Why is it taking a man, who loves Tampa and its history, to come in and try to save the day when the City should not be putting these Fairyland statues on the auction block in the first place?
I only wish your reporter had dug a bit deeper into this story to reveal how the City of Tampa advertised these statues as “Historical” and “a Tampa Landmark for 50 years”, yet did not let the Historic Preservation Board have any say in the matter. Or how the procurement department would not release any information under a public records request until the City attorney was asked to check into the matter?
Yes, the figurines are old and need work, but they represent a significant time of civic growth in Tampa lead by Mayor Nick Nuccio. Tampa was coming out of the darkness of war in the late 50’s and we had a Mayor who knew that public spaces were important to growth. These figurines were part a free attraction that was enjoyed by all the residents of this town, including the working class, the backbone of Tampa, which was my family.
The City of Tampa has let far too many historical landmarks (buildings, sites, objects) be torn down or disposed of. It is time to put more teeth in Historical Preservation City Code Section 27. The current Mayor thinks these figurines are junk and does not want them near his $35 million Riverfront Park, but I guarantee you, children will love them, tourists will look for them, and families will visit wherever they end up. They need to taken off the auction block.