Henry B. Plant Museum  

The Henry B. Plant Museum (Plant Museum) is housed in the south wing of Plant Hall on the University of Tampa’s campus, located at 401 West Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa, Florida. Henry B. Plant originally built Plant Hall as the Tampa Bay Hotel, a 511-room resort-style hotel that opened on February 5, 1891, near the terminus of the Plant System rail line, also forged and owned by Plant. The Plant Museum’s exhibits focus on historical Gilded Age tourism in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, the elite lifestyle of the hotel’s guests, and the Tampa Bay Hotel’s use during the Spanish–American War. The Plant Museum is set up in the Historic House Museum style. Exhibits display artifacts that reflect the original placement and usage within the related historic building.

The Tampa Bay Hotel was designed by architect J.A. Wood, who also designed the Old Hillsborough County Courthouse in 1892 in Tampa, Florida, and the Oglethorpe Hotel and the Mahoney-McGarvey House in Brunswick, Georgia.

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. The Tampa Bay Hotel was considered the premier hotel of the eight plants built to anchor his rail line. The hotel covers 6 acres (24,000 m2) and is a quarter-mile long. The Tampa Bay Hotel was equipped with the first elevator ever installed in Florida, and it is still functional 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 lighting and telephones. Most rooms also included private bathrooms, complete with a full-size tub. Room Pricing 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. A1 Bed Bug Exterminator Tampa

The hotel’s grounds 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 grounds. Plant selected the Moorish Revival architectural theme for its exotic European appeal to the widely traveled Victorians who would be his primary customers. The hotel has six minarets, four cupolas, and three domes spanning five stories, all trimmed in ornate Victorian Gingerbread. In the early 1990s, all were restored to their original stainless-steel state.

Address: 401 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 

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