Street Address
801 Old Water Street
Tampa, FL 33602
Mailing Address
801 Old Water Street
Tampa, FL 33602
phone: 813-228-0097
fax: 813-223-7021
Museum Business Hours
Daily10 AM - 5 PM
Columbia Cafe
801 Old Water Street | Tampa, FL 33602 | 813.228.0097 | Hours & Directions | Follow us: Twitter | Facebook | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr | The Tampa Bay History Center is proud to partner with the historic and critically-acclaimed Columbia Restaurant. The Columbia Cafe is now officially open! Found on the first floor of the new Tampa Bay History Center, the Cafe boasts indoor and outdoor seating areas as well as an incredable menu.
Daily11 AM - 9 PM
The Cafe is open daily from 11am to 9pm. Entrance to the Cafe after Museum Hours will be through the Museum's Riverwalk entrance.
Adults: $12.95,
Seniors (65+), Youths (13-17), Students with ID: $10.95
Children (4-12):$7.95,
Children (3 and under): Free
Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
Group Tours
C.J. Roberts, President & CEO
Rodney Kite-Powell, Curator of History
Claus Daniel, Facility Manager
Manny Leto, Director of Marketing and Communications
Jessie Liss-Noda, Youth and Family Programs Coordinator
Andrea Nalls, Assoc. Director of Advancement
Lisa Perry-Richardson, Director of Advancement
Maria Steijlen, Director of Financial Operations
Jennifer Tyson, Asst. Curator of Education
Brian Buttafuoco, Assistant Curator of Education


Step inside the new, 60,000-square-foot History Center in Tampa’s bustling Channelside district and take a journey through 12,000 years of powerful stories. Follow in the footsteps of the first native inhabitants, Spanish conquistadors, pioneers, presidents, sports legends and railroad tycoons. Stroll through a 1920’s-era cigar store. Explore exhibits about the places and people who shaped the Tampa Bay area. The four-floor History Center boasts a stunning atrium, interactive and immersive exhibits, theaters, map gallery, research center, event hall, museum store and the internationally acclaimed Columbia Cafe. The history of the Tampa Bay region comes alive within these walls.


The mission is to build, maintain and operate museum facilities adequate to preserve, protect and display materials and artifacts relating to the history of the greater Tampa and Historic Hillsborough County area. We will collect, catalogue, preserve, maintain and promote the preservation, illustration and display of the historical materials and artifacts. We want to encourage the study and research of our area's history and to help in the understanding of our area's rich history through exhibits, public programs and publications. We will cooperate with other historical, cultural and educational institutions in furthering an interest and pride in our area's history and traditions.


The Tampa Bay History Center grew out of a Historical Museum Task Force created by Hillsborough County’s Commissioners in 1986. The History Center’s exciting mission is to educate visitors about the important history that has shaped and continues to shape the Tampa Bay area. Today, the Tampa Bay History Center provides quality historical and educational services and programs. The beneficiaries over time are the region’s three million permanent residents and more than 15 million annual visitors.

Artifacts Collections

The museum’s collections date from prehistoric Gulf Coast Florida to the present. The collection covers all spheres of life, public and domestic, in a fairly complete manner. The research library contains 9,638 books, manuals, maps, documents, microfilm and family/subject papers all Florida history based. Genealogical materials and books number at 1,000 contain the southern states and the 13 colonies. The collection includes artifacts, paintings, textiles, utilitarian ceramics, postcards, documents, ephemera and furniture with a recognized need or relevance, to Florida and specifically to our regional area.
Tampa Bay History Center has an exceptional collection of over 1,000 Tampa cigar industry related items, and has received a gift of Florida Seminole objects and materials from the Charles L. Knight Family. Many veterans who were stationed at one of our county’s three air bases have generously donated relevant material to the collection. The collections are assembled to complement and strengthen the interpretation of the history of our area and state. The Discovery Center contains collection objects, in an historic timeline method, for visitors to actively engage themselves. Large galleries, in the new facility, showcase maritime heritage, Cigar City, Crackers & Cowmen, Seminole materials and our changing environment.
The education collection contains unaccessioned, duplicate, replications and expendable items and consists of some 125 objects directly related to life in Historic Hillsborough County and Florida. These items are used in gallery Discovery Boxes, History-to- Go Kits, hands-on tours, teacher workshops and programs.

Research Collections

The Witt Research Center provides a comprehensive collection of regional and state subject resources including:
Historical census records, newspapers and periodicals featuring catalogs and indexes, private papers such as personal journals and manuscripts, biographical resources, Hillsborough County church and cemetery records, subject and family files directed towards regional interest and a collection of contemporary and rare books relating to Florida.
Manuscript collections include correspondence, diaries, journals, maps, photographs, and the organizational papers of business, fraternal, professional, religious and social organizations.
Approximately 4,000 still images comprise the Tampa Bay History Center's photographic collection. The collection visually documents the people, places, and events that have contributed to the area's history and development from the mid-19th century to the present. The History Center strives to document the region's history and is dependent upon public awareness and participation for support.
The research center is the result of a partnership between the History Center and the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library system. The goal of the partnership is to add the collection of the Witt Research Center to the public library system's online catalog and to encourage visitation to the Center.

Educational Programs

1. Free - History-to-Go Outreach Kits
2.Florida History Fair; The History Center is proud to sponsor the Hillsborough County competition of Florida History Fair.
3.Field Trips Bring your students for a fun and interactive field trip to Tampa’s newest landmark.
4. E-News for teachers
5. Temporary exhibitions
6. Book Club
7. Monday Fun Days for Pre-schoolers and parents
8. Florida Conversations Lecture Series
9. Life Long Learning classes taught by University of South Florida and University of Tampa faculty
10. Fall Festival in our front yard -- Cotanchobee - Ft. Brooke Park
11. Teacher Workshops


    The Tampa Bay History Center is a 501(C)(3) non-profit corporation and is funded in part by: Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, The City of Tampa.


    Access: General Public, Students, Scholars, Members

    Appointment required: No


    1. Cotanchobee newsletter - quarterly
    2. Tampa Bay History Journal - annual
    3. TBHC annual report


      Wheelchair Accessible


      Gift Shop

      Special Event Rental


      Group Tours