Visitors to Tampa can pursue a wide variety of activities, from the thrills of a day at a popular theme park to the quiet beauty of a leisurely walk along a waterfront boulevard. The city's premier attraction—and the state's second busiest, after Walt Disney World in Orlando—is Busch Gardens, a 335-acre entertainment center, jungle garden, and open zoo in which several thousand animals roam free on a simulated African veldt. Open 365 days a year, the park has rides, live shows (some starring animals and birds), shops, and games, all linked by a nineteenth-century African theme—and all only a few minutes north of downtown. Next to Busch Gardens is Adventure Island, another family-oriented theme park centered around water-related activities, including flumes, a pool that produces five-foot waves, and several giant slides. More than 4,300 plants and animals, representing 550 native species, are on display at the Florida Aquarium. Explore-A-Shore is a 2.2 acre play and discovery zone just for kids.
City-run Lowry Park includes a zoo, shows, rides, and Fairyland Village, which features castles and characters from Mother Goose and other children's stories. In 2004, the first section of the new Safari Africa exhibit opened. Featuring many African animal species and amenities, it is expected to be completed in 2008.
Plant Hall, the administration building of the University of Florida, originally opened in 1891 as the opulent Tampa Bay Hotel. Entrepreneur Henry B. Plant's pet project, the 511-room palatial structure cost $3 million and defied categorization with its eclectic blend of Moorish, Near Eastern, and Byzantine architectural styles. Never a commercial success, the hotel was deeded to the city in 1904, and for the next twenty-five years, it was the site of various social events. The University of Tampa, in need of room to expand, took over the Tampa Bay Hotel during the 1930s. Today, it is probably the city's most recognized landmark.
More than any other major Florida city, Tampa has retained much of its Latin flavor. Ybor City, Tampa's Latin Quarter, is a National Register Historic District and, as such, is one of the city's most architecturally intact neighborhoods. The area developed around two cigar factories built in the mid-1880s by Cubans forced from their homeland by Spanish oppression. It soon became a center for Cuban revolutionary activity, even serving for a time as a home to Jose Marti, a writer, poet, and patriot considered the George Washington of Cuba. Today, the former Ybor Cigar Factory goes by the name of Ybor Square; it houses shops, boutiques, and restaurants. Other historic buildings in the Ybor City area include the El Pasaje Hotel, formerly a private club for Ybor City notables who hosted visitors such as Teddy Roosevelt and Winston Churchill; the Ritz Theatre; and the Ferlita Bakery, now the home of the Ybor City State Museum.
Some of Tampa's most interesting sights are best explored on foot. From the 4.5-mile sidewalk along Bayshore Boulevard, one of the longest continuous walkways in the world, the casual stroller can marvel at the striking mansions on one side and a sweeping view of the bay and the city's skyline on the other. The residential neighborhoods of Hyde Park (adjacent to Bayshore Boulevard) and Davis Islands are also ideally suited for walking tours.
Bus tours and boat tours of Tampa are especially carefree ways to see the city and its surroundings. Though they originate in St. Petersburg, the Gray Line Bus Tours can be boarded in Tampa at the Greyhound and Trailways terminals.
Arts and Culture
In 1967 the Florida State legislature created the Arts Council of Tampa to coordinate and promote the performing and visual arts in the Tampa region. Today, renamed the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, the council is actively involved in developing and administering school programs in dance, visual arts, music, poetry, creative writing, and theater; providing grants services to individual artists and arts organizations; scheduling events; and operating the Tampa Theatre, an ornate movie palace of the 1920s that has been restored to its former grandeur to serve film buffs, as well as fans of dance, music, and drama.
The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center is a multipurpose facility located at the northern edge of downtown on a nine-acre riverfront site. It is a joint public-private venture designed to accommodate many different kinds of performances. Its three halls and its rehearsal studio are used by local arts groups, touring drama companies, country music artists, and for the Center's own presentations.
Tampa is home to a variety of performing groups. American Stage, Stageworks, and the Alley Cat Players present seasons of drama, cabaret, classics and comedies. The University of South Florida and the University of Tampa both have theater training programs for actors, directors, and designers. Other local groups include the Carollwood Players community theater, and the Bits 'n Pieces Puppet Theater, which produces children's classics featuring giant puppets, as well as conventional actors. Ballet Folklorico of Ybor specializes in classic dances from Spain, Cuba, Italy, Mexico, and Latin America. The Kuumba Dancers and Drummers teach and perform traditional dances and rhythms of a variety of African cultures. At the University of South Florida, the dance department is housed in a state-of-the-art studio and theater, teaching and performing forms of dance from jazz to ballet to modern. Music is presented by the Florida Orchestra, which is based in the three west coast cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater. It performs 14 masterworks concerts with a pops and daytime series offered in each of the cities during its September-to-April season. Musical entertainment is also provided by the Master Chorale, Tampa Bay Chamber Orchestra, Tampa Oratorio, and myriad smaller community and college groups.
