Planning Tampa during the Depression & War

October 9, 2020 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Terry Eagan
813.273.3774 x349

Register now for this very interesting webinar:

Don’t let the title fool you – the timeframe Dr. Alan Bliss will be discussing during this Lunch & Learn covers a twenty year period when many studies were laying the framework for Tampa’s subsequent development such as the Home Ownership Loan Corporation, redlining, and the beginning of the interstate system. Here’s the synopsis:

Dr. Alan Bliss will discuss Tampa’s experience of pioneering city planner George W. Simons, Jr.. Between 1929 and 1965, Mr. Simons created city plans for more than seventy cities across the American South. In 1940, Tampa became one of his most important clients, a relationship that lasted for approximately 18 years (1940-1958). Combining political as well as professional skill, Simons served Tampa during four successive mayoral administrations, even as consultants from throughout the U.S. sought Tampa’s business. Today, Simons’ legacy in Tampa is visible in the alignment of the city’s Interstate Highways, which lie almost exactly where Simons drew their routes in his 1941 “Major Street Plan.” During World War II, Simons prepared additional planning studies, which by 1945 yielded Tampa’s first comprehensive municipal plan. Until the establishment of the joint City / County Planning Commission, Mr. Simons’ firm effectively served as Tampa’s local planning agency. With twenty-first century planners considering the legacies of racism, redlining and social inequity, the work of George W Simons helps illuminate the long reach of city planning.

Alan Bliss is CEO of the Jacksonville Historical Society, and Adjunct Professor of History at the University of North Florida. His 2010 University of Florida dissertation “Making a Sunbelt Place,” focused on Tampa’s growth and development from 1923 to 1964.