HYDE PARK — Visitors on the Old Hyde Park Home Tour will see five early-20th century bungalows, all built between 1912 and 1928, all within a few blocks of a high-tech, 21st-century mansion built to look 100 years old.
How many neighborhoods can offer that historical context?
Rounding out Sunday’s (Dec. 3) line-up, is one of Tampa’s oldest buildings, the Old Hyde Park Art Center, built as a two-room schoolhouse in 1899.
"In the tour’s 15-plus year, this is the first opportunity to add the art center with its great and deep history," said Chandra Henthorne, Hyde Park Preservation, Inc. fundraising co-chair.
"We designate one street so participants don’t have to walk a long way," she said. "This year’s it’s a short block of S Fielding Avenue and the art center is right at the end facing Swann Avenue."
The sixth residence, at 821 Bayshore Boulevard, puts a modern spin on the tour, with four bedrooms and four bathrooms in nearly 5,000-sq. ft. of living space. Just five years old, the design elegantly echoes the neighborhood in its prime.
Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 purchased at the start of the tour. Proceeds will be used for Hyde Park community projects such as maintaining historic street signs and lamp posts and upgrades to neighborhood parks.
"We encourage people to come park in the Village and enjoy the Sunday market prior to walking the tour," added Henthrone.
The little wooden building that houses the art center was originally located at 705 DeLeon Street, built to hold classes until the Hyde Park Grammar School opened in October 1903. Parents later adapted it for use as a lunchroom, the first in the county.
And that grammar school continues to educate students today, by the way, expanded and known since 1914 as John B. Gorrie Elementary.
In 1936, the city turned the former lunchroom into a branch of the public library and moved it to 705 Swann Avenue where it sits today. The Tampa Regional Artists took it over in 1969, buying and rehabbing it to serve as the Old Hyde Park Art Center.
"It is typical of what would have been a civic building at the turn of the century," said Kathy Durdin, board president of the arts group. "The original swivel entrance doors remain with bronze hardware including a lock plate with the Tampa city seal such as you will find in city council chambers."
Durdin is excited the opening of the art exhibit "La Esperanza" coincides with the tour. The group will donate 50 percent of the exhibition sales of paintings, prints, sculptures and other submissions from bay area artists to a children’s hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Contact Amy Scherzer at [email protected]