Several museums and galleries are based in Tampa. Among them are the Museum of Science and Industry, which offers hands-on displays and demonstrations of a scientific and technological nature pertaining specifically to Florida's weather, environment, agriculture, and industry. The Tampa Museum of Art features changing art exhibitions from across the country and houses the Southeast's largest and most significant permanent collection of Classical Art of Ancient Greece and Rome. The Henry B. Plant Museum features Victorian furniture and art objects in settings similar to those that would have greeted Tampa Bay Hotel guests in the late 1800s. The Ybor City State Museum provides an overview of the cigar industry and its history in Tampa, as well as information about the area's Latin community. Situated on the campus of the University of South Florida are two of the area's best contemporary art facilities. The Contemporary Art Museum, which has in its collection some of the finest of the world's modern artists, and organizes exhibitions of contemporary art to tour the United States and Europe. Graphicstudio, an experimental printmaking facility, has hosted such notables as Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Jim Dine, and Miriam Shapiro. Kids City delights youngsters aged two to twelve with indoor, hands-on exhibits set in a realistic outdoor miniature village.
Other Tampa art facilities include the Florida Center for Contemporary Art, the state's only alternative artist's gallery, which highlights new work by emerging and established artists throughout Florida. The Lee Scarfone Gallery, the University of Tampa's fine arts college teaching gallery, exhibits works by students and faculty as well as artists of regional and national renown. Tampa has many fine galleries, and one of the highlights of the gallery season is a special event called Gallery HOP, an evening when all of the galleries are open and buses transport thousands of viewers on tours of the varied display sites around the city.
Arts & Culture Information: Arts Council of Hillsborough County, telephone (813)276-8250.
Festivals and Holidays
The Gasparilla Pirate Fest, on the last Saturday in January and dating back to 1904, is a noisy and colorful Mardi Graslike festival that takes place in the downtown waterfront area. Named in honor of Jose Gaspar, Tampa's legendary "patron pirate," the Gasparilla invasion calls for a group of more than 700 costumed pirates (usually some of the city's most prominent business and social leaders) to sail into Tampa harbor on a three-masted schooner (complete with cannons and flying a Jolly Roger flag), capture the city, and kidnap the mayor. They then parade along Bayshore Boulevard accompanied by lavish floral floats and marching bands. Other activities held during Gasparilla Week include world-class distance runs, a children's parade, and a bicycle race. The festival ends with Fiesta Day in Ybor City, a daylong party of dancing in the streets, free Spanish bean soup, sidewalk artists, and a torchlight parade during which the pirates make their final appearance of the year.
In February, the Florida State Fair opens its annual twelve-day run. The largest fair of its kind south of the Mason-Dixon Line, the Florida State Fair features traditional agricultural exhibits and demonstrations, items for display and for sale, food, rides, auto races, shows, and contests, all spread out on a 301-acre site beside seven lakes.
Other Tampa celebrations include the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, the Winter Equestrian Festival, the statewide Florida Dance Festival, the outrageous Guavaween Halloween festival, The Greater Hillsborough County Fair, the Tampa-Hillsborough County Storytelling Festival, and a variety of ethnic festivals. First Night, a New Year's Eve festival to celebrate the arts, again rings in the start of the annual cycle of varied arts experiences. One of the city's newest events is the Hot Rod and Street Machine Nationals.
Sports for the Spectator
The Tampa sporting scene has changed drastically in recent years with the addition of new stadiums and teams. The region's major league baseball team, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, play at St. Petersburg's $206 million Tropicana Field. The Bay Area has three other major professional sports teams, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL), the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League (NHL), and the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League (AFL). The Buccaneers play at the $168 million, 66,321-seat Raymond James Stadium, the only NFL stadium with a theme-park element—a cannonfiring pirate ship located at one end of the playing field in Buccaneer Cove. The $153 million state-of-the-art St. Pete Times Forum is home to both the Lightning and the Storm.
The New York Yankees' major league team use Legends Field, modeled after the original Yankee Stadium in New York, for spring training. The Yankees' Minor League team plays each year from April through September at Legends Field. The Threshers, a Class A affiliate with the Philadelphia Phillies, play at brand-new Bright House Networks Field.
Horse racing and dog racing are popular spectator sports in the Tampa area. The renovated Tampa Bay Downs and Turf Club (located about fifteen miles west of the city) is the only thoroughbred track on Florida's west coast. It is open from mid-December through early May. The Tampa Greyhound Track, open since 1933, is one of the ten most popular in the United States. Located north of downtown, it is open from June through December. Top professional and amateur golfers compete each year in the Senior Professional Golfer's Association Tour's GTE Suncoast Classic which is played at the Tournament Players Club.
Collegiate athletic events of all kinds are regularly scheduled at the University of South Florida and the University of Tampa. Golf and tennis tournaments, wrestling and boxing matches, equestrian shows, and automobile and boat races are also held on a regular basis in and around the city.
Sports for the Participant
With its warm climate, proximity to the water, and numerous public and private facilities, Tampa is ideal for those who enjoy golf, tennis, swimming, canoeing and boating, fishing, and other sports on a year-round basis. Golf is especially popular. Tampa has dozens of public courses, but several other local semiprivate clubs allow greens fee players. For tennis enthusiasts, the city has more than a thousand public and private tennis courts. The Tampa recreation department also maintains racquetball courts, basketball courts, shuffleboard courts, recreation centers, gym facilities, playgrounds and community centers, a softball complex, and more than a hundred other fields. For those who prefer less strenuous forms of relaxation, the city alone has 141 parks; numerous parks and wilderness areas are located nearby. Just to the northeast of the city is the Hillsborough River State Park, which is ideal for those who enjoy picnicking, camping, canoeing, fishing, and hiking.
