Tampa Bay Hotel
Stanley Turkel | March 8, 2022
By Stanley Turkel Hotel History: Tampa Bay Hotel (511 rooms) The success of Henry M. Flagler’s Ponce de Leon Hotel in St. Augustine convinced Henry B. Plant that Tampa needed a spectacular new hotel. With the agreement of the town council for a new bridge across the Hillsborough River and for substantial real estate tax abatement, Plant chose New York City architect John A. Wood to design a spectacular hotel. The cornerstone of the Tampa Bay Hotel was laid on July 26, 1888 and the 511-room hotel opened on February 5, 1891 with a 23-foot high rotunda supported by thirteen granite columns. Florida’s first fully electrified hotel conta...
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