Downtown Tampa 1956
Johnny

Sarasota, FL

#1 Sep 24, 2008
This is one of many scenes available at the Tampa Public Library taken by the Burgert Brothers during the 1950s. This photo captured neon sign work completed by my Grandfather along Franklin Street, who owned a Neon Sign Company in Tampa from 1947-1963. He did most neon work in Downtown and Seminole Heights.

“I am happy”

Since: Jul 08

St. Petersburg, FL

#2 Sep 25, 2008
Not to mention the 1950s style car. Antique car enthusiasts are going to love this old picture of Tampa's rich and diverse history. See ya at work, John
Tampan

Clearwater, FL

#3 Sep 25, 2008
That is so cool your grandfather did all that neon! I grew up in Seminole Heights during the 60's and 70's.

Mid-century Modern is my favorite style. Although Florida doesn't have any Eichler homes, it has the Sarasota School of Architecture with a number of buildings (both residential and public) still standing.
Johnny

Sarasota, FL

#4 Sep 28, 2008
Hello Tampan - that is neat! I grew up also in Sem Hts during the early 70s and was lucky enough to remember some landmarks, like the Sulphur Springs Arcade - it was still standing when I was a kid...you will love the book I am writing. It will have over 200 pictures of Tampa from 1950-1969. All of them were taken by my family.

“I am happy”

Since: Jul 08

St. Petersburg, FL

#6 Sep 28, 2008
Rochesterian wrote:
<quoted text>
Hey Johnny!
do you have any 1950s Tampa Bay pics that coincide with the following:
(1955) The CIA conducts a biological warfare experiment in the Tampa Bay area in Florida with agents withdrawn from an Army CBW center. A sharp rise in whooping cough (Pertussis) cases occurs, including 12 deaths, following the test.
http://www.relfe.com/history_2.html
Actually, Johnny has something more. His father and grandfather built Tampa from the ground up through their introduction of neon sign work and various other pieces. The signs of the Florida Hotel and the Tampa Theater were done by his parents.

He actually has a book coming out and his specialty is more in line with landscape and architecture, not politics.

You may ask why or how I know this. Well, I happen to know him personally and have worked with him at the same company for over a year and a half.

Now, I only think you are trying to promote problems, but that seems to be your gambit.
Donna Jean

Tarpon Springs, FL

#7 Sep 28, 2008
StevenFL wrote:
<quoted text>
Actually, Johnny has something more. His father and grandfather built Tampa from the ground up through their introduction of neon sign work and various other pieces. The signs of the Florida Hotel and the Tampa Theater were done by his parents.
He actually has a book coming out and his specialty is more in line with landscape and architecture, not politics.
You may ask why or how I know this. Well, I happen to know him personally and have worked with him at the same company for over a year and a half.
Now, I only think you are trying to promote problems, but that seems to be your gambit.
Since when are posting actual historical events akin to promoting problems? I like history. History is not always a pleasant thing, but it provides one thing your stupid posts do not. TRUTH.

“I am happy”

Since: Jul 08

St. Petersburg, FL

#8 Sep 29, 2008
Donna Jean wrote:
<quoted text>
Since when are posting actual historical events akin to promoting problems? I like history. History is not always a pleasant thing, but it provides one thing your stupid posts do not. TRUTH.
You have a serious problem. You are obviously sipping the sauce when you are posting. This is the third thread you have interjected yourself into. Furthermore, this discussion has nothing to do with the other thread. Move along or get reported. Your choice.
Tampan

Clearwater, FL

#9 Sep 29, 2008
Johnny wrote:
Hello Tampan - that is neat! I grew up also in Sem Hts during the early 70s and was lucky enough to remember some landmarks, like the Sulphur Springs Arcade - it was still standing when I was a kid...you will love the book I am writing. It will have over 200 pictures of Tampa from 1950-1969. All of them were taken by my family.
Hi! I actually saw part of the demolition of the Arcade; we were on our way home late one night and stopped for a bit to watch. I remember when you could actually swim in Sulfur Springs :)

That is wonderful that you are compiling those photos into a book! Particularly, since we are losing so many interesting old buildings and landmarks.

