Thursday, June 21, 2018
News Roundup

Take a stroll through historic Oldsmar

OLDSMAR — A funny thing happened while Gabby McGee worked on a historic district designation for downtown Oldsmar.

"I fell in love with the history of the city," said the 27-year-old City Council member and owner of a 1918 Craftsman bungalow.

She's inviting the community to do the same.

On Sunday, McGee will narrate a walking tour to showcase the history and architecture of downtown Oldsmar. The tour begins at 10 a.m. at 101 State St., where the Oldsmar Historical Society and the City Council chambers are headquartered.

The recently restored structure, built in 1918, boasts an Italian white glazed brick façade. It's the only building in the state with such an exterior, according to McGee, and, "the oldest commercial building still standing in Oldsmar."

Inside, visitors will view an assortment of early artifacts, including a mammoth's molar found in Oldsmar. Old photos and renderings detail the city's early beginnings, when founding father and inventor of the Oldsmobile Ransom Eli Olds decided to turn the untamed land at the top of Tampa Bay into a community for the working man.

The tour is free, but donations are encouraged as this walk — one of several McGee leads during the cooler months — will benefit the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life and the Oldsmar Historical Society. It will cover a four-block radius and is expected to last an hour and a half.

Walkers will pass homes that once sheltered the city's first mayor, one of the first teachers, the president of the Oldsmar Bank, and Louis London, brother of author Jack London (who wrote Call of the Wild).

One residence on Jefferson Avenue housed the city's original white grammar school; a 1918 frame vernacular building on Exeter Street is home to the Woman's Club of Oldsmar.

Tour participants will learn that Olds designed the wide city streets to be like the spokes of a wheel, leading from downtown to the bay, where a 1,000-foot pier stretched into the waters. A casino was a popular place back then.

Three homes will be open for viewing during Sunday's tour: two 1918 R.E. Olds Farms Company bungalows and the largest historical home in the city, a 1920s pink Mediterranean.

McGee has been working to get the area designated as a National Historic District for a couple of years now, filling out forms, taking photos of contributing structures, writing summaries and plotting out structures on a map.

It's a labor of love. She says a historic district will provide official recognition to the community, raise property values, and provide access to potential tax incentives and grants. Once a historic district nomination is sent to the State Preservation Office, it can take up to another year before it results in a final designation, she said.

     
 
Comments
WTR Pool and Grille brings ‘fun dining’ pool party scene to Tampa

WTR Pool and Grille brings ‘fun dining’ pool party scene to Tampa

Mike Piper has traveled to Las Vegas and Miami and enjoyed the fun, daytime, party pool scene that the two cities have to offer.Now he aims to bring that same atmosphere to Tampa with a new dining and hang out spot. WTR Pool & Grill opened on Sunday ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Grace Family Church gives thrift stores an upgrade in South Tampa

Grace Family Church gives thrift stores an upgrade in South Tampa

A new resale store has made its way to South Tampa. Grace Family Church recently opened Vintage Etc., to provide affordable, quality merchandise to the community and continue its outreach to help families in need in a loving Christian environment. "W...
Updated: 1 hour ago
2.4 million Floridians expected to travel for Fourth of July

2.4 million Floridians expected to travel for Fourth of July

Summer has officially started and so have summer travel plans. About 2.4 million Floridians are expected to travel for the Fourth of July holiday weekend, up 6.3 percent from last year, according to AAA, The Auto Club Group."We are already seeing a b...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Taylor Morrison builds in Wesley Chapel

Taylor Morrison builds in Wesley Chapel

Taylor Morrison will build a new subdivision off of Boyette Road between Wesley Chapel Boulevard and Overpass Road.The builder and developer recently broke ground on Chapel Chase, set on approximately 40 acres just north of New Tampa in Pasco County....
Updated: 1 hour ago
Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

TAMPA — Two of the city’s hottest developers — the groups behind Ulele and the Armature Works — are heading to court over an old city building that sits between the hit eateries.Both want to redevelop the city’s former office of cable communications ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top 5 at noon: Is Chronister the right man at the right time?; Luke Bryan chats ahead of his Tampa show; and more

Top 5 at noon: Is Chronister the right man at the right time?; Luke Bryan chats ahead of his Tampa show; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.NEW SHERIFF WON OVER THOSE IN POWER. THE VOTERS? THEY DON’T GET A SAYRepublican Chad Chronister was appointed Hillsborough’s top cop after 26 years with the office. Is he the right man at the ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Grain and Berry Cafe to bring its healthy menu to USF area

Grain and Berry Cafe to bring its healthy menu to USF area

Grain & Berry Cafe opened in Palm Harbor, and now the healthy eatery is rapidly expanding throughout the Tampa Bay area.The healthy eatery opened a new location on E Fowler Ave near the University of South Florida in May, just 10 months after opening...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Weeki Wachee man arrested after search warrant turns up drugs, thousands of vape cartridges

Weeki Wachee man arrested after search warrant turns up drugs, thousands of vape cartridges

A Weeki Wachee man faces drug charges after deputies said a search of his home Wednesday turned up nearly three pounds of marijuana, more than three pounds of hashish wax and more than 3,000 hashish oil cartridges for vape pens.Devin Alexander Volkes...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rick Stroud weighs in on report about possible Jameis Winston suspension

Rick Stroud weighs in on report about possible Jameis Winston suspension

Tampa Bay Times beat reporter Rick Stroud isn't buying an ESPN radio report that any suspension levied against Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston by the NFL would stem from Winston's failure to report an alleged incident between him and a female Ub...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Missed time a good mental reset for Rays’ Matt Duffy

Missed time a good mental reset for Rays’ Matt Duffy

ST. PETERSBURG — Missing all of 2017 might have been the absolute worst thing for Matt Duffy.Frustratingly idled as he eventually recovered and rehabbed from ongoing left heel issues, he couldn't play the game he loved, couldn't show the Rays o...
Updated: 1 hour ago