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.
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.