The exterior walls are approximately 18 inches thick of solid brick. The building even has a basement, which has remained dry for over 100 years, despite being situated less than 1/8 of a mile from the Tampa Bay. There are 5 working fireplaces, 3 on the first floor, two on the second floor and a stove in the basement. The total construction cost was reported to be approximately six thousand five hundred dollars. A small fortune back then.
The Hutchinson Mansion was occupied by the Hutchinson family while Mr. Hutchinson operated his pharmacy on Franklin Street in downtown Tampa.
It was next used as a hospital from approximately 1932 to 1946.
After being a hospital, the Hutchinson House was used as a rooming house. Then in 1958 the Pie Kappa Phi fraternity enjoyed the Mansion through about 1977.
Eventually the University of Tampa kicked all the fraternities off the campus, and the Hutchinson house was empty (and in very rough shape). The University of Tampa then sold the mansion to the City of Tampa.
The City of Tampa then sold the Hutchinson House to the Tampa Preservation Society, who commenced a major restoration of the building which continued for approximately two years. In 1980, attorney William B. Plowman began negotiations with the Tampa Preservation Society to purchase the Hutchinson House. He purchased the building in 1981, and continued the restoration including improvements to the first, second and third floors, most notably restoring access to the third floor without interfering with the interior flow of the house. All historical aspects were strictly adhered to during all the restorations.
In 1989, Matt Powell rented space from Mr. Plowman. Matt loved the building so much that he was able to persuade Mr. Plowman to transfer the duties of the Hutchinson House to him in 1999. Matt Powell purchased the historical building and has continued to preserve, restore and maintain this magnificent building.
One of the most interesting things about the Historical Hutchinson house is the architecture style. It is of the “Second Empire” style, which is reflected in the third Floor exterior walls. The third floor is contained inside the mansard roof. The mansard roof is made of slate. Each slate shingle was cut by hand, and has lasted over a century. The Hutchinson house has been through 100 years of hurricanes, heat and cold, and still remains in excellent condition.
Second Empire is an architectural style popular during the Victorian era, reaching its zenith between 1865 and 1880, and so named for the “French” elements in vogue during the era of the Second French Empire. The canonical example of Second Empire style is the Opera Garnier (formerly known as the "Paris Opera") in Paris. In the United States, the Second Empire style usually includes a steep, mansard roof; the roof being the most noteworthy link to the style’s French roots. This tower element could be of equal height of the top most floor. As was done with the Hutchinson House. The mansard roof crest was often topped with an iron trim, sometimes referred to as “cresting”.
The Hutchinson Mansion also prominently displays 3 separate chimneys extending 10 feet above the roof top. These chimneys service the 5 fireplaces, and stove.
In 2007, a replica of the original gas lantern was restored to the front yard. And the Hutchinson House Stone, seen above, was used as a stepping stone to make it easier to sit upon your horse.
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