Advertisement
  1. News

Roof at Weeki Wachee mermaid theater to be returned to its original look

Wooden shingles will be removed from the roof of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, home of the mermaids. After renovations, it will resemble a “glowing white seashell.”
Published Jul. 10, 2014

WEEKI WACHEE — The underwater theater at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is set to undergo a major renovation this summer, returning its roof to the original look that helped entice motorists to the roadside mermaid attraction from the 1950s to the 1970s.

The Florida Division of Recreation and Parks will remove the wooden shingles that have long graced the theater and expose the original concrete barrel vaults that were designed to resemble a giant seashell.

"We're excited about it going back to its original form," said park spokesman John Athanason. "It does represent Old Florida."

The project is expected to cost about $120,000.

Athanason said the clamshell or seashell look is a better representation of the attraction and its historic charm than the existing roof, which is leaking in some places and was in need of repair. He said it will capture the eyes of those who pass by on U.S. 19, just like it did when the theater was originally built in the 1950s.

"It's going to say, 'That's where the mermaids perform,' " he said.

The wooden shingles have covered the theater's roof since 1974 in an attempt to match the park's South Pacific theme. Park officials originally were planning to replace the shingles, but that changed during the planning process.

"They decided that the historic seashell treasure hiding beneath the wooden roof was simply too special to continue to obstruct it from public view," according to a news release from the attraction.

After removing the shingles, workers will install a new, fluid-applied membrane over the exiting barrel vaults.

Contact Danny Valentine at dvalentine@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1432. Follow @HernandoTimes.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Nicole Kristine Gaskins, 45, died Monday in a single-car crash on I-275. The Wesley Chapel woman was a mother of two. Jeanne Eror
    Nicole Kristine Gaskins, 45, died Monday when her car drifted off of Interstate 275 and crashed.
  2. FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2017, file photo, death row inmate Rodney Reed waves to his family in the Bastrop County District Court in Bastrop,  Reed is facing lethal injection for a murder he says he didn't commit. The execution was called into question by lawmakers, pastors, celebrities and the European Union. RICARDO BRAZZIELL  |  AP
    The 51-year-old had been set for lethal injection Wednesday evening for the 1996 killing of 19-year-old Stacey Stites.
  3. Discussing sex education on Nov. 15 in Tampa are Christian conservative Terry Kemple, university health services coordinator Linsey Grove, Planned Parenthood outreach educator Paola Ferst and Hillsborough schools physical education and health supervisor Ashlee Cappucci. Not shown: County PTA Council President Damaris Allen. MARLENE SOKOL
    Lessons seek to strengthen students’ communication skills so they can make informed decisions.
  4. Henry "Shake" Washington is running for Hillsborough County School Board for the second time since 2018.
  5. Forensic Science investigators with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office collect evidence at the scene of the shooting behind the Walmart Neighborhood Market, 6900 US Hwy 19 N, in Pinellas Park, on Friday, November 15, 2019. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The victim was a Walmart employee. He was on break at the time of the shooting.
  6. FILE - In this Aug. 1, 2019, file photo, Donald Trump Jr. speaks before the arrival of President Donald Trump at a campaign rally at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File) JOHN MINCHILLO  |  AP
    University of Florida student body president Michael Murphy received a resolution for his impeachment Tuesday. Then the state’s Republican Party started an online petition and fundraiser.
  7. Jeremy Guerrero, 31, was arrested on charges of DUI manslaughter and driving with a license suspended or revoked involving death, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. He's accused of being impaired by methamphetamines when troopers said he caused a crash on Interstate 75 that killed a woman early Friday. Florida Highway Patrol
    The 31-year-old driver faces a charge of DUI manslaughter after causing the crash that killed a 57-year-old woman, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
  8. The $3 billion Water Street project is slated to be complete by 2026 or 2027. How affordable will it be? SHADD, DIRK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    A project executive ticked off many ways the $3 billion project will alter Tampa, but a Cafe con Tampa audience wanted details on what it will cost to live there
  9. A total of 131 employees are scheduled to be laid off in January as Locale Market and Farm Table Cucina close at the Sundial to make way for a new food hall created by the developers of the Heights Public Market at the Armature Works in Tampa. CHRIS URSO   |   TIMES
    In a notice to the state of Florida, Sundial owner Bill Edwards said the layoffs are expected to take place the first week of January.
  10. Investigators say Traci Hudson stole more than $500,000 from a man she had guardianship over.
    Traci Hudson, 51, spent the money on personal purchases ranging from utilities to jewelry to Tampa Bay Buccaneers tickets.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement