Tampa Bay’s brisk evolution from military backwater to metropolis by the sea has meant rapid change at every corner, but some places from the past are still standing, reborn for the new age.
Bryan Glazer Family Jewish Community Center
522 N. Howard Ave.
Fort Homer W. Hesterly Armory was an art deco icon of old Tampa. A celebrated venue for wrestling matches, concerts and major events, it had fallen into disuse for decades. In 2016, plans were made to transform the building into the Bryan Glazer Family Jewish Community Center. As a landmark on the National Register of Historic Places, every renovation had to respect the existing structure. “We thought it was going to be plenty big [as is], but it really wasn’t,” says Sol Fleischman, founder, chairman and CEO of the FleischmanGarcia architecture firm. A Tampa native, Fleischman says one of his favorite aspects of the redesign was missing from the building when they took over. “Growing up, there was a steel vase on the top of the building. At night it was lit up, and it was really a beacon of West Tampa that disappeared years ago. We replicated the vase’s proportions and the same design and had it internally lit. It was really special to bring that back to complete the building.”
153 2nd Ave. N., St. Petersburg
Long before it was called that, customers would say “meet me at the Sundial.” The owners of the outdoor, two-story shopping facility once called Baywalk, and later the Shops at St. Pete, envisioned the dining-retail-entertainment plaza as a community hub for people across Tampa Bay. As the now-Sundial approaches its 20th year, the architecture firm Harvard Jolly has made that vision at long last a reality. “Baywalk had a building right in the front of that courtyard, and it really turned its back to the street and the city,” says Robert Cusick, vice president of Harvard Jolly. “What the owner wanted to do was open that back up to the city and invite people to come in. We wanted to turn the outdoor spaces into activity spaces where people could congregate and hang out.” The Mediterranean Revival-design surrounding the Sundial’s enormous eponymous fountain has been updated to a Florida Modern style, with open breezeways and plenty of shade to enjoy the day.
Founder, chairman and CEO of FleischmanGarcia, with 45 years of experience in planning and architectural design
Has served as vice president of Harvard Jolly Architecture since 2007 and has nearly 35 years of experience with architecture firms across the country