Tampa Federal Courthouse (Le Méridien Tampa Hotel)
Constructed between 1902 and 1905, the former Tampa Federal Courthouse was designed under the guidance of James Knox Taylor, the Supervising Architect of the U.S. Department of Treasury. A Beaux Arts-style building reflecting the classic roots of early twentieth century architecture, the structure was originally built to house the post office and customs house for the growing city and port of Tampa. The building was transferred to the City of Tampa through the Historic Surplus Property Program in 2003. A developer entered into a long-term lease arrangement with the city and rehabilitated the property using historic tax credits. It opened as the Le Méridien Tampa hotel in 2014.
Tampa Federal Courthouse was completed in 1905 and functioned as a post office and customs house before becoming a courthouse in
Backstory and Context
The former courthouse occupies an entire city block and was originally U-shaped before the east addition was built in 1931. Its Beaux-Arts design with Greek Revival elements makes it an impressive landmark befitting its civic functions. The main entrance features a large portico with four fluted Corinthian columns supporting an entablature etched with the words "United States of America." Other features include a balustrade along the perimeter of the roof, pilasters, and a rusticated marble band on the first floor. Inside, the hotel developers kept many of the building's original features including gold elevator doors, a post office desk, crown molding and terrazzo marble, a witness stand, wood paneling, hand-painted ceilings, and a gold eagle in the former courtroom.
The 1931 addition completely occupies all space within the property lines at the rear of the building. In 1984 the property was converted for use as a federal courthouse and was occupied by the courts until 1998. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, the building was transferred to the City of Tampa through the Historic Surplus Property Program in 2003. A developer entered into a long-term lease arrangement with the city and rehabilitated the property using historic tax credits. The hotel has served as a major catalyst for redevelopment in Tampa’s downtown core.
"Experience a piece of Tampa history." Le Méridien Tampa. Accessed November 21, 2023. https://www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/tpamd-le-meridien-tampa-the-courthouse/overview.
"History of Tampa Courthouse." United States District Court, Middle District of Florida. Accessed November 21, 2023. https://www.flmd.uscourts.gov/history-tampa-courthouse.
Shepard, Herschel. "United States Courthouse Building and Downtown Postal Station." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. June 7, 1974. https://npgallery.nps.gov/AssetDetail/NRIS/74000633.
Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:U.S._Courthouse_Building_and_Downtown_Postal_Station_(Tampa,_Florida)