Sunday, June 08, 2008

Tampa Bay Hardware

Today Seminole heights lost a neighborhood institution as a 3 alarm fire claimed Tampa Bay Hardware at 55oo N. Nebraska. The fire closed Nebraska Avenue and 9th Street for several hours. The store property extends from Nebraska to 9th St. bordering the Hampton Terrace Historic District.

Tampa Bay Hardware was the oldest continuous hardware store in Tampa. A part of the neighborhood since 1941, the store had continued to operate in a very different environment of big box stores like Lowe's and Home Depot. It outlasted some chain stores like Sears hardware that came and went. While not flashy or modern, it was convenient. Over the years, they have been reliable for that quick trip to get a part or two when I just didn't have time to wait in line at Home Depot.

The store is totally destroyed, with today's economics, the question will become will they rebuild? If not, what will take its place on the site.

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