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Sunday, 15 May 2016

Tampa Bay Hotel

The Tampa Bay Hotel was built by railroad magnate Henry B. Plant between 1888 and 1891. The construction cost over 3 million dollars. It was considered the premier hotel of the eight that Mr. Plant built to anchor his rail line. The hotel itself covers 6 acres (24,000 m2) and is a quarter-mile long. It was equipped with the first elevator ever installed in Florida. The elevator is still working today, making it one of the oldest continually operational elevators in the nation. The 511 rooms and suites were the first in Florida to have electric lights and telephones. Most rooms also included private bathrooms, complete with a full-size tub. The price for a room ranged from $5.00 to $15.00 a night at a time when the average hotel in Tampa charged $1.25 to $2.00. The poured-concrete, steel-reinforced structure of the building was advertised as fireproof.

 

The grounds of the hotel spanned 150 acres (0.61 km2) and included a golf course, bowling alley, racetrack, casino and an indoor heated swimming pool. In all, 21 buildings could be found on the hotel's campus. The Moorish Revival architectural theme was selected by Mr. Plant because of its exotic appeal to the widely traveled Victorians who would be his primary customers. The hotel has six minarets, four cupolas, and three domes. In the early 90's, all were restored to their original stainless steel state.

Sunday, 15 May 2016