Thursday, April 16, 2009
This view is from Plant Park on the Hillsborough River. The giant lizard on the side of the Franklin Exchange building is a project of the Outdoor Arts Foundation, which is responsible for other artwork and creative installations throughout the Tampa Bay area. The most amazing and and relatively unknown structure in Tampa is in the foreground, the amphitheater built as part of Kiley Park. Completed in 1988 by architect Harry Wolf and landscape architect Dan Kiley, the park is located between Ashley Drive and the riverfront. The new Tampa Museum of Art is being built just north. Geometry tied the park to the cylindrical office tower building beside it. (An architect will tell you that the tower's fenestration pattern was based on the application of the proportional system of Fibonacci numbers.) Palm trees crossed the site and an intricate pattern of grass, paving stones and water features completed the site. A masterpiece according to its admirers. The amphitheater is currently under restoration along with Kiley Park, all part of the city's new arts district and Tampa Museum of Art. Rowing teams from all over the country come each year to compete against the University of Tampa. The walls and bridges along the riverfront are festooned with the colors and symbols of the visiting college teams.