I recently posted two examples of architectural styles that can be found in the Hyde Park Historic District. Prairie School style, made famous by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, was selected for the Leiman House on South Newport, built in 1916. Just down the street toward Hillsborough Bay is the Morrison House, a late 19th-century Italianate Revival design, the oldest home in the district, built in 1879. Both are real architectural treasures in the district. This house, boldly emblazoned on the side of a box truck, is the Hutchinson House, listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places. Built by Currie Hutchinson in 1908, it is an excellent example of Second Empire Revival style architecture. Renovated in 1976, it has served several owners and uses over its lifetime and at one time was even a fraternity house for students of the nearby University of Tampa. It was sold for office use and today is home to a law firm. The truck sits in their parking lot, right up close to the busy intersection of Platt Street and Plant Avenue. Theirs is not the only law firm in Tampa to utilize big box trucks for rolling (or stationary) billboards, but this is the only one that put a piece of Tampa's architectural history and heritage to work as a marketing tool. The house might as well be walking up and down the street dangling sandwich boards from its brick fireplaces and shouting the name of the firm to passing motorists.
It seems like an odd way to recognize and celebrate the architectural jewel that serves as one's offices, but I guess some in the legal profession need more then just reputation and referrals. And if the box truck doesn't work, they could always buy a 16-wheeled semi and emblazon it with the house and Second Empire furniture. Yep, that's probably the next tactical step in the marketing plan. I took a photo of the house itself so you can compare the two. The house must have been a real eye-stopper in it heyday. If you like the period mansard roof, then the design is spectacular. (Yes, the version of the house on the side of the truck does has every light on and the landscaping is a bit better.)