1. Business

Historic Tampa home that once showcased Princess Diana's dresses is on the market for $2.9 million

The historic Anderson-Frank House in Tampa’s Hyde Park is on the market for $2.9 million. (Courtesy of Tomlin St. Cyr)
Published Jul. 5

TAMPA — It is one of Tampa's most eye-catching houses, a stately red Victorian seen by thousands of motorists a day heading to Davis Islands or Bayshore Boulevard.

The Anderson-Frank House, built in 1901 and on the National Register of Historic Places, has served as a Red Cross shelter, a ladies' club, a showcase for Princess Diana's gowns and most recently, a combination residence and law office.

"I greatly admired it,'' says Ellen Fiss, who is in public relations at Tampa General Hospital, "and it was my dream to own it as I passed to and from my job at TGH.''

In 2015, Fiss and husband, lawyer Herbert Fiss, bought the 7,078-square-foot, 14-room Hyde Park home. They've decided to downsize now so it is on the market for $2.9 million.

The house sits on three-quarters of an acre on Plant Avenue a half block from Bayshore Boulevard. James B. Anderson, a Methodist minister-turned prominent Tampa business leader, bought the property in 1894 and hired Miller and Kennard, the architectural firm that also designed the Belleview-Biltmore Hotel, Tampa's Floridan Hotel, El Centro Español de Tampa and Hillsborough High School.

READ MORE: Once destined for the wrecking ball, the Belleview Biltmore is reborn as an elegant boutique hotel

Craftsmen took three years to build the house. Made of red brick with contrasting black tinted mortar, it features a grand stairway, 12-foot ceilings, nine fireplaces, eight crystal chandeliers, five bedrooms, three full bathrooms, a ballroom and a wraparound porch. A large, oak-shaded fountain is in the backyard.

After Anderson died in 1936, the house passed to his wife and then to his daughters, who lived there until 1972. Four years later, Judge Richard H. Frank and his wife, Patricia, bought and restored it. (She went on to serve in the Florida House of Representatives and is currently Hillsborough County's clerk of court. )

In addition to Richard Frank's law office, the house also has been home to other law firms, an advertising agency and the membership-only club Marcelina. Its owner, Maureen Rorech Dunkel, kept part of her collection of Princess Diana dresses in the ballroom.

"We've hosted some really nice parties and fundraisers and so have all the previous owners,'' Fiss said. "A business owner could house their company and have their own events and not have to rent space for their Christmas party.'' Other possible uses include a restaurant or boutique hotel since the house, zoned residential/commercial, has a commercial kitchen and paved parking lot that can accommodate more than 20 vehicles.

Fiss said the house had a "great view'' of Hillsborough Bay until the 345 Bayshore condo tower was built nearby 20 years ago. But, she added, "you can still see glimpses of the bay, the Gasparilla parade from some of the windows and an awesome view of downtown.''

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate.


  1. Alexandra Toigo, 32 and Sabrina Pourghassem, 23, pose for a photo at Hofbrauhaus St. Petersburg holding their signature beer mugs during Oktoberfest 2018. "LUIS SANTANA  |  TIMES"  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The beer hall’s property owners filed a lawsuit saying the restaurant missed its rent starting in August.
  2. Port Tampa Bay on Tuesday agreed to sell a half-acre it owns near the Florida Aquarium for $4.7 million to Streams Capital of Tampa, which is looking at building a 33-story condominium and hotel tower. RICHARD DANIELSON | Times
    The buyer, Streams Capital of Tampa, is looking at building a 33-story tower with a hotel, condominiums and retail.
  3. [RON BORRESEN  |  Times].
    The deadline is Friday to submit your employer’s name for consideration.
  4. The developers of The Heights say they have reached an agreement with Marriott International to include a 153-room Marriott Moxy Hotel on the first seven floors of a 25-story apartment tower planned on the block two blocks east of the Armature Works. The Heights District
    Plans call for a 153-room hotel that will occupy the first seven floors within a new, mixed-use, 25-story tower.
  5. Judge Caryl E. Delano, chief judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the middle district of Florida Caryl E. Delano
    Caryl E. Delano will serve four years as chief judge of one of the nation’s busiest bankruptcy courts.
  6. A page from the Medicare Handbook focuses on Medicare Advantage plans, which have become increasingly popular in recent years. Medicare's open enrollment period for 2020 begins Oct. 15 and lasts through Dec. 7. PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS  |  AP
    New benefits are giving an extra boost to Medicare Advantage, the already popular alternative to traditional Medicare.
  7. A citrus grove in eastern Hillsborough County. [Times (2017)]
    The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture is predicting a 3.3 percent increase for the struggling industry.
  8. Gas prices may go up as much as 5 cents this week, AAA, The Auto Club Group, said. Pictured is a man filling up at a gas station in St. Petersburg in 2017. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times  (2017)] SHADD, DIRK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Gas dropped 10 cents on average in Tampa Bay last week and 6 cents on average in Florida.
  9. Artist Danny Acosta completes re-lettering  of the Southernmost Point in the Continental U.S.A. marker in Key West after much of the paint was stripped off in Hurricane Irma in 2017. [Florida Keys News Bureau via the Associated Press]
    Less than 10 percent of U.S. counties are "vacation home'' counties.
  10. The Maple Street Biscuit Company opened in April on the 600 block of Central Avenue. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
    The popular Jacksonville biscuit shop has recently opened a handful of Tampa Bay locations.