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The Colonel's Tampa legacy

A mansion on Bayshore and imposing downtown offices - all were the creations of Wallace Stovall.

By MICHAEL CANNING, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 4, 2002

It's easy to miss Wallace Stovall's namesake, a brief road that juts off Bayshore just north of the Academy of the Holy Names.

It's not so easy to miss the house he built just down the street in 1926, now shrouded by imposing shrubbery and fencing. The 5,363-square-foot neoclassical manse at 4621 Bayshore Blvd. was considered Bayshore's grandest until Don Wallace built his sprawling Mediterranean Revival in 1998.

The Kentucky-born Stovall had a track record of building imposing buildings in Tampa. In the late 1920s he built three buildings that radically changed Tampa's skyline, the 12-story Wallace S. Building, the seven-story Stovall Office Building, and the eight-story Stovall Professional Building.

The buildings were partially financed by the $1.2-million sale of his former business, the Tampa Tribune. He started the paper when he arrived in Tampa in 1893, intent on creating a competitor for the Tampa Times.

"The Colonel," as he was dubbed, also was instrumental in establishing the Florida State Fair, Tampa's Union Railway Station, the Old People's Home and the Hillsborough County Humane Society.

Stovall died in 1950 at 81.

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