Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Adventures at The Old Tampa Bay Hotel

The Old Tampa Bay Hotel The Old Tampa Bay Hotel The Old Tampa Bay Hotel The Old Tampa Bay Hotel

When the old man first suggested the Tampa / St. Pete area of Florida for our vacation, I was all, "Tampa?  What the heck is in Tampa?!"  Turns out, there's some pretty neat architecture, including the hidden gem of the Old Tampa Bay Hotel.  In the spirit of the Ponce de Leon Hotel-turned-into-Flager College in St. Augustine (where the old man and I visited in 2011), the Tampa Bay Hotel is now part of the University of Tampa.

I first saw this place featured on Southern Spirit Guide when I searched the Florida Ghosts tag for any interesting places to keep an eye out for.  I'm so glad I checked it out because this place blew us away!

We toured the museum, romped around the main student lobby and walked through most of the (accessible) first floor and imagined what it must've been like when it was a grand hotel.  I wasn't sure if I could take photos on the tour with my Nikon, so I kept it small and sweet with my iPhone.  I wanted to experiment with the Hongdae HipstaPak as my "Florida Pack".  I try to give each place I visit its own Hipstamatic lens/film combo when I take photos.  I don't know why but I think after we went to St. Augustine, I started designating lens/film combos to certain places to sort of give them the same "feel".

Anyways - this place is amazing!  We learned so much and got to see what kind of grand things outfitted the hotel.  It was such a wonderful experience with a fun, informative tour and there were so many beautiful things to see.  When I was younger, I wasn't really a fan of all that Victorian opulence but I love it now!  I think it's so interesting to see how much our tastes have changed and I'm amazed at how we evolve with each generation.

I'm hoping to upload my Nikon photos from the entire trip, so keep an eye out on my Flickr and this set for more to come!

Hope you're having a great week!

The Old Tampa Bay Hotel The Old Tampa Bay Hotel The Old Tampa Bay Hotel The Old Tampa Bay Hotel The Old Tampa Bay Hotel The Old Tampa Bay Hotel The Old Tampa Bay Hotel The Old Tampa Bay Hotel The Old Tampa Bay Hotel The Old Tampa Bay Hotel The Old Tampa Bay Hotel The Old Tampa Bay Hotel

1-3: Exterior shots of the Old Tampa Bay Hotel
4: An inkwell and pen at one (of several) writing desks in the Writing and Reading Room
5-6: A couple of gorgeous mirrors in the hallway
7: A bust
8: I thought the spelling of "Porto Rican" was interesting for this book.  The book was published in 1898!  I wonder how old this copy is...
9-10: A room showcasing various womens' hobbies
11: A page from the hotel guest registry.  The different handwriting was beautiful!
12: An old projector piece
13: One of the restored bedrooms
14: The music room
15: One of many statues.  I liked the silhouette (and she also looks like she's all "Shawty, that's my jam!")
16. An old camera and photo