West Tampa Medical Building Preserves Neighborhood Flavor

Although it's been here a while and you may drive past it everyday without a second glance, an historic West Tampa building contains key elements of the past -- ones the district in which it sits values so highly they've mandated them. And, the architects who built it just won an award for excellence from the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission.

The 9,000-square-foot building at 501 N. Howard Ave. in West Tampa's Overlay District houses two medical clinics: Hyde Park Eye Center and Woloshen Wellness Center. It sits on the corner of Gray Street and Howard across the street from Fort Homer Hesterly National Guard Armory

Bret Azzarelli, VP and architect at Elements Architects and Interior Designers in Tampa, says the architecture was inspired by Tampa landmarks built near the turn of the century.

"We were looking at traditional retail structures of that time like the one on Magnolia Avenue at Platt Street and the fire station on Magnolia. Historically, buildings all fronted Howard with very small setbacks,'' Azzarelli says. "Because this is a retail building, we wanted to keep it close to the street with parking behind so that the building is the first thing you see, not the parking. It was important to the owners to have an authentic structure that enhanced not only their business, but would respect the past and the surrounding neighborhoods. We all see buildings from the past and we like it. This provides a traditional stability rather than a passing trend."

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Bret Azzarelli, Elements Architects and Interior Designers

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