Saturday, August 22, 2009
Homes of Tampa's Hyde Park: Leiman House in the Prairie School Style of Architecture
Hilda, one of my loyal followers, has a wonderful blog, My Manila, all about her spectacular country, the Philippines. (You must visit her!) She read my post yesterday at Tampa Florida Photo about Tampa's Hyde Park neighborhood, a U.S. National Historic District. I showed a night view of the fountain and shopping district, Hyde Park Village, and mentioned some of the nice restaurants nearby. Hilda suggested showing some of the homes that I mentioned, that include a wide variety of architectural styles. The 860 acre district includes 1,695 structures built between 1879-1933. The oldest and best preserved of Tampa's early neighborhoods, it is a fascinating and even eclectic mix of homes, shops, schools, churches and even apartment buildings.
It's tough to decide, but I think this is my favorite of all of the homes. The Henry Leiman House - many of the homes retain the names of either their first owners or the name that is most closely associated with ownership - is an outstanding example of the Prairie School style of architecture made famous by Frank Lloyd Wright. The home was built in 1916 and was designed by architect M. Leo Elliott. Located at 716 South Newport Avenue, at the corner with West Inman Avenue, it is an imposing structure incorporating all of the elements most closely associated with the Prairie School. Wright's style was said to be a " horizontal extension of the prairie, an integration of building and site, with cantilevered eaves and terraces with planters flowed into open spaces centered about massive fireplaces. Horizontal bands of windows, contrasting horizontal trim, low roof pitch, and geometric details were distinctive features."
Mr. Leiman, who entertained often in the home, was the owner of Tampa Cigar Box Company, a necessary and very lucrative enterprise when Tampa's factories were making tens of millions of cigars each year and shipping them in boxes throughout the world. He cultivated and used trees from his own acreage in Ybor City and on the Hillsborough River to manufacture the boxes. The house shows just how well Mr. Leiman could afford to live. The house is two stories, stucco over frame construction, with almost 6,000 square feet of space. Walls cover and enclose the raised front terrace patio. The closeup above left shows the main entrance into the terrace and a trompe l'oeil mural on the wall. (Note the fountain and the dog peeking out at guests who enter.)
Over the next several days I will post more homes here and at Tampa Florida Photo. (I hope the skies will cooperate and go back to their typical blinding clear blue.) My next post at TFP will feature the Morrison House, built in 1879, the oldest house in Hyde Park.
Go to Tampa Florida Photo HERE to see the oldest home in Hyde Park, the Morrison Home.