Much of the sports activity in Tampa occurs in or on the water. The city maintains eleven swimming pools, including one handicapped facility and one supplied with water from a natural spring; and two beaches, Picnic Island and the Ben T. Davis Municipal Beach. Picnic Island, a park located near where Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders camped during the Spanish-American War, offers swimming, boating, and fishing. Ben T. Davis Municipal Beach, only fifteen minutes from downtown on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, is popular with swimmers as well as with windsurfers and catamaran sailors.
Both saltwater and freshwater fishing are excellent in the Tampa Bay area. A license is required for saltwater fishing. Good spots are everywhere—off bridges and piers and even downtown off Davis Islands or Bayshore Boulevard. Deepsea charters are also readily available for those who would rather venture out into the gulf. Tarpon, cobia, kingfish, sea trout, mackerel, blue-tailed redfish, and bass are among the many varieties in abundance.
Shopping and Dining
A wide variety of retail establishments flourish in and around Tampa, from six large regional malls featuring nationally known stores to small specialty shops promoting goods of a more local nature. Westfield Shoppingtown Citrus Park offers 120 upscale shops and a 20-screen movie theater. Ybor Square caters to those seeking a more unusual shopping experience. Capitalizing on its status as a historic landmark in an ethnic neighborhood, Ybor Square leans more toward antique stores and gift shops with a Latin American focus. Near downtown Tampa is Old Hyde Park Village, which offers more than 60 shops plus restaurants and movie theaters in a historic outdoor setting.
Ranging in type from typical fast food fare to specialties served in elegant or unique settings, Tampa's 1,300-plus restaurants offer diners many choices. Fresh seafood (from the Gulf of Mexico) and Cuban cuisine (including thick, crusty bread and black bean soup) are local favorites.
Visitor Information: Tampa Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau., 400 N. Tampa Street, #2800, Tampa, FL 33602; toll-free (800)826-8358; telephone (813)223-1111
Major Industries and Commercial Activity
Early in the twentieth century, Tampa was unquestionably a one-industry town. From the late 1880s through the 1930s, cigar manufacturing and related activities—primarily box construction and lithography—dominated the economy. Several hundred competing firms annually turned out well over 100 million hand-rolled examples of the city's bestknown product.
The current story of Tampa, however, is quite different. Though still known for its cigars (now made with tobacco from sources other than Cuba), Tampa branched out to become the industrial, commercial, and financial hub of Florida's west coast; a third of the state's entire population, in fact, lives within a two-hour drive of the city.
Part of what has made Tampa's future so promising is its diversified economic base. The push to diversify first came after World War II, when the emphasis was on fostering the growth of heavy industry. But in the late 1970s, as the traditional stability and profitability of heavy industry seemed threatened, a movement began to make Tampa appealing to a wide variety of businesses, especially those that were more service-related and office-oriented. Since then, the city has been touted as an ideal location for companies in search of regional headquarters, for banking and other financial firms, and for various high-technology industries. The business world has responded with enthusiasm. Looking toward the future, city developers are aggressively seeking to expand into aerospace and medical technology and international trade and to attract additional electronics and financial firms. Today, Tampa is a center not only for cigars and tourism, but also for agriculture, food processing, electronics and other high-technology fields, health care and related industries, and finance.
To those who know Tampa only as a vacation spot, it may come as a surprise to learn that the city is a thriving agribusiness center. Hillsborough County markets an abundance of citrus fruit, beef cattle, dairy products, eggs, vegetables, ornamental plants and flowers, and tropical fish. As a result, many agriculture-related industries have been attracted to the area, including food processing firms; feed, fertilizer, and insecticide companies; and paper and metal container manufacturers. Two breweries, Anheuser-Busch and Pabst, also have facilities in Tampa.
Tampa has attained the status of a foreign trade zone, an area where goods can be unloaded for repacking, storage, or transshipment without being subject to import duties.
Items and goods produced: cigars, electronic equipment, medical equipment, beer, paint, cigars, fabricated steel, fertilizers, citrus products, livestock, processed shrimp, decorative plants, and flowers
Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies
In May 2000 the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce's Committee of One Hundred was named among Site Selection magazine's top ten development groups for the second year in a row. The editors wrote: "If there's anyplace where economic development customer service has been honed and polished to a brighter shine than in sunny Tampa and Hillsborough County, Fla., it would be hard to find." The Chamber's Committee of One Hundred has a number of resources available for people and businesses interested in relocating to the area.
Enterprise Florida, Inc. is a partnership between Florida's government and business leaders and is the principal economic development organization for the state of Florida. Enterprise Florida's mission is to increase economic opportunities for all Floridians, by supporting the creation of quality jobs, a well-trained workforce, and globally competitive businesses. It pursues this mission in cooperation with its statewide network of economic development partners.
Job training programs
The Workforce Development Board (WDB), commonly known as Jobs & Education Partnership, is a part of Enterprise Florida, Inc. WDB provides policy, planning, and oversight for job training programs funded under the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA), along with vocational training, adult education, employment placement, and other workforce programs administered by a variety of state and local agencies. Regional Workforce Development Boards operate under charters approved by the Workforce Development Board. The 24 regional boards have primary responsibility for direct services through a statewide network of One-Stop Career systems. State and local workforce development efforts are concentrated on three broad initiatives: First Jobs/First Wages focuses on preparing workers for entry-level employment including the School-to-Work and WAGES (Work and Gain Self-Sufficiency) programs; High Skill/High Wages targets the higher skills needs of employers and training workers for advancement including Performance Based Incentive Funding (PBIF), Occupational Forecasting Conference/Targeted Occupations, Quick Response Training (QRT), and Incumbent Worker Training (IWT); One-Stop Career Centers are the central elements of the One-Stop system for providing integrated services to employers, workers, and job-seekers.
Business expansion and relocation of businesses to Tampa has been strong since 2000. An October 2004 article in the Tampa Tribune credits this to the comparatively low costs of buying or renting commercial real estate, as well as developers limiting the amount of speculative construction.
In 2002, Coca Cola opened a 33,000 square foot 210-employee service center, and a 58,000 square foot accounting center for the company's North American operations. In 2004, Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. opened a $34 million back-up operations center that will house 400 jobs.
A $120 million retail/entertainment/residential complex with theaters, restaurants, and retail shops is in the burgeoning Channelside district. At the center of the complex, called The Pinnacle, is an observation tower rising from a three-story podium building. At 624 feet in the air, the tower is taller than any of Tampa's downtown buildings. Serving as a gateway into the Channelside district is Heritage Park, which features a 4-acre park and amphitheater, and retail shops and cafes in three buildings. In 2004 work began on a $93 million Towers at Channelside project, a mixed-use development of 260 residential units spread across twin 30-story towers.
Segment D of the $80 million 40th Street Corridor Enhancement Project was underway in early 2005. In five phases, the 40th Street project was created to enhance a 4.2 mile stretch of 40th Street, from Hillsborough Avenue north to Fowler Avenue. The $1.9 million Segment D phase consists of a new bridge and is to be completed in July 2005. Design plans for all phases of the project include roadway lighting, bike lanes, a drainage system, and landscaped medians.
In early 2005, talks began on a new Riverwalk project as part of an effort by Mayor Pam Iorio to revitalize Tampa's downtown. The project hopes to create more than two miles of walkway along the Hillsborough River. Another announcement in early 2005 was the state allocation of $283 million to provide direct truck access from the Port of Tampa to Interstate 4. Pending Florida Legislature approval in July of the same year, the state money would be available in 2009. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $414 million; the mile-long, six-lane connector will also be a tollway.
Tampa's health care facilities are also undergoing expansion and renovation. In 2004, work began on a $65 million, four-story addition to Tampa General Hospital, adding a 280,000 square foot emergency department and Level 1 trauma center. The completion of a $10 million addition to the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute vivarium and laboratory research facility is expected in 2005.
Economic Development Information: Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 420, Tampa, FL 33601. Office Address: 401 E. Jackson Street, 21st Floor, Tampa, FL 33602. Information Center, telephone (813) 276-9418 (call this number for relocation information or email [email protected]). Switchboard number (813)228-7777 or (800)298-2672.
Tampa's economy benefits greatly from its airport, where freight-hauling has been growing at a rate of 12 percent annually, the CSX railway system linking up with cities to the south and east, and nearby interstate and state highways providing convenient delivery and receiving routes for the eighteen motor freight lines operating in the city. Perhaps its greatest asset, however, is its port—the eleventh largest (by tonnage) in the country and the largest in the state of Florida—which handles more than 50 million tons of cargo annually.
The closest U.S. maritime center to the Panama Canal, the Port of Tampa serves as the gateway to Latin America. It is also home to one of the world's largest shrimp fleets and features modern shipbuilding and ship repair facilities. As the result of a federally-funded harbor-deepening project, super cargo ships have gained access to the port. International trade in Tampa got a boost from the year 2000 decision by the Tampa-Hillsborough International Affairs Commission to establish an office in the new Port of Tampa headquarters building. In 2005, a new cement terminal is scheduled to be completed, while the dredging of Big Bend Channel and the construction of a new general cargo warehouse will be started. The director is charged with establishing the Tampa metropolitan area as a center for international commerce and tourism for west central Florida.
Labor Force and Employment Outlook
The Committee of One Hundred's recruitment efforts resulted in the creation of more than 54,543 direct new jobs and capital investment exceeding $2.6 billion between 1991 and 2002; announced jobs in 2003 numbered 1,101 and capital investment of $11.6 million. From October 2003–2004, 21,100 jobs were created in the area, making the Tampa area the second fastest growing region in Florida in terms of new jobs and businesses.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area labor force, 2003 annual averages.
Size of nonagricultural labor force: 1,225,700
Number of workers employed in . . .
trade, transportation and utilities: 216,400
financial activities: 94,000
professional and business services: 296,700
education and health services: 142,800
leisure and hospitality: 108,100
other services: 48,200
Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $14.09 (2003 statewide average)
Unemployment rate: 3.5% (December 2004)
|Largest employers||Number of employees|
|Hillsborough County School District||21,426|
|MacDill Air Force Base||19,000|
|University of South Florida||12,477|
|Hillsborough County Government||10,886|
|Tampa International Airport||8,000|
|James A. Haley Veterans Hospital||5,900|
|St. Joseph's Hospital||5,242|
|J.P. Morgan Chase||5,237|
|City of Tampa||4,500|
|U.S. Postal Service||3,947|
Cost of Living
The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors for the Tampa area.
