'scene' along the way, adventure, attention to detail, attitude adjustments, facing facts, Florida landmarks, history, live and learn, making memories, perseverance, photography

The University of Tampa…

I first became aware of the wonderful spires of the University of Tampa when my photo group met to photograph sacred Heart Catholic Church in downtown Tampa. After the shoot we walked to a nearby Irish Pub that sat along the river, but across the river you could see the spires of the University. The waitress said that people come to that area to take pictures of those spires with the sunset colors behind them. We attempted to do that once, but it wasn’t a great sunset that night. Now I’ll be wanting to try, try again.

We have ridden the water taxi along the river walk and had a slightly different view of the buildings several times since then, but this time we were attending the Holiday Stroll at the Henry Plant Museum that is located in that main building you see below. So, finally, a chance to see the building up close. Which is when I realized that it’s much too enormous to do justice to in a photograph. For me anyhow. That main building is Plant Hall, built in 1891 as the Tampa Bay Hotel. The hotel featured 500 guest rooms, a casino, and a race track. Guests might choose to hunt or fish, or quietly sit and listen to a concert on the grounds, and possibly enjoy tea while they listened. There was a struggle to make a profit however, and eventually the city of Tampa bought the property after Henry Plant died. Endowments by several prominent families provided enough money to keep up the property and expand the university also.

The doors of the feature photo are in the center of this view of the building. Through the doors you enter the grand hall, where students come to register, and other administrative offices are there as well. If you walk through you will exit to the rear of the building which is just as impressive as the front, as you will see.
I lamented the back view of this statue in the above photo, so I had to take a photo of the front of it.
This is the view from the front steps of the building. You are looking across a beautiful garden, and also across the river, at the ‘beer can’ building, that I also enjoy catching a glimpse of when we come to Tampa.
I find this architecture just amazing.
The detail boggles my mind.
Perhaps this statue represents the hunting dogs who resided here in the hotel’s heyday.
When I walked through the grand hall and exited through the doors I immediately saw the golf carts that I thought would ruin my pictures. But I did love the two round porches, and it took me a while to notice the photographer sitting at the base of the flag pole, and the little girl striking poses for him at the top of the steps.
I love looking at the porch, but I suppose sitting on the porch would be nice also.
Visiting on a Saturday during Christmas break meant there weren’t lots of students walking the paths, and not only that, you could park in the faculty parking lot too.
I have wanted to see a good view of this large round minaret so I was pleased when I spotted it.

Yes, this was a visit to do the Holiday Stroll, and we did. And it was lovely. I will post the pictures in the next day or so. I think this trip will have to be a holiday tradition from this time on. I never realized that new traditions can be just as meaningful as the memories of past holidays that we hold dear.

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