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Tampa Riverwalk is a open space and pedestrian trail development along the Hillsborough River in Tampa, Florida. The downtown Tampa portion runs alongside the Tampa Arts District and allows access to Curtis Hixon Park, MacDill Park, Tampa Museum of Art, Glazer Children's Museum, Rivergate Tower, and adjacent atrium containing the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. The Riverwalk extends along most of the downtown Tampa waterfront from near the Channelside District west to the Tampa Convention Center and north up the east bank of the Hillsborough River to Water Works Park in Tampa Heights, forming a continuous path connecting multiple parks, attractions, public spaces, and hotels. According to the city, the purpose of the Riverwalk is to "enhance the image of Tampa as a beautiful and unique destination" and highlight Tampa's waterfront.

History

Tampa's Riverwalk project dates back to the 1970s, a time when much of the downtown waterfront consisted of aging warehouses and industrial facilities related to the nearby Port of Tampa. Tampa mayor Bill Poe conceived the idea of a park and walkway behind Curtis Hixon Hall, a civic center along the Hillsborough River that was one of the few public spaces in the area. The city built a short stretch of boardwalk on the east side of the river behind the Hall, but a lack of funds to buy adjoining properties and subsequent mayors' disinterest in the project stalled development for decades. In 2002, mayoral candidate Pam Iorio pledged to jumpstart the Riverwalk project if elected. She won, and construction soon began on two parks behind Amalie Arena along the southern portion of the planned Riverwalk. As construction progressed, a $20 million fundraising campaign was launched in 2006 to pay for future phases, which received a boost when a redeveloped Curtis Hixon Park opened in 2010 near the location of the original portion of the Riverwalk, which was completely redesigned and reconstructed. Bob Buckhorn, who succeeded Iorio as mayor, was also a strong advocate for the Riverwalk project and downtown redevelopment. In 2014, a federal transportation grant was used to complete a $9.2 million boardwalk under the Kennedy Boulevard bridge, connecting all of the existing segments into one continuous path about two miles long. A further extension north past the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, under Interstate 275, and ending at Waterworks Park in the Tampa Heights neighborhood was completed in 2016, lengthening the Riverwalk to over two and a half miles.

Public art



Historical Monument Trail

In 2012, commissions for six $15,000 bronze busts of prominent figures from the History of Tampa were secured by the Friends of the Riverwalk with sculptor Steven Dickey. They included: * Mocoso, Tocobaga, and Pohoy mound builders * James McKay Sr. * Vicente Martinez Ybor * Henry B. Plant * Eleanor McWilliams Chamberlain * Clara C. Frye Nine historians including former Tampa Tribune reporter Leland Hawes and Tampa Bay History Center curator Rodney Kite-Powell made the selections. In April 2013, six additional busts were unveiled on the Riverwalk (unveiled in a second ceremony December 2013 on the trail): * Cyril Blythe Andrews, a newspaper entrepreneur and local leader * Cody Fowler, an attorney for working to end injustices * Kate V. Jackson a Tampa businesswoman, philanthropist, environmentalist and local leader * Peter O. Knight a Tampa attorney who was also involved in local politics * Paulina Pedroso, an activist for Cuban independence and a civil rights leader * Garfield Devoe Rogers, a businessman, philanthropist and creator of Rogers Park Another six monuments were unveiled in December 2014. They included: * Blanche Armwood, educator and community leader * Herman Glogowski, first Jewish mayor of Tampa and community leader * Gavino Gutierrez, civil engineer who urged Vicente Ybor to locate in Tampa and early developer of Ybor City * Bena Wolf Maas, businesswoman, civic leader and humanitarian * Hugh Campbell Macfarlane, attorney, businessman and developer of West Tampa * Moses White, businessman, community leader and philanthropist

Other art

In 2016, the city of Tampa commissioned a lenticular mural to be placed underneath the Laurel Street Bridge by the Hillsborough River. The mural, was created by RE:site, Metalab, Designtex, and PolyVision and is titled "Woven Waves." "Woven Waves" is designed to evoke the concept of a quilt, inspired by the currents of the river and the diverse cultural makeup of Tampa.

References



External links

{{Commons category|Tampa Riverwalk
Tampa Riverwalk website
Category:Parks in Tampa, Florida Category:Landmarks in Tampa, Florida Category:Tourist attractions in Tampa, Florida Category:Transportation in Tampa, Florida