The Plant Museum: On the Road with Dr. Libby O’Connell
Posted on: May 08, 2012
The Plant Museum: On the Road with Dr. Libby O’Connell

Editor’s note: This summer we will be “On the Road” with our friends from History.  We are grateful to Dr. Libby O’Connell and her team for sharing their expertise and knowledge with us about Florida history.  Please enjoy the above video and learning more about The Plant Museum.

Henry B. Plant built a luxury hotel modeled on a fantastic Moorish palace, and called it the Tampa Bay Hotel.

In the late 1800’s, at a time when most Americans lived without electricity or indoor plumbing, Plant outfitted each room with running water, electric power, and even a telephone. People flocked here for the glamour, and Plant made millions on his new concept: the destination resort.

Today the hotel is a fascinating museum on the campus of the University of Tampa.

Have you visited The Plant Museum? Do you have questions about the historic location or about Henry B. Plant?

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Dr. Libby O'Connell
Dr. Libby O'Connell

(6) Readers Comments
  1. This is really interesting- never knew the story behind this hotel! I plan to take my parents to visit next time they are in town. Can’t wait to see more!

    • Rachel, I was amazed too when I researched Henry Plant . He was determined to make the hotel what today we would call a “destination resort.” Clearly ahead of his time!

  2. It is good to learn the history of our area and how it applies to current times.

  3. I hope we get some teachers viewing this because local history can be a lot of fun for young students.

  4. I recently visited Plant’s Tampa Bay Hotel and was so pleased to see that it had been preserved. It honors a time period in American history that includes the Spanish American War. Much of the invasion of Cuba and Puerto Rico originated from this hotel. Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders were here. More personally, my Great Uncle was here with the D.C. National Guard. The hotel is a living history lesson. Mike U. Kennebunkport, Maine

  5. Mike – Thanks for your interesting post. So glad you like the Tampa Bay Hotel and its amazing story. Your personal connection via your great uncle makes it really special. That kind of link to the past adds to your perspective I think. Libby

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