Temple Terrace Hickory Heritage Weekend

Temple Terrace GolfHistory comes alive during January 19-21 at the Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club when they featuring two hickory golf tournaments: one for amateurs, and one for professionals. Pre-1930s authentic era hickory shafted clubs and balls are provided. Period attire is suggested. Golf enthusiasts are encouraged to attend to watch professional golfers compete at the historic golf course the way it was meant to be played with hickory equipment. Mike Stevens, two-time National Hickory Champion will be playing. Past fields have included notable names such as David Frost and Leroux Ferreira. Proceeds benefit the non-profit Temple Terrace Preservation Society.

The historic Temple Terrace golf course, designed by renowned course architect Tom Bendelow, remains true to its original design. Play with authentic era clubs and balls, and enjoy the course as played in the 1920s.
• 4 person scramble open to all golfers
• $125 per individual player, $450 for a foursome entry fee
• 1920s period attire encouraged such as par 4 golf caps, knickers, vests, and neckties/bowties for men and long skirts for women.

Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club
200 Inverness Avenue
Temple Terrace, FL 33617

The tournaments are sponsored by the Temple Terrace Preservation Society and the Florida Hickory Golfers. The Hickory Hacker is the primary annual fundraising event for the non-profit Temple Terrace Preservation Society and
proceeds from both tournaments will support ongoing projects and initiatives, as well as support the Florida Hickory Golfers. Current initiatives include heritage tourism projects such as the reconstruction of the Temple Terrace Bat Tower, developing a historical museum and a historic boat tour. These initiatives are designed to promote and celebrate the historic roots and culture of Temple Terrace. Tournament sponsorship packages are available. A portion of the

The Hickory Hacker Golf Tournament is open to all amateurs. There are no qualifying requirements, just a desire to experience hickory golf.

For more information: http://www.usprohickory.com/

Temple Terrace Hickory Hacker Golf Tournament

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to play the Temple Terrace Golf Course the way it was meant to be played in the early 1920s – with authentic balls and hickory clubs. Balls and clubs will be provided. This event is the major Temple Terrace Preservation Society (TTPS) fundraiser for the year. There will also be a historic building tour, exhibits, a brunch and the Hickory Ball. TTPS projects include the Bat Tower Reconstruction project, the historic survey, rebuilding the entrance doors to the Community Church building, (an historic landmark in Temple Terrace), the new Temple Terrace history book, website maintainance for education and outreach about the need to preserve and protect the architectural and historical heritage of the city of Temple Terrace.

11:00 am
4 person scramble
1:00 pm shotgun start

Cocktails 7 pm
Dinner 7:30
Sunday Brunch 10 am-1 pm

Cody Fowler House

We recently received this information from the Temple Terrace Preservation Society about a historic house that is up for sale with the following disclaimer: “Normally, I don’t send out information on Temple Terrace homes for sale but based on what this house means to the history of Temple Terrace and the area (how many houses have their own vintage postcard?), it’s the least I can do.”

The house for sale is the Cody Fowler House located at 313 Sleepy Hollow Avenue in Temple Terrace. Built in 1922, the house was one of eight original Mediterranean Revival style homes designed for the developers of Temple Terrace by architect M. Leo Elliot. The house was built for Cody Fowler, attorney and former president of the American Bar Association. His mother, Maud Fowler, was one of the founders of Temple Terrace and served as Vice-Mayor. Fowler Avenue, in Tampa, is named for the Fowler family.

For more information on this prominent historic home, contact Realtor Peggy Lawrence at 813-690-8404.

