Tampa City Hall
Constructed in 1915 and expanded to include an annex in 1916, this ten-story building features a central tower composed of seven stories that extend from the three-story base. The structure features an eclectic design incorporating elements of the Renaissance Revival, Beaux-Arts, and Commercial architectural styles. The entrance is flanked by Doric columns, while the poured concrete structure is covered by masonry, stone, and terra cotta exterior features. City Hall was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
Known for its "layer cake" appearance, Tampa City Hall was built in 1915 and was the work of architecture firm Bonfoey and Elliot.
Backstory and Context
Prior to the construction of the building, this was the location of a home owned by pioneer merchant Imboden Stalnaker that was built in 1842. He bought it in 1914 but it soon came under threat of demolition to make way for the new city hall. Stalnaker used the proceeds of the property sale to move the house to 3210 8th Ave where it remains today; it is the oldest home in Tampa. The city hired noted architecture firm Bonfoey and Elliot, which designed other buildings in downtown Tampa including the YMCA and the Masonic Temple. City Hall is considered the firm's finest work. It has been likened to a layer cake given its distinctive design.
The clock in the central tower, which was named "Hortense the Beautiful," was not part of the original design. Funding for the clock was made possible by a donation drive led by daughter of a prominent doctor, who formed a group called "Ye Town Criers" to raise money for it. They did not collect enough but a local jewelry company donated the rest of the money.
Greer, Diane D. "Tampa City Hall." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. October 1, 1974. https://npgallery.nps.gov/AssetDetail/NRIS/74000639.
"Historic Tampa City Hall." Center for Architecture and Design, Tampa Bay. Accessed October 29, 2016. http://tourtampabayarchitecture.com/page_9-html.
"Tampa City Hall, 315 East Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL." Library of Congress. Accessed November 26, 2023. https://loc.gov/pictures/item/fl0299.