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $241,125
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 98.8 (U.S. average = 100.0)
State sales tax rate: 6.0% on most items
Local income tax rate: None
Local sales tax rate: 7.0% (the county lodging tax is 5.0%)
Property tax rate: Ranges from $23.7362 to $29.1403 per $1,000
TAMPA , city in Hillsborough County, located on the west coast of Florida on Tampa Bay. Tampa was graced by early Spanish explorers in the 16th century. It has its origin in 1824 when Fort Brooke was erected to keep watch on the Seminole Indians. Probably the first permanent Jewish settler in the area was Emmaline Quentz Miley in 1846, whose husband was a Scotsman whom she made sell his slaves before their marriage. They had 12 children; she died in Hillsborough County in 1907. With the arrival of Henry Plant and the South Florida Railroad in 1884, the discovery of vast deposits of phosphates, and the relocation of the cigar industry from Key West in 1886, Tampa became a center of growth. Glogowski, Maas, Kaunitz, Brash, Oppenheimer, Wolf, and Wohl are some of the Jewish families who settled during this boom period. Most lived in Ybor City and were active in commerce, a few in the cigar industry. Herman Glogowski, a Jew who served as mayor for four terms, officiated in 1888 at the cornerstone ceremony for the Tampa Bay Hotel that opened in 1891. Glogowski had emigrated from Germany and established a clothing store in Tampa by 1884. He became "permanent president" of the first congregation. In 1894, 31 men and women met in the home of M. Henry Cohen to organize Schaarai Zedek as an Orthodox congregation; a Torah was purchased for $75. Rabbi D. Jacobson became the first spiritual leader and Abe Maas was among the founders. The Maas family came from Germany in the 1880s. The first store of Abe and Isaac Maas in Tampa opened in 1886, marking the beginning of one of the largest department store chains in Florida that lasted 105 years. Morris Wolf of Germany immigrated to Tampa in 1895. He worked at Maas Brothers until 1898 when he left to open a custom clothing store that became Wolf Brothers in 1899; his brother, Fred, joined him. The Cuban War of Independence in 1898 brought prosperity to local businessmen. Relatives from Key West, Ocala, and Jacksonville gravitated to Tampa, many from Romanian background. Isadore Kaunitz who opened Blanco Clothing Store in 1891 in Ybor City first employed most Romanian Jews. The Rippa family emigrated from Romania to Key West, then to Tampa when the cigar industry declined in Key West, and opened their own cigar factory in Ybor City in 1904. German-born Henry Brash came with his family first to Marianna, fl, where in 1879 he was elected mayor (Florida's earliest known Jewish mayor). Henry married Sarah Zelnicker in 1888 and they settled in Tampa in 1894. He opened a haberdashery store and was a founder of Congregation Rodeph Sholom in 1903, when there was dissension between the Reform and Orthodox members of Schaarai Zedek. A 1902 lawsuit brought by the Orthodox faction of the congregation regarding "dirty tricks" used by the "Reformers" to take control of the congregation and the building resulted in Schaarai Zedek becoming Reform and a new Orthodox congregation, Rodeph Sholom. Sarah Brash organized the Tampa section of the National Council of Jewish Women in 1924. Max Argintar, another Romanian, arrived in Tampa in 1902, opened his store in 1908; son Sammy continued what was to be a 96-year-old operation in the same location.
By the end of World War i, Tampa's Jewish community was the second largest in the state, partly as a result of a dizzying real estate boom. Growth propelled the Jewish community to dedicate new synagogues, expand their synagogue school programs, and inaugurate youth clubs. Jews were active in civic affairs and held leadership positions. "Salty" Sol Fleischman, "The Dean of Florida's Sportscasters," got behind a microphone on radio wdae in 1928, wrote sports columns for the Tampa Tribune and went on television in 1957. He broadcast almost every sports event in the area for more than 50 years. With the advent of World War ii, Tampa's shipyards were reactivated and MacDill Air Force Base was established, as was Drew Field, now Tampa International Airport. Tampa's Jews patriotically joined the war effort. The Young Men's Hebrew Association had been started in 1906 and after the war, the ymha became the Jewish Community Center. Hadassah began and the Dictators Club was one of the Jewish fraternities in Tampa in the 1930s. It became the Tampa chapter of aza, a youth group of B'nai B'rith. Rabbi David L. Zielonka served Congregation Schaarai Zedek from 1930 to 1970. He and Clarence Darrow joined with other religious leaders in 1931 in an interfaith debate. When the University of Tampa opened in 1931, Rabbi Zielonka served on the faculty, and in 1963 he became head of the department of Religious Studies. B'nai B'rith Women began in the mid-1940s to work on projects to aid Israel and the local community. Post-World War ii development and migration from the north spurred growth in the Jewish community. During the 1950s and 1960s, civil rights led to intense debate within the Jewish community while Zionism received near unanimous support. The full impact of the Holocaust intensified educational programs in synagogue and organizational life. In 1958 Stanford and Millard Newman bought a cigar factory and actively participated in the resurgence in cigar manufacturing in the 1960s. Dr. Richard Hodes was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1966, where he served for 16 years and gave the nominating speech for Jimmy Carter at the Florida Democratic Convention in 1975. Attorney Harry N. Sandler served in the Florida legislature from 1932 to 1935 and was a sponsor of the Homestead Exemption Amendment. Appointed to the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court in 