Downtown Partnership and USF History Dept. Team Up to Host Historic Tours
Tampa, FL (April 4, 2013) – What do the mob, shopping, soldiers and diversity have in common? These are four subjects that hold a place in historic Downtown Tampa. And they will be the themes for Tampa Downtown Partnership’s Do the Local Motion FREE guided walk tours this month. The Partnership collaborated with USF History Department graduate students to offer this series of historic tours. These students researched the historic information, developed the tour talking points, and will serve as the actual tour guides for their final project.
Tours Schedule and Description
All tours begin at Lykes Gaslight Square Park, 410, N. Franklin
Tampa’s Illicit Past
Friday, April 5, 12noon to 1pm
Shades of ‘The Sopranos’ – Tampa style – mob bosses and crime lords, corrupt political and law enforcement officials, and a flourishing illicit economy of drugs, sex, gambling and laundered money. The tour will take you to illicit sites of old, including brothels, gambling parlors and even City Hall. Learn about Charlie Wall and his three decades as undisputed king of Tampa’s underworld!
Mid-Century Shopping on Franklin Street
Friday, April 12, 12noon to 1pm; and 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Step back in time to the 1950s, before the advent of the shopping malls and big box stores, when Franklin Street teemed with a mix of department stores, specialty shops and throngs of shoppers. Learn about Maas Brothers, Kress, Woolworth, Schwobilt, and Grant’s as you tour Franklin Street and learn about the social, economic and cultural reasons for the transitions of Franklin Street.
In the Line of Duty
Friday, April 19, 12noon to 1pm
Downtown is abundant with memorials for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the military or civic service. Visit the various monuments, and learn about the story they tell. Frontier Tampa
Friday, April 26, 12noon to 1pm
As a crossroad of trade routes and empires, Tampa’s rich, yet sometimes exploitive history, brought together a diversity of people of various races, ethnicity and class. Visit sites of Ft. Brooke, Native American mounds, saloons, an opera house, and more to learn about the everyday experiences of real-life pioneers.
Quotes from USF and Tampa Downtown Partnership
“This collaborative effort with Tampa Downtown Partnership gives our history graduate students a valuable training opportunity. The research and development process allows them to use their skills as historians to reveal often ignored aspects of Tampa’s downtown and provides them with a valuable learning experience that acts as a resume builder that will help to give them a competitive edge in the job market.” Barbara Berglund, Ph.D., Associate Professor & Associate Chair, Department of History, University of South Florida
“We have relished the opportunity to work with this group of bright, ambitious USF history students. Their research for these four dynamic tours provides an added level of credibility to our Do the Local Motion walking program.” Christine Burdick, President, Tampa Downtown Partnership
Do the Local Motion, brought to you by Tampa Downtown Partnership, offers an entertaining, educational platform about the many interesting facets of Downtown Tampa, while realizing the wellness benefits of outdoor activity – walking. In other words, Do The Local Motion is a free program that combines fitness with culture and community. Regularly scheduled tours are offered every other Friday at 12noon from October through May.
The Tampa Downtown Partnership (TDP) is a private, membership based not-for-profit 501(c)6 comprised of companies, organizations and individuals with a common goal of advancing Tampa’s Downtown. Through an annual contract with the City of Tampa, the TDP administers the Special Services District. In addition to Tampa’s Downtown Guides and Clean Team, the TDP serves downtown through marketing, business development, transportation, advocacy, planning and beautification. For more information, visit www.tampasdowntown.com.