Take a step back in time at Tampa's Plant Museum

By: VISIT FLORIDA staff

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One of the more incongruous sights you're likely ever to see is the Moorish onion domes of the Henry B. Plant Museum in Tampa's skyline. Now a part of the University of Tampa campus, the building was even more exceptional when it opened as a 511-room hotel in 1891. At that time, it was the city's only building with electric lights, telephones and an elevator. Plant, a railroad and shipping magnate, had to build his own a generator plant on the hotel grounds to supply the building with power. In an age before tourists discovered Florida, Plant selected the unusual architecture for its exotic appeal to globetrotting Victorian travelers. Today, the building houses historical exhibits as well as the magnificent furnishings and beautiful artwork Plant and his wife selected for the hotel during their European travels.

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