Tampa Riverwalk

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Tampa Riverwalk
Refer to caption
A section of Tampa's Riverwalk along the Hillsborough River and Curtis Hixon Park
Tampa Riverwalk is located in Florida
Tampa Riverwalk
LocationTampa, Florida
Coordinates27°56′41″N 82°27′32″W / 27.944696°N 82.458767°W / 27.944696; -82.458767Coordinates: 27°56′41″N 82°27′32″W / 27.944696°N 82.458767°W / 27.944696; -82.458767
Established1989 (1989)[1]
OpenYear round
Public transit accessTECO Line Streetcar System

Tampa Riverwalk is a 2.6-mile-long (4.2 km) open space and pedestrian trail development along the Hillsborough River in Tampa, Florida. The downtown Tampa portion travels alongside the Tampa Arts District and includes Curtis Hixon Park, The Macdill Park, the Tampa Museum of Art, Glazer Children's Museum, Rivergate Tower and adjacent atrium containing the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. The Riverwalk extends along most of the downtown Tampa waterfront from the Channelside District west to the Tampa Convention Center and north up the east bank of the Hillsborough River to Water Works Park in Tampa Heights, forming a continuous path of 2.4 miles connecting parks and attractions to several large hotels.[2]


Tampa's Riverwalk project dates back to the 1970s, a time when much of the downtown waterfront consisted of aging warehouses and industrial facilities related to the nearby Port of Tampa. Tampa mayor Bill Poe conceived the idea of a park and walkway behind Curtis Hixon Hall, a civic center along the Hillsborough River that was one of the few public spaces in the area.[3] The city built a short stretch of boardwalk on the east side of the river behind the Hall, but a lack of funds to buy adjoining properties and subsequent mayors' disinterest in the project slowed development for decades.

Pam Iorio pledged to jump start the Riverwalk project during her mayoral campaign in 2002, and soon after her election, construction began on two parks behind Amalie Arena along the southern portion of the Riverwalk.[4] As construction progressed, a $20 million fundraising campaign was launched in 2006 to pay for future phases, which received a boost when a redeveloped Curtis Hixon Park opened in 2010.[5] Bob Buckhorn succeeded Iorio as mayor and has also been a strong advocate for the Riverwalk project.[6] In 2014, a federal transportation grant was used to complete a $9.2 million boardwalk under the Kennedy Boulevard bridge, connecting all of the existing segments into one continuous path about two miles long. A further extension north past the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, under Interstate 275, and ending at newly-built Waterworks Park in the Tampa Heights neighborhood was completed in 2016 and extended the Riverwalk to 2.4 miles.

Public art[edit]

Historical Monument Trail[edit]

In 2012, commissions for six $15,000 bronze busts of prominent figures from the History of Tampa were secured by the Friends of the Riverwalk with sculptor Steven Dickey. They included:

A dog park along Tampa's Riverwalk and the Hillsborough River

In April 2013, six additional busts were unveiled on the Riverwalk (unveiled in a second ceremony December 2013 on the trail):[10][11]


Another six monuments were unveiled in December 2014. [13] They included:

  • Blanche Armwood, educator and community leader
  • Herman Glogowski, first Jewish mayor of Tampa and community leader
  • Gavino Gutierrez, civil engineer who urged Vicente Ybor to locate in Tampa and early developer of Ybor City
  • Bena Wolf Maas, businesswoman, civic leader and humanitarian
  • Hugh Campbell Macfarlane, attorney, businessman and developer of West Tampa
  • Moses White, businessman, community leader and philanthropist

Other art[edit]

In 2016, the city of Tampa commissioned a lenticular mural to be placed underneath the Laurel Street Bridge by the Hillsborough River. The mural, was created by RE:site, Metalab, Designtex, and PolyVision and is titled "Woven Waves." "Woven Waves" is designed to evoke the concept of a quilt, inspired by the currents of the river and the diverse cultural makeup of Tampa.[14] [15]


  1. ^ EDAW, Inc. (July 2006). "The Tampa Riverwalk Master Plan" (PDF). Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  2. ^ PROGRESS ON TAMPA CIVIC PROJECTS // Mayor selects Riverwalk designer [SOUTH PINELLAS Edition] St. Petersburg Times - St. Petersburg, Fla. Author: VANESSA GEZARI Date: Feb 5, 2005 Start Page: 3.B
  3. ^ Margaret Cashill Tampa's Riverwalk opens up new avenues April 8, 2011 Tampa Bay Business Journal
  4. ^ DAVE SIMANOFF Downtown Gets Greener dsimanoff@tampatrib.com Oct 22, 2004 Tampa Tribune
  5. ^ Margie Manning Capital campaign launched for Tampa Riverwalk March 14, 2006 Tampa Bay Business Journal
  6. ^ Tampa Bay Times (2011-12-19). "Feds deny grant that would have helped extend Tampa's Riverwalk - Tampa Bay Times". Tampabay.com. Retrieved 2012-02-26.
  7. ^ [Riverwalk honors history] March 7, 2012 Tampa Bay Times
  8. ^ Tampa's Riverwalk will honor city's history, people March 4, 2012 Tampa Bay Times Retrieved March 22, 2013
  9. ^ Tampa's Riverwalk will honor city's history, people By Josh Poltilove March 4, 2012 TBO.com
  10. ^ Historical monument trail honorees April 2013 Seminole Heights Patch
  11. ^ Riverwalk adds six more leaders from Tampa history "The Class of 2013 honorees are C. Blythe Andrews, Cody Fowler, Kate Jackson, Peter O. Knight, Paulina Pedroso and G. D. Rogers." by ELIZABETH BEHRMAN Tampa Tribune staff December 3, 2013 TBO.com
  12. ^ New monuments unveiled at Tampa's Riverwalk December 3, 2013 Bay New 9
  13. ^ "Historical figures revealed on Tampa's Riverwalk" Dec 12, 2014 By CHIP WEINER Creative Loafing
  14. ^ "Tampa Riverwalk". PolyVision. PolyVision. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  15. ^ "Woven Waves". Coda Worx. Retrieved 6 January 2017.

External links[edit]