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Historic homes by candle

By JANET ZINK
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 6, 2002


NIGHT LIGHT: You can sneak a peek inside some of Tampa's most beautiful historic homes at the 11th annual Candlelight Tour to benefit Tampa Preservation Inc. on Dec. 7 from 7 to 9:30 p.m.

This year's tour makes stops at five Hyde Park homes on Newport Avenue, including the Morrison House. Built in 1882, it is Hyde Park's oldest residence and the first house in Tampa to be constructed of artificial stone.

Embossed concrete blocks were made on-site with molds from the 1879 Sears and Roebuck catalog. The Italianate house faced Hillsborough Bay and was in the center of 60 acres of orange groves and potato fields. The owner could overlook his domain from a third-story tower, which was blown off in 1921 during a hurricane. Recently, the tower was restored.

Also in the tour is the Leiman-Wilson House, a Prairie School home included on the National Register of Historical Places. The home was built in 1916 for the owner of the world's largest cigar-box factory.

Its interior walls are embellished with exotic woods that Henry Leiman collected while buying wood for his factory. The home has been on the market for the past six months with a price tag of $1.4-million.

Established in 1973, Tampa Preservation is a private, nonprofit organization established to preserve historic structures and neighborhoods in Tampa and Hillsborough County.

The group was instrumental in the creation of the local Historic Preservation Ordinance, under which neighborhoods are given protection with landmark status. Tickets for the Candlelight Tour are $45 for TPI members and $55 for nonmembers. Space is limited. For reservations, call (813) 832-5939.

TOP SELLER: For the second time, Janice Snow has been named member of the year by the Sales and Marketing Council of the Builders Association of Greater Tampa. Snow is community relations director for the 600-acre, master-planned community of Wilderness Lake Preserve in Pasco County and Keystone Shores in Hillsborough County.

The member of the year award is given to the member who has made the greatest contribution to the council, the builders association and the building industry in a given year.

- Write to Janet Zink in care of the St. Petersburg Times at 1000 N. Ashley Drive, Suite 700, Tampa, FL 33602; or by e-mail, janet.zink@gte.net ">janet.zink@gte.net .

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