Published: June 10, 2008
After several decades and 18 layers of paint, The University of Tampa
Plant Hall’s original exterior color scheme has been uncovered by
And for the next few months, the original colors of
the old Tampa Bay Hotel’s verandah ceiling, window sashes, columns,
rafters, crown molding, balustrade, deck and crescent moons will be
brushed on by professional painters.
Those colors are
representative of Plant Hall’s color scheme from 1892-1920, according to
Cynthia Gandee, executive director of the Henry B. Plant Museum.
decade of the 1890s was dominated by the Beaux Arts revival of
classical architecture, which favored more restrained exterior
coloring,” Gandee said.
The trim colors will include a greenish
gray, light grayish olive and dark bluish gray. The carved crescent
moons will be highlighted with metallic aluminum paint.
tedious job, but we’re excited to return to the color scheme of the
glory days of the hotel,” Gandee said. The restoration project will take
approximately eight months.
The paint chronology investigation
was completed by Robert A. Furhoff from Restoration of Interiors of
Chicago and Abell Garcia Architects. The team investigated photographs
and analyzed paint chips to determine the original color scheme and the
chronology of paint jobs.
Ultimately, the researchers identified
four major phases to the building’s paint scheme, which followed trends
in fashion in architectural color. Gandee said the Tampa Bay Hotel
design plans in 1891 called for dark red and medium gray colors
consistent with the Moorish style of architecture. But, because
construction of the building came at the very end of the era of
polychromatic architecture, the designed color scheme was repainted
Furhoff said that the original interior and
exterior colors were intended to draw more focus on the architecture
outside and the décor inside.
“The coloring was intentionally quiet for use as a background,” Furhoff said.
Currently, the Plant Hall trim is cream.
painting is being completed by Specialized Services Group of Tampa,
which has painted Plant Hall before and did paint restoration work for
the museum and Fletcher Lounge.
The cost of the project is
approximately $465,000, and is being paid for by the Plant Hall
Preservation Trust Fund, which is funded in equal parts by UT and the
city of Tampa.
For more information, contact Gandee at (813) 258-7300.