Temple Terrace Community Church Restoration Project

The Temple Terrace Preservation Society has embarked on a project to assist the Temple Terrace Community Church, 210 Inverness Avenue, in beautiful Temple Terrace. The project entails restoring the south facade of the church’s Parish Hall to its 1922 appearance.
The Parish Hall was designed by famous Tampa architect M. Leo Elliott in 1922 and was originally the Real Estate Office for the 1920s development of Temple Terrace. The building was designed in the Moorish style; the dome has a surface texture that represents either a Temple orange or a golf ball. The building is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1922, all three facades of the Parish Hall had large windows with a Spanish tile surround. The Society’s intent is to restore the south facade first, and then restore the east and west facades in the future. The Society is currently working on the drawings for the reconstruction and is raising funds to retain a structural engineer to finish the restoration drawings (about $1000). After this, fundraising will begin to complete the restoration (about $12,000).
If you’d like to make a donation towards restoring this historic Temple Terrace building to its former grandeur, checks can be sent to the Temple Terrace Preservation Society, referenced for the Community Church project, Temple Terrace Preservation Society, P.O. Box 16771, Temple Terrace, Florida 33687. All donations are tax deductible. For additional project information contact the Temple Terrace Preservation Society at grimbey@ij.net or 813-914-9037.
Article provided by Grant Rimbey, Temple Terrace Preservation Society

Temple Terrace Bat Tower Reconstruction

The Friends of the Temple Terrace Parks and Recreation and the Temple Terrace Preservation Society have partnered on fund raising to rebuild the greatest of Temple Terrace icons: “The Bat Tower”!

The original tower, built on the banks of the Hillsborough River by the original Temple Terrace developers in 1924, was based on plans from Dr. Charles Campbell, an early pioneer of bat studies and Nobel Peace Prize nominee. The tower was intended to be a roost for bats that would eat the mosquitoes that caused malaria. Today, there are three Campbell bat towers still standing (out of an original fourteen world-wide): one in the Florida Keys and two in Texas. The Temple Terrace tower measured 10’ sq. wide at the base and was 40’ tall from ground level to the top of the roof ridge. It was burned in 1979 by arsonists.

The plan is to rebuild a tower based on precise measurements taken from the remains of the tower along with the existing historic Campbell bat tower on Sugarloaf Key, Florida. The interior of the tower will be completely re-configured with assistance of George and Cynthia Marks of The Florida Bat Conservancy so it will be a functional roost (it’s unclear whether bats ever lived in the old tower). A functional roost will allow the City to reduce its use of harmful pesticides, and provide habitat for local native bats. The proposed site for the new tower is based on research by the Mark’s and Temple Terrace Parks Planner Dana Carver and will be in the new 150 acre Riverfront Park. The new tower will be a focal point for the park and will complement a nearby bat tower viewing pavilion designed and constructed by USF architecture students in 2008.

Temple Terrace is currently accepting donations for this worthy project along with pursuing grants and seeking corporate sponsors for equipment, materials and/or labor. Corporate sponsors can receive name recognition at the future tower site depending on the sponsorship level. To make a tax deductible donation send your check made out to The City of Temple Terrace, referenced for the bat tower project, and addressed to Al Latina, Friends of the Temple Terrace Parks and Recreation, 7002 Doreen Street, Tampa, Florida 33617. The donations will be placed in a city account created for the project. If you would like to volunteer to help with this project please contact Al Latina, 813-988-6794, or alatina1@tampabay.rr.com.

Article and photograph provided by Grant Rimbey

Temple Terrace: A Brief History

In the early 1900s, the land that is now Temple Terrace was acquired by renowned Chicago socialite Mrs. Bertha Honore’ Potter-Palmer (founder of Sarasota) as part of her exclusive 16,000-acre hunting preserve that she called “Riverhills Ranch”. Busch Gardens and USF were also originally part of this extensive preserve. The Woodmont Clubhouse in Temple Terrace is the last of Mrs. Potter-Palmer’s preserve buildings to survive, built in 1910.

