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Seminole Heights

Authentic Florida Living

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 of Americans.

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.

Then and Now

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!


Area Schools

Hillsborough High

Wikipedia Article
Cited by Newsweek as one of the top high schools in the nation!
Just a few blocks away!

Memorial Middle

Seminole Elementary
Only two blocks away!

Hillsborough County Public Schools

Follow this link to locate area public and private schools, kindergartens and day care.

Area Churches

Many denominations worship in and around Seminole Heights.

Follow this link to find one for you.


Area Parks

Lowry Park Zoo
Rated by Child Magazine as the number one family-friendly zoo in the U.S.

MacDugal Park

Rowlett Park

Epps Park

Henry and Ola Playground


Neighborhood Associations

Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association

Southeast Seminole Heights Civic Association

Business Guild of Seminole Heights

South Seminole Heights Civic Association


Neighborhood Blogs

Seminole Heights

Tommy in Old Seminole Heights

Party Like It's 1925

My Seminole Heights

Seminole Heights Eats!

Life in Seminole Heights

Florida Food Hound


Area Gems

Bo's Ice Cream
From 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!

Bungalow Bistro
Local pride and dedication to community are hallmarks of this favorite neighborhood eatery - not to mention the great food!

Cappys Pizza
Long a South Tampa fixture, now there's a Cappy's in the hood!
Read more about it in the St. Petersburg Times.

El Taconazo
"The Taco Bus"
The 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
Local 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
A 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! Really!

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?

Yummy House
St. Petersburg Times review
Yummy indeed! Fresh authentic home-style Chinese like it used to be before buffets! Do not miss it!

Phoenix Glass Studio
Award-winning artist, Susan Gott works her molten magic in cast and blown glass!

WMNF 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

$164,900.00 O.B.O.

Chris and Brian Roys
Tampa, FL