Architecture is part of the fabric of our everyday lives, but unless you’re a trained architect, you might not have stopped to smell the concrete and take in the various historical buildings Tampa Bay has to offer. Let’s take a look.
The Open Air Post Office | 400 First Ave. N., St. Petersburg
Built in 1916, Downtown St. Pete’s historic post office was the nation’s first open-air (partially outdoors) concept. Within the landmark, guests can find arches and staircases laced with intricate metalwork and hand-carved stone details — all of which provide a glimpse into the heart of the Mediterranean Revival era.
The Don CeSar | 3400 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach
The “pink palace” was constructed in 1928 by architect Henry H. Dupont + boasts a Moorish flair expressed in its horseshoe arches and decorative tilework. The beachfront hotel served as a sub-base hospital during WWII and hosted performances from rockers like Florida’s own Tom Petty.
Today you can roam the baroque-style hallways and dance on the King Charles Ballroom’s marble floor, just as F. Scott Fitzgerald did.
The Princess Martha | 411 First Ave. N., St. Petersburg
This red brick building is St. Pete’s prime example of 1920s Neoclassical architecture. The Rocco-designed rooms with sculpted windows + decorated gold columns were once temporary stays for notable guests like Jimmy Carter and Babe Ruth.
Henry B. Plant Museum | 401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa
The museum’s minaret-topped spires cut through Downtown Tampa’s concrete jungle in a mirage-like way. The location has a Moorish exterior and interior and is used by the University of Tampa.
Tampa Theatre | 711 N. Franklin St., Tampa
The elaborate movie palace boasts a fantasy land + atmospheric feeling with a first-class ambiance. It was built in 1926 by Paramount Pictures and designed by famed theater architect John Eberson.
When guests enter, they are transported to a Mediterranean courtyard with old world statues, flowers, and gargoyles. And as they walk deeper and look up, the ceiling turns into a twinkling nightscape.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church | 509 N. Florida Ave., Tampa
Downtown Tampa’s Sacred Heart Catholic Church was built in 1905. The predominantly 11th-century Romanesque granite and marble structure features a 135-ft dome and 70 stained glass windows.
There are a ton of beautiful architectural details throughout TBAY. If you have a fascination for one that we missed. Let us know.