Mrs. Potter-Palmer’s vision for her property was that it be developed into a golf course community surrounded by extensive citrus groves but her death in 1918 prevented her from realizing that vision. At her death, trustee of her estate and brother Adrian Honore’ sold her local land holdings to Burks Hamner, Vance Helm, Maude Fowler (mother of Tampa Attorney Cody Fowler), and D. Collins Gillette. Mr. Honore’ retained a seat on the Board and fostered the realization of Mrs. Potter-Palmer’s citrus and golf course community vision. They formed two development corporations—Temple Terrace Estates, Inc., who developed the golf course and residential areas; and Temple Terraces, Inc., who developed 5,000 acres of orange groves that originally surrounded the City to the west and north, the largest orange grove in the world in the 1920s. Temple Terrace was also the first location in the United States that the new and expensive hybrid Temple orange was grown at scale. D. Collins Gillette oversaw Temple Terraces, Inc. and owned the first and largest citrus nursery in Florida, Buckeye Nurseries, and was also instrumental in bringing the Temple orange into the U.S. from Jamaica.

The name “Temple Terrace” was derived from the Temple orange. “Terrace” referred in part to the rolling terrain of the area and in part from the terraces found in the yards of the first homes.

Temple Terrace was designed as a golf course community targeted exclusively towards wealthy, retired Northerners. The concept was that each homeowner would live in a villa in the residential area during “The Season” (from the end of December to the annual Washington’s Ball held at the Country Club on February 22). Each homeowner would also have the option of owning a citrus grove tract in the community’s extensive citrus groves. The new community was planned with a Mediterranean Revival theme; in fact Temple Terrace is one of the first planned golf course communities in the country (1921).

The original town fathers of Temple Terrace used remarkable skill and knowledge in putting together the planning, design, and construction team for their new town, reading like a who’s-who of 1920s design and building professionals the group included:

  • Golf course architect Tom Bendelow, who designed the golf course (as well as world famous Medinah #3 in Chicago, and Palma Ceia)
  • Tampa architect M. Leo Elliott, who designed the original Clubhouse, the Club Morocco Casino, Real Estate office and the first ten houses. Locally, M. Leo designed Tampa’s Old City Hall and the Centro Asturiano.
  • New York architect Dwight James Baum, who designed the remainder of the 1920s residences in Temple Terrace. Mr. Baum was the architect of the Ringling’s Ca d’ Zan mansion in Sarasota.
  • The town planner who united the works of these masters was the foremost American planner of the 1920s, John Nolen, who also planned Sarasota and Venice, Florida.
Construction occurred at a rapid pace from 1921 to 1926 but the vision of Temple Terrace’s founders was not to be entirely realized. The Depression came early to Florida and by the end of 1926 the Florida Boom was over. In 1927 Temple Terrace consisted of the golf course and residential areas laid out with about 85 Mediterranean Revival structures built, of which 70 still remain. The name sake of the town, the Temple orange grove, was largely wiped out in a hard freeze in the late 1920s and neglect claimed the rest.

Temple Terrace struggled through the 1930s like the rest of Florida. Florida Bible Institute, now Florida College, a four year liberal arts college, bought the old Country Club Clubhouse and Club Morocco Casino in the late 1930s from the city for back taxes and both buildings remain part of the college. Billy Graham attended the college in the late 1930s and in his autobiography he writes he received his calling “on the 18th green of the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club”.

Building activity began to pick up again post World War II and we now have a fine collection of Mid-Century Modern homes and buildings, at least three having been designed by members of the renowned “Sarasota School”.

The Temple Terrace Preservation Society will host a Historic Homes Tour featuring both Mediterranean Revival and Mid Century Modern homes on December 6, 2008; all preservation minded Bay area folks are invited to attend!

If you have questions, photos or information on early Temple Terrace please contact Grant Rimbey, Temple Terrace Preservation Society, 411 Island Road, Temple Terrace, Florida, 813-914-9037, grimbey@ij.net. For more information on the home tour, please go to http://www.templeterracepreservation.com/ (please note that this website is under construction but will be up shortly).