Bungalow. The very word conjures memories of home
and hearth, comfort and security. With good reason,
for at the turn of the century, the bungalow brought
the dream of home ownership within reach of millions
As a response to the ostentatious, overbuilt, over-embellished
Victorian era "painted ladies," the bungalow
is the embodiment of the Arts and Crafts or "Craftsman"
aesthetic. This movement emphasized simplicity,
honesty and integrity, both as a design philosophy
and as a way of life. The modest size of the bungalow
proved sufficient for young families and "empty
nesters" who had no need for numerous bedrooms,
large entertaining halls or servants' quarters.
While amenities such as generous interior molding,
built-in cabinetry, innovative use of materials
and architectural details and three-color exterior
paint pallets designed to blend with and compliment
the native surroundings, provided for pride of ownership
and gracious living.
Fostering an appreciation of nature, the Craftsman
bungalow was built and furnished to harmonize with
its natural surroundings while providing a secure
environment. The single-story structure with verandas
for outdoor entertainment and overhanging eaves
and multiple windows providing shade and cross-ventilation,
are especially suited to Florida's warm climate
and year-round outdoor lifestyle. Adaptability being
a key component of the Arts and Crafts design philosophy,
elements of the native Cracker-style were blended
together, producing a uniquely Florida dwelling.
Established in 1911, the neighborhood of Seminole
Heights was developed during the
Florida boom times. Just north
of Seminole Heights, Sulphur Springs drew notables
and working-class alike to enjoy the exotic sub-tropical
climate and pristine waters bubbling from the ground
and into the Hillsborough River. When the trolley
line was extended from downtown Tampa, allowing
locals easy access to the cool spring, it wasn't
long before developers saw opportunity in the land
along the trolley corridor.
With innovations in transportation allowing folks
for the first time to live beyond the urban centers,
the suburbs embraced a more relaxed lifestyle and
a small town sense of community. Neighborhoods were
laid out in a manner that provided opportunities
for friendly encounters. Reverse and repeat lot
plans placed neighboring driveways side-by-side,
large front porches provided shade and cooling breezes
in the days before air conditioning, and relatively
shallow set backs and sidewalks allowed homeowners
to chat with neighbors who were taking their evening
stroll. Streets lined with oaks invited residents
to enjoy a short walk to neighborhood small businesses
for their groceries or a hair cut. Nearby schools
and church's provided a safe environment favorable
to family life.
With so much to offer, is it any surprise that
Seminole Heights is alive and vibrant today? After
the neighborhood was sliced in two by I-275, there
were a couple of slow decades. Then, houses that
had been in the same family for generations began
coming on the market, and young families and professionals
discovered they could have that small town atmosphere
with all the resources and opportunity of a city
close at hand.
The springs are still there, along with a lovely
park and public swimming pool and the old gazebo,
often used for concerts. Now I-275 is not unlike
the old trolley line, providing fast convenient
access to all that Tampa Bay and Central Florida
have to offer. Downtown, the Westshore Business
District, the University of South Florida and Busch
Gardens, just to name a few, are all only minutes
from the area. Not to mention, the Gulf Beaches
and Orlando not much more than an hour away. At
the same time, real estate values have risen as
savvy folks looking for a more secure and quiet
lifestyle discover they just don't make 'em like
this anymore, providing a hedge against falling
values even in this tough real estate market. Houses
are being remodeled and returned to their former
glory, and "preserved" banners are springing
up around nearly every corner.
The infusion of energy and enthusiasm over the
last two decades has brought with it a host of new
small businesses, interesting restaurants and cafes,
antique shops, art galleries and clothing boutiques
are creating a unique and exciting neighborhood
business district. Starbucks is a recent addition
to the area, and is a popular meeting place for
planning and socializing nearly round the clock.
Residents are taking an active role in shaping
the future through politics as well as many volunteer
civic and social organizations. Their efforts have
resulted in the addition of a period-friendly sound
abatement wall and green space being added to the
project to widen Hillsborough Avenue, and the declaration
of two area Historic Districts being declared at
the state and federal levels.
The Garden Club is a center of neighborhood life
as folks chat about their candidates while walking
to the polls and holiday pot-luck dinners bring
neighbors together prior to their family gatherings.
The annual Homes Tour as well as Floating "Porch
Parties" are neighborhood favorites, and coordinating
all these exciting activities and events is managed
with the help of many web sites and bulletin boards
chronicling the area. Just Google "Seminole
Heights" and see what I mean.
This is authentic Florida living as it was in the
days before cookie-cutter subdivisions and chain
restaurants. With all this excitement and opportunity,
and with interest rates at historic lows, there
is no time like the present to grab your piece of
the American Dream in an authentic Florida Bungalow
in Seminole Heights!
Cited by Newsweek as one of the top high schools
in the nation!
Just a few blocks away!
Only two blocks away!
County Public Schools
this link to locate area public and private schools,
kindergartens and day care.
Many denominations worship in and around Seminole
this link to find one for you.
Rated by Child Magazine as the number one family-friendly
zoo in the U.S.
and Ola Playground
Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association
Seminole Heights Civic Association
Guild of Seminole Heights
Seminole Heights Civic Association
in Old Seminole Heights
Like It's 1925
in Seminole Heights
Bo's Ice Cream
a local's photo blog
Helping Tampa beat the heat with satisfying ice
cream treats for over a half century!
Try the peanut butter shakes! Yum!
Local pride and dedication to community are hallmarks
of this favorite neighborhood eatery - not to mention
the great food!
Long a South Tampa fixture, now there's a Cappy's
in the hood!
more about it in the St. Petersburg Times.
"The Taco Bus"
emphasis is on the food, not having a web site,
so get the 411 from this area blogster fan!
Tampa foodies in the know swear by this freshly
prepared and oh-so-not-a-corporate-chain Mexican
place with a school bus for a kitchen!
Mauricio Faedo's Bakery
CBS new affiliate, TV10 article
Specializing in fresh, hot Cuban bread round the
clock! Now that's Tampa!
Nicko's Fine Foods
4603 N. Florida Avenue
Tampa Blog article
A favorite all day breakfast spot also serving Greek
and American lunch and dinner fare. It's an authentic
steel American diner, and Elvis used to eat here!
OK, it's a chain, but it's Starbucks,
and it's open 24/7. All the local movers and shakers
meet up here. Need I say more?
Petersburg Times review
Yummy indeed! Fresh authentic home-style Chinese
like it used to be before buffets! Do not miss it!
Award-winning artist, Susan Gott works her molten
magic in cast and blown glass!
88.5 Community Radio
The voice of the hood and a real treasure for great
music, alternative news and grass-roots activism!
Learn more about Tampa