Ah, Downtown Tampa— tall building, tall building, ghetto and clean, old factories… and a palace?
I’ve often passed the curiosity of a building– large, red-ish and topped with domes and minarets– and just thought of it as the Plant Museum– part of the University of Tampa. Through the graciousness of free admission as per the Smithsonian’s “National Museum Day” I would finally explore it.
I didn’t just explore it. I was transported.
Merely approaching the building entrance is awe-inspiring with column after column of decorated tiles, bricks, and archways. Once inside, I was whisked away to another time period where ladies in fluffy gowns flirted with gentlemen (not “guys”) in lavishly decorated rooms filled with dark wood, intricately carved furniture, and candle light.
Not fully satisfied with our time travel, N-G and I explored the rest of the building outside the museum. Formerly a grand hotel, headquarters during war, and now a museum, the former hotel rooms also housed UT’s classrooms and offices. I couldn’t believe students dominated the long, haunted-feeling halls eating Pop-Tarts and gossiping on their way to class. Do they know what a treasure they had?
N-G and I were again transported– to Xavier’s School of the Gifted! (From X-Men). Really– the hallways and inner rooms of the building gave that feel! Oh, my gosh, to feel like a posh lady and a mutant all at once! Random awesomeness!
I don’t recommend the Plant Museum for children (and short-attention-spanned adults) because of the no-touch rule, dark setting, and the best way to get more information is from listening the audio tour through an awkward handling, remote control-shaped device.
But if you’ve always wanted to school like the X-Men… then come on down!
Explore the museum with me by clicking on the pictures