the building, the demolition request was denied. The FitzGerald Building is the oldest surviving business structure in Port Tampa City and is worthy of preservation. The Devoes acknowledge the historic significance of the property and are supportive of the efforts to preserve the building; however, they are eager to sell the property. Local residents are working with the Devoes and community preservation groups to find ways to save this important historic Port Tampa building.

For more information, contact Carol Curtiss at or (813)831-1985.

Article provided by Carol Curtiss.