The Henry B. Plant Museum interprets the turn-of-the-century Tampa Bay Hotel and the lifestyles of America's Gilded Age. Critical to the success of this mission is the restoration and preservation of this National Historic Landmark, an opulent 1891 railroad resort, and the artifacts significant to its history and the life and work of Henry Bradley Plant. Through educational exhibits and events, the museum transports visitors of all ages and backgrounds to the late Victorian period, the beginnings of Florida's tourist industry, and the early years of the City of Tampa.
The Henry B. Plant Museum is housed in the 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel, now a National Historic Landmark. During the 1880s, Henry Bradley Plant was building an empire of railroads, steamships and hotels. He wanted that empire to have a palace and that grand palace was the grand, Moorish Revival style Tampa Bay Hotel. Plant personally invested $2,500,000 to build the impressive luxury resort and an additional $500,000 for the opulent furnishings.
Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Museum interprets the turn-of-the-century Tampa Bay Hotel and the Victorian lifestyles of America’s Gilded Age for people of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of interest. Critical to the success of this mission is the restoration and preservation of this opulent 1891 railroad resort and the artifacts significant to its history and the life and work of Henry Bradley Plant. The Museum transports visitors through educational exhibits and events to the late Victorian period, the beginning of Florida’s tourist industry, and the early years of the City of Tampa.
Guests are drawn into the Hotel’s rich history, Victorian etiquette, and architectural insights as they enjoy a self-guided audio tour. Diverse educational programming includes 13 rooms of permanent collection and 1 rotating exhibit, Sunday live theater, Annual Victorian Christmas Stroll, Picnic in the Park, The Great Gatsby Party, Museum tours, scholarly lectures, workshops, field trips for school children, Books to School outreach and Antiques Evaluations Saturdays. More than 50,000 visitors annually enjoy these and other events.
As a lifestyle museum, original furnishings, reproduction Edison carbon filament lighting, limited signage and authentic experiences allow visitors to experience the Gilded Age first-hand. This quintessential Victorian palace features unique Moorish Revival architecture, opulent European furniture and art treasures of the original railroad resort. The past will delight you at the Henry Plant Museum.