Urban Neighborhoods: Tampa's Hyde Park

June 8, 2012 9 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Metro Jacksonville takes a visit to Tampa's version of Jacksonville's Riverside/Avondale: Hyde Park

Hyde Park is one of the largest and most cohesive collections of early 20th century residential architecture in the United States. The buildings in Historic Hyde Park generally date from 1900 to 1930, and encompass a wide variety of architectural styles.  Historic Hyde Park, particularly the area west of Rome Ave, has a large concentration of bungalow type homes.

Bungalow Terrace in 1984.

The area is supported and advocated for by the Historic Hyde Park Neighborhood Association (HHPNA for short), which acts more like a civic alliance than the typical neighborhood organization by protecting the historic integrity of the area, establishing and maintaining the various community recreational facilities, and providing a social realm for theresidents to interact with one another (Historic Hyde Park Neighborhood Association). The association, which consists of roughly 125 dues-paying households, is governed by a board of eight to ten members, many of which were crucial in the gathering of research for this paper. This executive board has been a driving force in improving the status and wellbeing of the area.
http://www.ehydepark.org/images/designs/usf study hyde park 2009.pdf

Southern Crosstown Expressway in 1976.

The Lee Roy Selmon Expressway, originally known as the Southern Crosstown Expressway now cuts off Hyde Park from the University of Tampa and downtown.  Built in stages between 1976 and 1987, the expressway was supposed to be part of a multi-expressway system that failed in the 1970s due to heavy local opposition and financial burdens.

Hyde Park Village

Hyde Park Village is an upscale open-air shopping district located in the neighborhood of Hyde Park in Tampa, Florida, United States. Owned by Madison Marquette, the center is situated in several buildings located between Swann and Rome Avenues, just a few blocks east of the SoHo district. Some of the top retailers include Anthropologie and Williams-Sonoma. However, a majority of the tenants are high-end independent boutiques. In addition to the shops, the district also features many restaurants which are among the best-reviewed in the city. In October 2009 a Cobb Theatres "CineBistro" opened in the center, combining a movie theatre with upscale dining.

Hyde Park Village in 1967.

The area where Old Hyde Park Village is today was originally called Cork Ave. Dakota Ave., Cork Ave., and Inman Ave. all intersected near where the British pay phone sits today. The only portion left of Cork Ave. today is called Snow Ave.


SoHo Tampa, short for "South Howard Avenue," is an entertainment district within the Hyde Park neighborhood of Tampa. Some of the main cross streets are Kennedy Boulevard (SoHo's starting point), Cleveland Street, Platt Street and Swann Avenue. The area has some of the finest examples of architecture in the city surrounding it. The sublet is within walking distance of Bayshore Boulevard where it terminates two miles later. The much praised Bern's Steak House is located in the district. Other high-end restaurants and nightlife venues are located here as well. Other offerings are high-end locally-owned clothing boutiques, art galleries, dessert cafes, and Starbucks. One of only three Publix GreenWise Markets is located in the district also. As of 2009, small companies have sprung up utilizing NEVs to shuttle clubgoers between core neighborhoods including SoHo and Channelside. Also in 2009 a small park dedicated to Bern Laxer, late founder of Bern's Steakhouse, opened at the southern part of the district. At the center of the park is the "Three Graces" sculpture and a lighted fountain that is the first in Tampa to use reclaimed water.

2011 aerial of Hyde Park.  The red lines represent of the route of former streetcar lines through the streetcar suburb.

Hyde Park is located adjacent to the University of Tampa and Downtown. Roughly, the boundaries of the neighborhood include the Hillsborough Bay to the east, Kennedy Blvd to the north, historic and picturesque Bayshore Boulevard to the east and south, and Armenia Avenue to the west. Major thoroughfares within the historical district include Kennedy Boulevard, Bayshore Boulevard, Lee Roy Selmon Expressway (Florida State Route 618), Howard Avenue, and Swann Avenue.

Article and images by Ennis Davis.  Historic images courtesy of Florida State Archives.

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