Restored Floridan Hotel Set to Open as the Florida Palace
If you've explored your fair share of Downtown Tampa, you're probably familiar with the iconic building marked by the big, red letters reading "FLORIDAN HOTEL" that sit in sign form on top of it. This historic building was built in the mid-1920's with 19 floors and 316 rooms, and a construction cost of $1.9 million. At the time of it's construction, the Floridan Hotel was the tallest building in Tampa and an indicator of the affluence of the city at the time. The Floridan Hotel experienced an extended golden age throughout World War II and attracted a variety of famous figures including Gary Cooper and The King himself, Elvis Presley. When the 1960's rolled around, the Floridan Hotel began to fall to the wayside of more convenient hotels near the highway and eventually turned into a long-term rental apartment before closing indefinitely in 1989. It sat dormant, switching ownership until hotelier and real-estate investor Antonios Markopoulos bought it in 2005 for $6 Million. Since then, the Floridan Hotel has undergone an intense restoration and is set to re-open in the next few weeks as Floridan Palace. Markopoulos said the restoration will not only maintain, but highlight the hotel's sense of 1920's glamour. The hotel will have hand-painted walls and utilize the existing marble on the stair treads and lobby staircases to keep the original look. According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, the Floridan will be open during the Republican National Convention and has already sold out for the week of the event.