1935, he served until 1964. Sandra Warshaw Freedman entered politics in 1974 as a city councilwoman and became the chair in 1983. In 1986, Sandra Freedman was elected the first woman mayor of Tampa. Jerome Waterman played a major part in the growth of aviation in Tampa, was an associate of Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker in the formation of Eastern Airlines and wrote books and newspaper columns. The Tampa Jewish Welfare Federation served as the coordinating agency for charitable and philanthropic work in the Jewish community under the Tampa Jewish Community Council, which was formed in 1969. By the 1970s, the Jewish community dedicated new congregations (Beth Am, Kol Ami, Temple David, Jewish Congregation of Sun City Center, Chabad Lubavitch, and Young Israel), established Hillel Day School and built facilities for the elderly (Mary Walker Apartments, Jewish Towers, and Menorah Manor). A Fred Shochet publication, The Jewish Floridian, made its Tampa debut on April 6, 1979; the local editor was Judy Rosenkranz. Jews have remained in the forefront of political life and have rallied to support all civic and cultural causes. Frank Weaner sued the Ku Klux Klan in 1977. Helen Gordon served in the Florida Legislature beginning in 1974 both in the House and Senate. Ron Glickman won his first election in 1984 as a Hillsborough County commissioner, then was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1986. James Shimberg was inducted into the National Housing Hall of Fame in 1985. Native Tampa brothers Martin and Myron Uman have made significant contributions in science. Martin is an internationally known expert in lightning research at the University of Florida. Myron joined the National Research Council in 1975, and in 1986 was appointed executive director of the research panel advising nasa on the redesign of the shuttle's booster rockets. Growing up in Tampa in the 1930s, Elinor Rosenthal Ross advanced to stardom at the Metropolitan Opera in New York; among her famous performances was the lead in La Traviata in 1965. In 1984, J. Leonard Levy was chair of the Super Bowl xviii Task Force; in 1991 he served as co-chair of Super Bowl xxv. Malcolm Glazer, who owns the nfl team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in May 2005 purchased the world's largest soccer team, Manchester United, and has attracted to Tampa the 2009 Super Bowl. Many of the families who settled over a century ago have fourth generations living in Tampa. In the early 21st century the Jewish population was approximately 25,000 in a general population of about 330,000. In 1995 the Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Federation merged on the 21-acre campus that also houses the Weinberg Village Senior Residences. The Jewish Press of Tampa, established in 1985, is published in cooperation with the Jewish Federation. The community is growing and new congregations are forming in areas outside the core of the city. Current congregations include Schaarai Zedek (Reform), Rodeph Sholom (Conservative), Bais David (Orthodox), Bais Tefilah (Orthodox), Beth Am (Reform), Kol Ami (Conservative), and Young Israel (Orthodox). In operation are a Hillel at University of South Florida, two day schools, two mikva'ot, and branches of many national and Israeli organizations.
[Marcia Jo Zerivitz (2nd ed.)]
First Established Settlement Called Fort Brooke
When Spanish explorers first arrived in the Tampa Bay region in 1528, they encountered a native civilization that had flourished there for at least 3,500 years. Several different tribes dominated the Gulf Coast, including the Tocobaga, the Timucua, the Apalachee, and the Caloosa (also spelled Calusa). It was a Caloosa village called Tanpa (a name meaning "stick of fire") that eventually became known to the Spanish as Tampa. Annihilated by an onslaught of European diseases against which they had no immunity, the various Tampa Bay tribes had all but vanished by 1700. Raiding parties comprised of English colonists from the north and members of other Indian tribes destroyed the few remaining settlements. Desolate and uninhabited, the Tampa Bay region was held briefly by the British in the late 1700s, then once again became a Spanish possession after the American Revolution. In 1821, Spain ceded the Florida territory to the United States for $5 million.
By this time, northern Florida had become a haven for displaced Seminole Indians and runaway black slaves from nearby southern states. Because white settlers were eager to move into the region and grow cotton, the federal government decided to relocate the Indians further south, around Tampa Bay. A fort was established on the eastern shore of the Hillsborough River to house the soldiers sent there to keep an eye on the angry Seminoles. Erected in 1824 and named Fort Brooke (after the army colonel in command), it was the first permanent, modern settlement on the site of present-day Tampa.
Area's Economy Rollercoasters
The 1830s and 1840s were marked by repeated violent conflicts between the Seminoles and white soldiers and settlers. Although Tampa emerged from the so-called Second Seminole War (1835–1842) as a fledgling town rather than just a frontier outpost, it subsequently endured a variety of setbacks, including further skirmishes with the Seminoles, yellow fever epidemics, and, in 1848, a hurricane-generated tidal wave that leveled the village.
In the 1850s a rebuilt Tampa expanded, and by 1855 it had grown enough to incorporate as a city. After the Third Seminole War (1855–1858) saw most of the Indian population removed to Oklahoma, the town experienced a boom of sorts. An extremely lucrative beef trade with Cuba flourished, as did the related activities of shipping and shipbuilding. During and after the Civil War, however, Tampa, like much of the rest of the South, suffered economic ruin, compounded throughout the 1860s and 1870s by periodic outbreaks of yellow fever.
