The year 1886 forecast a new era in Tampa. Staggering under the blow of yellow fever epidemics, which had closed everything from hotels to cigar factories, the City of Tampa received word that Henry Bradley Plant would spend a “million dollars or more” developing Port Tampa and would build a splendid resort, the Tampa Bay Hotel, on the western bank of the Hillsborough River. To support this development, the city agreed to extend Lafayette Street (now Kennedy Blvd) a half-mile west of the river and build a bridge at that point. Plant bought the land for the Tampa Bay Hotel from Jesse J. Hayden, owner of the ferry across the river, and his daughter, Mrs. Donald McKay.
In 1888, the bridge was erected. Plant extended his railroad across the river, and the cornerstone of Tampa Bay Hotel was laid. When Plant sent out invitations to the grand opening ball in January 1891, one telegraphed reply read “Where is Tampa Bay.” Plant wired his response, “Follow the crowd.”
The construction of this bridge made the area west of the Hillsborough River accessible to Tampa and prompted the development of Hyde Park. The hotel construction project invigorated the economy of the city and further encouraged growth west of the river.
As early as 1829, Levi Coller had farmed the area and sold vegetables to the U.S. Army outpost at Fort Brooke in downtown Tampa. In 1838, this land passed to his daughters and their husbands, Jeanette and W. T. Haskins (who returned east of the river for lack of a bridge), and Nancy and Robert Jackson. In 1886, O.H. Platt of Hyde Park, Illinois purchased 20 acres from Jackson and named the area Hyde Park.
Citrus groves covered much of the area west of the river, until building in Tampa’s first suburb prevailed. James M. Watrous, who built his home at 1307 Morrison Avenue in 1882, and William A. Morrison who established a residence at 850 Newport Avenue in 1885 were early citrus growers. By 1910, all the large citrus groves had been subdivided, encompassing nearly 100 acres south of Swann Avenue between Magnolia and Orleans Avenue.
Hyde Park is a combination of individual subdivisions developed in a conventional grid with the major street perpendicular to the Bayshore. In 1907, Swann and Holtsinger began filling the mud flats along the waterfront “and in 1914, paved Bayshore, but the concentration of building before 1915 did not face the Bay.
The main artery into the development of quarter acre lots was the 80 foot wide Hyde Park Avenue. Streetcar service along Swann and Rome existed as early as 1892, and along Bayshore by 1909, adding the accessibility to Hyde Park, which was established by the bridge and the railroad.
Between 1913 and 1928, the area flourished. Large revival style residences continue to appear until the Florida building boom of 1924-26 ended abruptly, and the Stock Market Crash of 1929 engulfed not only Florida, but the entire nation in the Great Depression. After the Depression, construction in Hyde Park followed the national trend toward smaller homes. Although the post World War II growth trend in Tampa was to the west and northwest, the neighborhood remained relatively stable until the shift back to near-urban living and the emerging popularity of preservation in the 1970s and 1980s stimulated a new period of development in Hyde Park.
Vice President, Del Acosta Secretary, Barbara Deakin
Members: Ann Altman, Pat Cimino, Michael Eachon, Michael Lynch, Kelly McMillan, Gabe Picone, Shawn Yuskaitis
All residents within the HHPNA boundaries are members of the association. In the past 17 years we have grown to a dues-paying membership of more than 265 households, property owners, and businesses. Our members are active in support of our neighborhood and in preserving the historic integrity of the community.
Our boundary runs along Bayshore Blvd. between Rome and Howard Avenues, where it turns north along Howard to the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway, then along the Lee Roy Selmon to DeLeon Ave. where it turns east. DeLeon is the northern boundary east to South Boulevard, where South Blvd. becomes the easterly boundary south to Swann Ave. At Swann the boundary returns west to Rome Ave., then south to Bayshore again. View the neighborhood map.
A Board of Directors provides the governance for HHPNA. It is composed of between 7 and 15 directors elected by the members. The Board elects a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer from within its ranks.
The association maintains several standing committees and creates ad hoc committees to address issues that come up from time to time.
Streets, Alleys & Sidewalks — This hands-on committee has been instrumental in getting the historic street signs throughout our neighborhood. They are turning their attention now to alley clean-up, improved recycling and sidewalk safety.
To pitch in, contact Shawn Yuskaitis at: email@example.com.
Membership – In addition to running membership drives, this committee maintains our records and promotes increased communication and collaboration, as well as sponsors Neighborhood Watch.
To join our efforts, contact Patrick Cimino at firstname.lastname@example.org
Land Use & Regulatory — This group monitors regulatory and proposed development changes affecting our area, seeks to improve our relationship with elected and appointed officials, and is launching efforts to conceptualize what we want for the next generation of neighborhood improvements.
Children & Families — Having been talked about for awhile, President PJ Summerville is working to launch this committee. She is gathering ideas and opinions as to what kind of events would motivate our neighborhood parents and kids to come together.
To help launch this, contact her at: email@example.com
Social – This group organizes our lively First Fridays (like a porch party) and other special events throughout the year. Michael Lynch and Kelly McMillan are now leading this.
Communications – This important committee keeps us all in the know as editors of the Forum, the monthly email blast, our Facebook page and other communications about events.
To join the committee or to report a newsy story, contact Ann Altman at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Technology – This committee is responsible for our web site and, in collaboration with the Communications Committee, energizing and integrating our presence on social media.
Michael Lynch leads this. Contact him at: email@example.com
Home Tour — Held the first Saturday in March, our annual Home Tour, celebrates the architecture, interior design and sense of community of Historic Hyde Park.