Saturday, August 22, 2009

Homes of Tampa's Hyde Park: The Morrison House in the Italianate Revival Style

The Morrison House, at 850 South Newport Avenue, is the oldest home in Hyde Park. Built in 1879, it is a late 19th-century Italianate design. William Morrison, whose farm and citrus groves surrounded the home and continued down to Hillsborough Bay, had the house constructed of an early concrete block (click to see the block detail.) Each block was made on the site. Interestingly, which you might be able to discern by looking at the photo, the house is facing to the right, away from the street and toward the south. When it was built and sited, surrounded as it was by his groves, he wanted to face the open bay. In the 1870s the view then without the mature oak trees - and now other homes - was unobstructed, and he could see the beach and sailing ships coming into the harbor. The home itself is very identifiable as Italianate Revival. Also called the Italian Villa style, it can be found in Scotland and England following its rediscovery as an architectural style around 1800. The most well-known example is Queen Victoria's home on the Isle of Wight. The off-center tower and heavy masonry are just two of the characteristics that Morrison incorporated in his design. Apparently, from my research, it was a popular alternative to the Gothic style for suburban and rural homes of the time period. The garden, in the smaller photo at upper left, leads guests in off the street, and then the walk turns left up to the steps and porch. It is very beautiful and simple, set to the side of the house as it is, similar to Charleston and Savannah style homes. Note that a For Sale sign is on the front lawn. Price for the single family, 4 bedroom house, with 3+ baths in 6,391 square feet? $3,750,000 or 2,616,888 EUROs. Geez!! Nice house, right?

Go to Tampa Daily Photo
HERE to see a Hyde Park home in the Prairie School style of architecture made famous by Frank Lloyd Wright.


  1. Nice bit of research on the house, is that a hobby? I was curious to see if you would mention the building material, as so many American house that look like this are actually mainly timber. Keep up the house hunting.

  2. I was immediately attracted by the pale stone and slim, elegant design.

    I think it's lovely, but 3.7m in US dollars?? With that amount, I'll be able to build homes for almost 4000 poor Filipino families.

  3. Great house Frank, I also thought it was wood until I read your discription. $3,750,000 phew! have you put in an offer?

  4. I am into concrete block. Hurricane proof housing - that is what I want. I was picturing something a little smaller though!