Henry B. Plant Museum

When you're building a railroad to nowhere...how do you make the journey worthwhile?

Henry B. Plant portrait and signature

If you’re railroad magnate Henry Bradley Plant, in the midst of the sand swamps that would be Tampa, you construct the most astonishingly magnificent hotel of its day, then fill it with treasures from around the world.

With its splendid Moorish architecture, opulent furnishings, and spectacular tropical gardens, Plant’s Tampa Bay Hotel attracted a host of celebrated guests, from Teddy Roosevelt to Sarah Bernhardt to Babe Ruth.

A visit to the Henry B. Plant Museum and the authentically restored rooms of the Tampa Bay Hotel will transport you back to a time of indulgent ten-course meals, waltzing on the veranda and alligator hunting by moonlight... The journey is still worthwhile.

The Pottery of Wedgwood

The Pottery of Wedgwood features more than 80 examples of Wedgwood’s creations from the 19th century.  These works are on display through December 31, 2014.  The majority of the objects on display are from the Museum’s permanent collection from the Walton M. Smith bequest.  Twelve of the pieces will be on special loan from the Birmingham Museum of Art, which houses the most comprehensive collection of Wedgwood outside of England.


Wedgwood.webThe centerpiece of this striking exhibit is a grand floor vase purchased by Henry and Margaret Plant for the Tampa Bay Hotel.  This monumental majolica “Swan” vase is one of the largest pieces of majolica ever produced by Wedgwood and is one of eight known to be in existence in the world.  A fine ceramic dish painted by noted French artist Emile Lessore (1805-1876) and a bone china plate from the Theodore Roosevelt White House Service will also be on display.  More Information


Sunday, May 4: A lecture by Wedgwood scholar Dr. Anne Forschler-Tarrasch, Birmingham Museum of Art’s Marguerite Jones Harbert and John M. Harbert III Curator of European Decorative Arts, will be offered to the public at 2 pm in the Music Room.


Graciously underwritten by Mr. & Mrs. Joseph T. Lykes, III, Phelps Dunbar, LLP, Regions Bank,  Smith & Associates Real Estate, & Tampa Bay Times


Henry Plant Hotel 1891

The Tampa Bay Hotel cost approximately $2,500,000 to build and $500,000 to furnish. Advertised as absolutely fireproof, due to the steel rails for reinforcement and concrete construction, it consisted of 511 rooms.

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Permanent Collection

Women and their Pastimes

This vignette room reflects the variety of leisure activities available to the Hotel’s female guests. Many ladies joined their husbands on hunting and fishing trips and were seasoned outdoors-women, adept at riding and shooting.

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Museum Store

Museum Store

The Museum Store collection reflects the Victorian era and the lifestyle of the Tampa Bay Hotel. Your purchase helps support the educational mission of the Museum.  Paid admission is not required to shop in the Store.  Be sure to consider a Museum membership that will give you a 10% discount and seasonal member specials at the Store.

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Copyright © 2014 Henry B. Plant Museum. All rights reserved.
Henry B. Plant Museum — 401 W. Kennedy Boulevard — Tampa, Fl 33616.
Member American Alliance of Museums.

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