NEW SITE FOR TAMPA BAY HISTORY CENTER-Andrew Stelzer

12/06/04

The Tampa bay history center will soon have a new home. WMNFs Andrew Stelzer has more.

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Currently the Tampa bay History center sits on South Franklin Street, in the shadow in a freeway overpass. But today city and county officials signed an interlocal land agreement to for a new site for the center, along the Hillsborough River in Cotanchobee-Fort Brooke Park.

ACT-Iorio “I don’t think any community can be great unless it understands its history..this is a significant assets of Tampa….�

Mayor Pam Iorio said that the idea originally was launched when she was on the county commission. The city of Tampa is providing the land for the new center.

ACT-Iorio “Now if we were a community with no history, no big deal, but we have a very interesting history….

The center is scheduled to open near the channel district within 5 years, a river walk will connect it to a Children's Museum a new Tampa Museum of Art, and Performing Arts Center. The Tampa Bay History Center will open near the Channel District, and a river walk connecting all four sites will be constructed. County commissioner Jim Norman says that it took him awhile to warm up to the idea, because he is more enthusiastic about sporting facilities than cultural institutions.

ACT--Norman ‘Hillsborough county didn’t come along easily because we didn’t want…the leaders said we will create an endowment. They made us a believer..thats why we are supporting this project…I was one of the ones who said this facility is too large….�

The history center will be located on the site where the city was originally founded, and will feature Tampa’s history dating back 12,000 year, when the first native Americans inhabited the area, continuing to the first Europeans whoa arrived in 1521, and onto the modern era, including Ybor city. Former county commissioner Jan Platt started the process of establishing the cultural center, when she was on the commission

ACT-Platt “I thought that this project was history itself, we will come a long way, partnership between the city the county and others..�

WMNF asked Commissioner Norman how he could reassure citizens that this history center wont end up like the Tamp Art Museum, with fundraising problems and continual delays of the building and opening date.

ACT- “What the county did was make sure the got an endowment…to guarantee�

For more information about the Tampa Bay history center, log onto tampabayhistorycenter.org

For WMNF news, I’m Andrew Stelzer

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