“I am happy”

Since: Jul 08

St. Petersburg, FL

#10 Sep 29, 2008
Tampan wrote:
<quoted text>
Hi! I actually saw part of the demolition of the Arcade; we were on our way home late one night and stopped for a bit to watch. I remember when you could actually swim in Sulfur Springs :)
That is wonderful that you are compiling those photos into a book! Particularly, since we are losing so many interesting old buildings and landmarks.
Back on topic, how wonderful that can be. Are they still going to keep the Kress building? I know that my partner's mother used to work there in 50s and 60s.
Johnny

Sarasota, FL

#11 Sep 29, 2008
Hello friend - no sorry, the only photos I have are of neon signs. Neon reached it's glory during the 1950s as folks fell in love with their cars and neon signs lit up the highways of Tampa!
Tampan

Clearwater, FL

#12 Sep 30, 2008
StevenFL wrote:
<quoted text>
Back on topic, how wonderful that can be. Are they still going to keep the Kress building? I know that my partner's mother used to work there in 50s and 60s.
I think they were trying to preserve the Kess building - it's on the Historic Register.

Here is the reference to the article I read a couple of weeks ago in the Tribune about the building:
City Urged To Fix Kress Building
Tampa Tribune - Tampa, Fla.
Author: CHRISTIAN M WADE
Date: Sep 11, 2008
Start Page: 2
Section: METRO
Text Word Count: 327

I checked the City Council transcripts and there is no current mention of the Kress building. The City Clerk has a link for searching transcripts, you can click on "Closed Captioning Meeting Transcripts" at the website below.

http://www.tampagov.net/dept_City_Clerk/

The building is currently owned by Kress Square II LLC (Hillsborough county property Appraiser: http://www.hcpafl.org/www/index.shtml ).

I believe I read in the article above that the owners were going to preserve the facade of the building and demo the rest. But, it really looks like it is going to be lost due to "demolition by neglect." Same goes for the sad, old Floridan Hotel.
justme

Tampa, FL

#13 Sep 30, 2008
you're just plain nuts
Rochesterian wrote:
<quoted text>
Hey Johnny!
do you have any 1950s Tampa Bay pics that coincide with the following:
(1955) The CIA conducts a biological warfare experiment in the Tampa Bay area in Florida with agents withdrawn from an Army CBW center. A sharp rise in whooping cough (Pertussis) cases occurs, including 12 deaths, following the test.
http://www.relfe.com/history_2.html
ALAN RICE

Brandon, FL

#14 Aug 31, 2009
I grew up in Tampa in the 40's & 50's. I am very familiar with the Tampa and Florida theatre signs. The picture taken above is looking North on Franklin st. I worked for Johnny Greco at the Big Barn supermarket (later to become Kash & Karry)in 1940 and had Saturday afternoon off> generally I would head for the Florida Theater for a matinee. As I recall it was about 50 cents for the ticket, popcorn and a candy bar.
ALAN RICE

Brandon, FL

#15 Aug 31, 2009
I noticed a typo after I posted the above comment. The date should have been 1950 instead of 1940. The first Big Barn was not opened until 1947 in a barn on East Broadway and 47th St.
Sylvia Coffield

Fort Walton Beach, FL

#16 Jun 7, 2010
This picture is so familiar. Doctor's, lawyers, dentists, etc. had offices in the buildings along Franklin Street. They had their names in gold on their doors. My uncle, Ernest Ramirez, did most of the work for those professional people. He also painted the sign for Jackson Grain. When my husband and I were dating we often went to the Tampa theatre. I also remember my Mother and I going to a sneak preview at the Palace. The movie that night was "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers." My mother NEVER would be seen downtown without hat, gloves and stockings.
Smileypeach

Middletown, NY

#17 Jul 28, 2011
Hello! I am searching for information on the old Peninsular Telephone Company and anyone that worked there in about 1955 or 1956. I seem to remember that a Mr. Jones was one of the executives and they lived on one of the islands around the Tampa area. There was also a "Miss Smith" my mother often spoke of in reference to her days at Pen Tel.

Please feel free to email me with any information you are willing to share or if you know someone that might be able to! [email protected]

Thank you in advance!
LIsa

Plant City, FL

#18 Oct 1, 2012
Alan Rice,

If you are still watching this board I would love to correspond with you. I am researching the Greco family.
ALAN RICE wrote:
I noticed a typo after I posted the above comment. The date should have been 1950 instead of 1940. The first Big Barn was not opened until 1947 in a barn on East Broadway and 47th St.
steveen

Rome, Italy

#19 May 5, 2013
anyone knows in which Tampa's hotel, Elvis slept on august 5/6, 1956?????
thanks for the info..
steve

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