- Description: View of buildings downtown including the Suntrust, Verizon, and Bank of America buildings. The Old Tampa City Hall building is also visible between the Verizon and Suntrust skyscrapers. The city of Tampa began as a group of villages belonging to the Calusa and Tocobaga Native American tribes. In fact, the name "Tampa" is said to come from the Calusa language meaning "sticks of fire," which may refer to lightning in the area. While it is not known how long the Native Americans had been living in the area, Spanish explorers noted their existence when they arrived in the 1520s. Because of the diseases brought by the Spanish, which decimated the Native American population, Tampa was ultimately unpopulated until the arrival of seasonal Cuban fisherman in the 1700s. In 1821, the United States purchased Florida from Spain. In order to gain control over the newly acquired area, the U.S. government established forts throughout the state. One such fort, Fort Brooke, helped spark growth in the Tampa area. This growth would slow down at the end of the Civil War with the decommission of the forts. A yellow fever epidemic also struck the area during the 1860s and 70s causing many residents to flee. However, in the 1880s came another growth and development period with the discovery of minerals and creation of Henry Plant's railroad systems, which connected Tampa to other areas. Also in the 1880s, the establishment of Ybor city, which brought a large number of immigrant cigar makers into the area along with entrepreneurs whose businesses targeted these factory workers. Eventually, these events would help create the metropolitan city that exists today. The Tampa area now covers 170.6 square miles with the downtown area taking up 521 acres. The population was estimated at 342,060 in 2007. It is also a part of the third largest metropolitan statistical area in the state, and the second in the state of Florida with around 3 million residents throughout Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater.
- Keywords: downtown, Tampa, Florida, skyline
- TIFF File: A high resolution TIFF of Downtown Tampa (20.2 Mb) is available for download. This is a very large file suitable for printing. For most on-screen purposes, you should use the image displayed on this page instead of this TIFF.
- Source: Florida Center for Instructional Technology, Exploring Florida: Social Studies Resources
for Students and Teachers (Tampa, FL: University of South Florida, 2009)
- County: Hillsborough
- Date of Photo: 1/7/2006
- Photographer: Roy Winkelman