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Good timing blessed Hyde Park

The neighborhood was created in 1886 by O.H. Platt, a winter resident who named it for his hometown. It was near a major bridge and the site on which the Tampa Bay Hotel was built five years later.

By MICHAEL CANNING, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published July 26, 2002

A two-for-one special, history hounds. The man for whom the street is named is the one who named the neighborhood Hyde Park.

Few records of O.H. Platt exist, as he was only a winter resident here. But what is known is that in February 1886 he purchased 20 acres of the old Robert Jackson property just west of the Hillsborough River. He subdivided it and named it for his home town, Hyde Park, Ill.

Platt's timing and location were spot-on. The upstart neighborhood was centered on the location now known as Grand Central Avenue and Platt Street. That put it in close proximity to the river-spanning Lafayette Street (now Kennedy Boulevard) bridge, which was completed in 1888, and the opulent Tampa Bay Hotel (now University of Tampa), which opened in 1891.

Hyde Park was well on its way to becoming Tampa's premier residential tract.

Today, Hyde Park has expanded into four distinct neighborhoods: Hyde Park North, North Hyde Park, Old Hyde Park and Historic Hyde Park.

By the way, that 20 acres cost Platt $8,000.

Source: Tampa Bay History Center

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