Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Influential Tampa architect's drawings now at Tampa Bay History Center

Carastro & Associates recently found hundreds M. Leo Elliott’s original drawings. Elliott’s designs include old Tampa City Hall.

EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN | Times

Carastro & Associates recently found hundreds M. Leo Elliott’s original drawings. Elliott’s designs include old Tampa City Hall.

TAMPA — Thousands of drawings by an influential Tampa architect once thought lost will have a permanent home.

Cardboard tubes containing architectural renderings by M. Leo Elliott were discovered in a South Tampa attic about a month ago.

The work could take years and still needs funding, but a partnership between the Tampa Bay History Center and the USF School of Architecture and Community Design could eventually have the drawings available for researchers, architects, history buffs and anyone else interested in looking at them.

"We are at the very beginning of all of this," said Rodney Kite-Powell, curator at the Tampa Bay History Center, where the drawings were recently moved.

The drawings will be digitally archived into a searchable online database. The physical plans will be stored in large, flat envelopes at the history center.

The papers show the original intent of the buildings, which might otherwise have been lost through renovation and refurbishing. Because of the volume of drawings, they also show an evolution in building design and construction, Kite-Powell said.

The drawings were discovered after being kept for about 20 years in a consulting firm's attic.

A former partner of Elliott's apparently got them while collecting old plans for GTE, which later became Verizon. The GTE plans were part of a large collection that wound up at Carastro & Associates. The tubes sat there until the company had work done on its air-conditioning system recently.

Elliott, who died in 1967, designed old Tampa City Hall, the Centro Asturiano, the Tampa Yacht Club and Bryan Elementary School. He also designed many South Tampa, Bayshore and Davis Islands homes, including the Leiman-Wilson house in the Hyde Park Historic District.

Trent Green, an associate professor of architecture at USF, said it is important to preserve Elliott's work.

"This is rare to have this much documentation," Green said. "It appears that he was very meticulous in recording his projects." An aged filing card system filled with hundreds of yellowed cards attempts to catalog the drawings.

"A lot of times, this kind of work gets thrown out because people don't realize it's a resource for the next generation to study and learn from," Green said.

Jared Leone can be reached at (813) 226-3435 or jleone@sptimes.com.

Influential Tampa architect's drawings now at Tampa Bay History Center 09/14/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 11:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Estimated 5,000 people marvel at MOSI over solar eclipse

    Human Interest

    Packing pinhole cereal box viewers, cardboard glasses and curiosity, solar gawkers gathered outside Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry on Monday for a show that required no ticket.

    At center, Sophia Butter, 8, and Kristina Butera, both of Valrico, watch the sun through eclipse viewing glasses during a solar eclipse party Monday at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa. MOSI will reopen after renovations on November 18. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]
  2. Florida State sees plenty of upside in Dade City native Jacob Pugh

    College

    TALLAHASSEE — No, Florida State senior Jacob Pugh is not as versatile as teammate Derwin James.

     Florida State Seminoles linebacker Jacob Pugh (16) and Florida State Seminoles defensive end DeMarcus Walker (44) celebrate after sacking the Miami quarterback Saturday October 8, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
  3. Tampa officer treated for knee injury after police truck, police SUV collide

    Accidents

    Times staff

    TAMPA — A Tampa police officer was treated and released for a knee injury after an unmarked police truck collided with his patrol SUV while following a stolen car, a police spokesman said.

  4. Waiting for the eclipse: 'Everyone thinks this is cool'

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Hunter Holland came to school Monday with a NASA space T-shirt and solar viewers in his button-up shirt pocket. But he'd rather be in Missouri.

    Jayda Hebert (front, center), 11, uses her protective glasses to watch Monday's solar eclipse with her cousin, Judah Adams (back left), 11, and her brother Jake Hebert (right), 9, while with their family at St. Petersburg Beach. "We're skipping school for the eclipse," her mom, Sarah Hebert, said. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  5. Second person resigns from Hillsborough diversity council after Confederate activist appointed

    Blogs

    TAMPA — A second person has resigned symbolically from the Hillsborough County Diversity Advisory Council after the appointment of a known activist of Confederate causes to the panel. 

    Two people have resigned from the Hillsborough County Diversity Advisory Council after the inclusion of David McCallister, a leader of the local branch of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.