Goodbye for now

“Out with the old and in with the new” has become the theme in Tampa. The city is rapidly expanding as many historic landmarks make way for bigger and better things.

The historic Old Hyde Park village will be renovated soon for a more modern appeal. Sky-rise buildings are briskly popping up on many street corners, and even the Tampa Bay Rays have proposed a plan for a new stadium.

This trend is moving at a rapid pace – and its next victim will be the Tampa Museum of Art. The museum has had a decent run of more than 30 years standing, but will soon shut its doors to accommodate a bigger and better facility. The projected completion is mid-2009.

The original museum will celebrate one last hoorah tonight with its Art After Dark event before moving to its interim location. Co-hosted by the museum’s young members’ group, Avant Garde, the theme of the event is “retro/perspectives, looking back, looking forward,” according to, and will be a salute to the downtown museum. It will feature Avant Garde’s presentation of area artists, decade-themed music, video productions of the museum’s history and a video ‘toast’ to the museum. Sure to be a bittersweet event, it will be the final soiree at the original location.

The modernization of the city may bring in more revenue in the long run, but one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and there are plenty of people who think that the Tampa Museum of Art is a Bay Area treasure. Art After Dark runs from 8 p.m. to midnight. Come support local artists and bid farewell to the original museum, which is soon to be gone forever and most likely replaced by another sky-rise building or a cookie-cutter chain store. – Julia Stewart