Seminole Heights is a historic neighborhood and district located in central Tampa, Florida. It includes many early 20th-century bungalow homes and historic buildings. It was an early residential area of Tampa connected by streetcar. The area had an economic downturn in the late 20th century marked by increased crime but has since seen a resurgence with new restaurants, brew pubs, and independent businesses opening up. The neighborhood’s historic homes, eclectic shops, and gourmet restaurants are an increasing draw.
Seminole Heights is known for its historic craftsman-style bungalows from the early 20th century. Many buildings in the neighborhood existed in the early 1900s, including the Seminole Heights Methodist Church, Seminole Heights Elementary School, Broward Elementary, Hillsborough High School, and St. Paul Lutheran Church. The Seminole Heights Garden Center, a neighborhood park, is used for community events such as art festivals and picnics. Seminole Heights has the longest stretch of Riverfront parkland in Tampa, FL. Rivercrest, Epps, and several pocket parks provide access to the Hillsborough River.
In recent years Seminole Heights has experienced rising property values and a decrease in crime. The area is popular among young professionals and their families seeking an alternative to master-planned communities. The area contains two designated historic districts: Seminole Heights (local and national designation) and Hampton Terrace (national designation).
Seminole Heights was born in 1911. T. Roy Young had 40 acres (160,000 m2) to develop Tampa‘s first suburb three miles (5 km) north of downtown. He called it Seminole Heights. Ten years earlier, Tampa’s population had reached 26,000. A trolley line connected Sulphur Springs to downtown, making travel to the suburbs possible and inviting. The streetcar made it possible to live in one area of town and work in another. Young recognized this potential. His Seminole Development Corporation property encompassed a rectangle bordered by Hillsborough Avenue, Central Avenue, Wilder Avenue, and Florida Avenue. The houses built here were mostly bungalows, oriented east-to-west, and started at $5,000. A1 Bed Bug Exterminator Tampa
Other developments quickly followed. By 1912, the Mutual Development Company, owned by Milton and Giddings Mabry, and the Dekle Investment Company, owned by Lee and James Dekle, surveyed and platted land adjacent to Seminole Heights, forming the Suwanee Heights subdivision. Bounded by Henry Avenue, Hillsborough Avenue, Central Avenue, and Florida Avenue, Suwanee Heights was also a restricted subdivision. Like the original Seminole Heights, houses required the same east-west orientation but started at $1,400. During the “Florida Bloom” years (roughly 1919–1929), more development came to areas north and east of the original subdivisions. Of course, with this development came the merchants seeing an opportunity to provide welcome goods and services to the residents. Some of those early businesses have faded away. However, many current Seminole Heights businesses have been open for over 50 years.
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