The 1880s ushered in a dramatic turnaround for the dying city—the discovery of rich phosphate deposits nearby and, more important, the coming of Henry Bradley Plant's Jacksonville, Tampa & Key West Railroad company. Potential new settlers streamed into the city in search of business opportunities. One of these was Cuban cigar manufacturer Vicente Martinez Ybor, who left Key West in 1885 to establish his operations in Tampa; within just a few years, cigars had become the city's trademark, as well as its chief industry.
The next fifty years were marked by continued economic growth for Tampa. At the turn of the century, subzero temperatures forced farmers in the northern part of the state to relocate farther south, Tampa became the new center for the expanding citrus industry. World War I led to a demand for ships that kept Tampa's docks humming with activity. During the early 1920s, land speculators and tourists from the North flocked to the state and gave rise to a building boom in Tampa and the surrounding area. Even after the rest of the Florida real estate market collapsed in 1926, Tampa managed to hold its own. But, like much of the rest of the country, Tampa suffered severe economic setbacks during the Depression of the 1930s. Its number-one industry, cigar manufacturing, went into a sharp decline as product demand decreased and more and more factories became automated; never again would cigar manufacturing figure as prominently in the city's economic makeup.
Downtown Experiences Decline and Rebirth
The growing American involvement in World War II proved to be the stimulus Tampa's paralyzed economy needed. Thousands of troops were stationed in and around the city, and government contracts again revived the shipbuilding industry. But in the 1950s and 1960s Tampa lost residents and businesses to the suburbs, and the downtown area quickly deteriorated. During the early 1970s, government and business united to revive the ailing downtown area and change Tampa's image. After a rocky and unfocused start in the 1960s, Tampa's urban renewal program emerged in the 1970s and 1980s as a carefully and professionally planned alternative to the earlier chaotic approach. Downtown soon became the site of new office buildings, stores, stadiums, convention centers, and condominiums, and the local economy flourished. The city and the surrounding region saw a boom in business expansions and relocations in the 1990s that is only picking up speed today. Today, Tampa proclaims itself a city "where the good life gets better every day"—an urban area on the threshold of changes that will assure it of a vital role in the country's future.
Historical Information: Tampa Bay History Center, 225 South Franklin Street, Tampa FL 33602-5329; telephone (813)228-0097
Tampa: Education and Research
Tampa: Education and Research
Elementary and Secondary Schools
Like all public schools in the state, the public elementary and secondary schools of Tampa are part of a county-wide district. The Hillsborough district, third largest in the state and tenth largest in the country, is administered by a nonpartisan, seven-member school board that appoints a superintendent.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Hillsborough County Public Schools as of the 2003–2004 school year.
Total enrollment: 175,454
Number of facilities
elementary schools: 130
junior high/middle schools: 42
senior high schools: 26
other: 20 charter schools
Student/teacher ratio: 16.7:1 average
Funding per pupil: $3,494
More than 120 private and parochial schools also operate in Hillsborough County. These range from institutions that stress achievement-oriented college preparatory courses to those that emphasize basic education combined with strict religious training.
Public Schools Information: Hillsborough County Public Schools, 901 E. Kennedy Blvd., PO Box 3408, Tampa, FL 33601-3408; telephone (813)272-4000
Colleges and Universities
Hillsborough County has five fully accredited institutions of higher learning: the University of South Florida (with more than 34,000 students), the University of Tampa, Tampa College, Florida College, and Hillsborough Community College. Also in Tampa are Education America–Tampa Technical Institute Campus, a two-year program, and ITT Technical Institute, primarily a two-year institution that also awards bachelor's degrees in electronics engineering technology. A four-year program is offered at International Academy of Merchandising and Design.
Libraries and Research Centers
In addition to its main branch in the downtown area (the John F. Germany Library), the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library system has 21 branches. Its collection numbers over four million books, plus numerous films, records, talking books, magazines, newspapers, maps, photographs, and art reproductions. Many of the systems libraries were undergoing refurbishment and expansion in the early 2000s; the new 15,000 square foot Upper Tampa Bay branch was dedicated in January 2005. Tampa also boasts more than 20 research centers, most of which are affiliated with the University of South Florida (USF) and are active in the fields of business, health care, and the development of high-technology equipment. USF's multimillion dollar public-private partnership with Lucent Technologies Inc. is part of a larger initiative through the 1-4 Technology Corridor, an initiative based on cooperative business and academic ventures from Pinellas to Brevard counties. Lucent agreed to donate millions of dollars in money and equipment to further local semiconductor research.
Public Library Information: John F. Germany Library, 900 N. Ashley, Tampa, FL 33602; telephone (813)273-3652; fax (813)272-5640
Tampa: Population Profile
Tampa: Population Profile
Metropolitan Area Residents
Percent change, 1990–2000: 15.9%
U.S. rank in 1990: 21st
U.S. rank in 2000: 20th
2003 estimate: 317,647
Percent change, 1990–2000: 8.1%
U.S. rank in 1990: 55th (State rank: 3rd)
U.S. rank in 2000: 57th (State rank: 3rd)
Density: 2,707.8 people per square mile (in 2000)
Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)
Black or African American: 79,118
American Indian and Alaska Native: 1,155
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 281
Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 58,522
Percent of residents born in state: 44.8% (2000)
Age characteristics (2000)
Population under 5 years old: 20,528
Population 5 to 9 years old: 21,843
Population 10 to 14 years old: 20,741
Population 15 to 19 years old: 20,628
Population 20 to 24 years old: 21,404
Population 25 to 34 years old: 47,967
Population 35 to 44 years old: 50,077
Population 45 to 54 years old: 38,470
Population 55 to 59 years old: 13,121
Population 60 to 64 years old: 10,715
Population 65 to 74 years old: 19,559
Population 75 to 84 years old: 13,890
Population 85 years and older: 4,504
Median age: 34.7 years
Total number: 8,125
Total number: 8,725 (Hillsborough County) (of which, 137 were infants under the age of 1 year)
Money income (1999)
Per capita income: $29,728 (2002)
Median household income: $34,415
Total households: 124,594
Number of households with income of . . .
