Tuesday, July 17, 2018
News Roundup

Pirates are centerpiece of new Tampa Bay History Center expansion

TAMPA — With an NFL team named Buccaneers and a parade, film, music and art festival named for fictitious marauder Jose Gaspar, Tampa is known for its love of all things pirate.

Now, the Tampa Bay History Center is getting in on the act.

"We surveyed our audience for what else they would like to see," said C.J. Roberts, the history center's CEO. "They answered pirates, pirates, pirates. So, that is what they'll get."

In January, construction will begin on an 8,500-square-foot addition to the third story of the 60,000 square-foot history center. It will increase the center's exhibit area by about a third.

When complete in late 2017, the new space will feature stories of real-life sea raiders through a permanent display, "Treasure Seekers: Conquistadors, Pirates & Shipwrecks."

The centerpiece of a 4,300-square-foot gallery hosting the exhibit will be a replica of a small, fast pirate sloop — still 60 feet stem to stern — that visitors can explore inside and out. It will include real buccaneer artifacts like cannons and an interactive theater where visitors can choose a swashbuckler-themed adventure game.

"In addition to adding on to the building, this expands the stories we can tell," said Rodney Kite-Powell, curator of the history center.

Current permanent exhibits focus on Tampa Bay — American Indians and the cigar industry, for example.

Pirates span the Caribbean.

"What we have now tells Tampa stories," Kite-Powell said. "Now we will be telling Florida stories."

Furthering this expanded mission is another part of the addition — the 1,400-square-foot, Touchton Map Library/Florida Center for Cartographic Education. The center will have 18,000 maps at its disposal, plotting state history to the 15th century.

Among lessons to be learned from a map are early trade and treasure routes and sites of American Indian villages.

"In the 1500s through 1800s, not a lot of people had been to Florida," said Tom Touchton, the cartographic center's namesake. "Maps served to educate people about this place called Florida. It was a way to convey information."

Touchton, 78, was a founding member of the history center board and led the $52 million capital campaign to build, open and endow the center.

Now he is donating his personal collection of 6,000 maps — the oldest from 1493.

The history center already has a collection of 2,000 maps, and the University of South Florida will provide access to more than 10,000 maps in its collection.

The cartographic center will be the ninth of its kind in the United States, the first in the Southeast, and may be home to the largest collection of Florida maps in the world, CEO Roberts said.

Also part of the expansion will be a veranda overlooking Port Tampa Bay, classrooms, map storage and a research center that can be used by students in kindergarten through college.

Total cost of the expansion is $11 million. Half already has been raised through private contributions and government grants, including $350,000 from Hillsborough County. Roberts expects two-thirds of the cost will be paid from the private sector and one-third from government grants.

Currently, the history center has 17,000 square feet of gallery space for permanent exhibits on the second floor and 2,500 square feet on the third floor for travelling exhibits. When the history center was designed, the rest of the third floor was kept as an empty roof for future expansion.

The history center currently attracts 100,000 visitors a year. The addition could push that number to as high as 150,000, Roberts said.

Contact Paul Guzzo at [email protected] or (813) 226-3394. Follow @PGuzzoTimes.

     
Comments
First look (with video): Universalís new high-tech fountain shows ends the night at the theme park

First look (with video): Universalís new high-tech fountain shows ends the night at the theme park

Times Staff WriterVisitors to Universal Studios in Orlando on Monday night got to witness the premiere of the new high-tech, dancing-fountain, cinematic show to end the day in the park in what the showís creator called "a kiss goodnight." Itís full o...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
The Daystarter: Race-baiter claims self-defense; Florida Republicans blast Trumpís performance; catching up with All-Star Blake Snell

The Daystarter: Race-baiter claims self-defense; Florida Republicans blast Trumpís performance; catching up with All-Star Blake Snell

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.ē There is a 40 to 50 percent chance of rain today, with storms expected to start along the coast in the morning before moving inland, according to the National Weather Service. High te...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Hillsborough to train school resource officers during active shooter exercise

Hillsborough to train school resource officers during active shooter exercise

DOVER ó With the start of classes nearly three weeks away, Hillsborough County school resource officers will receive extensive active shooter training Tuesday morning to prepare them in the event of another school tragedy.Members of the Hillsborough ...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Tampa Bay Timesí all-Tampa Bay baseball team

Tampa Bay Timesí all-Tampa Bay baseball team

North Suncoast Player of the Year: J.P. Gates, Sr., Nature CoastGates changes games. Even when he was not pitching, he was still in the middle of the lineup and playing first base. He was pitched to carefully but still had good power numbers. "H...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Artwork of Holocaust survivor Toby Knobel Fluek gets permanent home in St. Petersburg museum

Artwork of Holocaust survivor Toby Knobel Fluek gets permanent home in St. Petersburg museum

ST. PETERSBURG ó She wasnít ready to get rid of her momís most valuable possessions when she buried her in 2011.It wasnít until last year that she could actually start contemplating it. Thatís when she finally searched "Holocaust museums" on Google. ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay business: This is what Prime Day is like as an Amazon seller

Tampa Bay business: This is what Prime Day is like as an Amazon seller

Amazon doesn’t even give its sellers a headsup on which July day the mega online retailer is selecting for its biggest sale of the year, Prime Day. But out of her natural sponges workshop in Tarpon Springs, Theo Prodromitis knew to start getti...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Jimbo Fisher is out-recruiting Willie Taggart and Dan Mullen (so far)

Jimbo Fisher is out-recruiting Willie Taggart and Dan Mullen (so far)

ATLANTA — We don't yet know how well Jimbo Fisher will do in his first season at Texas A&M. What we do know already is that he's recruiting at a very high level in College Station.Which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who followed hi...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Another hip hotel in St. Pete? Uptown residents like the idea, but fret about parking.

Another hip hotel in St. Pete? Uptown residents like the idea, but fret about parking.

ST. PETERSBURG ó In the past few years, Michael Andoniades has turned two faded hotels ó the Hollander and the Avalon ó into two of St. Petersburgís trendiest, most popular lodgings. So it is with mixed feelings that residents of the cityís Historic ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Wesley Chapel luxury car market to add BMW

Wesley Chapel luxury car market to add BMW

WESLEY CHAPEL ó The race for luxury car buyers in Wesley Chapel has a new entrant. BMW plans to open a showroom at State Road 56 and Mansfield Boulevard in the Wiregrass Ranch development.Preliminary plans filed with Pasco County by Spring Engineerin...
Published: 07/17/18

New student address verification rules on tap for Pasco schools

Pasco County parents have demanded for more than two years that their school district make sure students are not lying about their addresses. Theyíve done so in hopes it might alleviate the need to change attendance zones at crowded schools.They migh...
Published: 07/17/18