less than $10,000: 16,582
$10,000 to $14,999: 9,866
$15,000 to $24,999: 18,838
$25,000 to $34,999: 17,835
$35,000 to $49,999: 20,206
$50,000 to $74,999: 19,671
$75,000 to $99,999: 8,457
$100,000 to $149,999: 6,760
$150,000 to $199,999: 2,586
$200,000 or more: 3,793
Percent of families below poverty level: 14.0% (51.7% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 35,380
Tampa: Geography and Climate
Tampa: Population Profile
Tampa: Municipal Government
Tampa: Education and Research
Tampa: Health Care
Tampa: Convention Facilities
The City in Brief
Founded: 1824 (incorporated 1887)
Head Official: Mayor Pam Iorio (NP) (since April 2003)
2003 estimate: 317,647
Percent change, 1990–2000: 8.1%
U.S. rank in 1990: 55th (State rank: 3rd)
U.S. rank in 2000: 57th (State rank: 3rd)
Metropolitan Area Population
Percent change, 1990–2000: 15.9%
U.S. rank in 1990: 21st
U.S. rank in 2000: 20th
Area: 112.1 square miles (2000)
Average Annual Temperature: 73.1° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 44.8 inches
Major Economic Sectors: wholesale and retail trade, services, government
Unemployment rate: 3.5% (December 2004)
Per Capita Income: $29,728 (2002)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 35,380
Major Colleges and Universities: University of South Florida, University of Tampa, St. Petersburg College
Daily Newspaper: Tampa Tribune; St. Petersburg Times
Approaching the City
The Tampa International Airport (TIA), a modern facility 12 miles from downtown, was designed to be an optimally user-friendly origin-and-destination airport. It was the first airport in the country to use a people-mover system to transport passengers from remote buildings to terminals. It has been rated "Best Airport in the U.S." by Conde Nast Traveller magazine. A second, smaller facility, the Peter O. Knight Airport, is located on Davis Islands. It serves Tampa's general aviation traffic and executive aircraft and even has a seaplane basin and ramp. Charters and flight instruction are also available.
Florida law requires that drivers must turn on their headlights when rain is heavy enough to use windshield wipers. Tampa's rush hours can be very congested. The major direct routes are Interstate 75 from the north or south (which becomes Interstate 275 as it passes through the city), Interstate 4 from the northeast (which merges with Interstate 275 downtown), State Road 60 from the southeast, and U.S. Highway 41 (a coastal road also known as the Tamiami Trail) from the south. U.S. Highways 41 and 301 roughly parallel Interstate 75 on the west and east, respectively.
Passenger rail service to Tampa is also available from Amtrak's Seaboard Coast Line trains.
Traveling in the City
Allowing for constraints imposed by certain geographic features, Tampa is laid out in a basic grid pattern. Florida Avenue divides east from west, and John F. Kennedy Boulevard and Frank Adamo Drive (State Road 60) divide north from south.
Tampa's mass transit system is primarily bus-based and operated by the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit authority or, as it is more commonly known, HARTline. An express bus service links Hillsborough County with neighboring Pinellas County.
The TECO Line, an historic electric streetcar line, connects downtown Tampa with Ybor City, stopping at Tampa Convention Center, St. Pete Times Forum, the Channelside area, Port of Tampa cruise terminals and The Florida Aquarium.
Newspapers and Magazines
Tampa's major daily newspaper is The Tampa Tribune, a morning publication. Residents also read the St. Petersburg Times. Tampa's magazine that focuses on lifestyles, local events, shopping, dining, books, films, and entertainment is Tampa Bay Magazine.
Television and Radio
Tampa has eight television stations, six commercial and two public. Other stations serve the area from the nearby towns of Largo and St. Petersburg. Additional stations are available via cable. Twelve AM and FM radio stations are based in Tampa, ten commercial and two public. Approximately forty other radio stations serve the metropolitan area from nearby locations.
Media Information: The Tampa Tribune, 200 S. Parker St., Box 191, Tampa, FL 33601; telephone (813)259-7711; email [email protected]
Central Florida Development Council. Available www.cfdc.org
Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. Available www.tampachamber.com
Hillsborough County Public Schools. Available apps.sdhc.k12.fl.us
Tampa Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau. Available www.gotampa.com
Tampa Bay Library Consortium. Available snoopy.tblc.lib.fl.us
Tampa Tribune. Available www.tampatrib.com
Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System. Available www.thpl.org
Miller, Bill and Mary Fallon Miller, Tampa Triangle Dead Zone (St. Petersburg, Fla.: Ticket to Adventure, c1997)