History

Impervious to Fire

     The history of the Good Samaritan Inn (GSI) begins with the Tampa Children's Home, which was started in 1892 and incorporated in 1898. It was located near present-day downtown Tampa. It was destroyed by fire in 1904. Afterwards the home was moved to a two-story four-bedroom house at 3302 N. Florida Avenue. The house sat on a two-acre plot of land. This second home burned down in 1920. For many months afterwards the children where housed at various private residences throughout Tampa Bay. A new building was constructed in 1922. This is the present-day structure for the GSI.

     It was state of the art and included many features that made the new design virtually unburnable. It is beautifully architected and features many graceful archways and fine artisan construction throughout. It originally had a large black and white striped awning that spanned the entire front porch area. The awning eventually deteriorated and was never replaced. In 1967 the Children's Home institution was moved to a location in West Tampa where it remains to this day.
 

Solid Foundation - Rocky Road - Recovery

     Sometime in the late 1960's the property at 3302 N. Florida Avenue was converted to a rooming house. It was originally called the House of Prayer (HoP) which was a Christ-based ministry. HoP operated for several years but it is unknown to the author the reason it ceased operations. Many failed business attempts followed HoP through the 70's. Sometime in the early 80's it became known as the Hotel California. It was reported to be a wild and lawless period. In 1985 the current owner bought the property. He changed the name to the Good Samaritan Inn to reflect his goal of helping those who others pass by. He has made a substantial financial commitment in restoring the property.
 

History Preserved

     On July 22 1999 he successfully registered it as an historic landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. The guidelines of the historic registry require that the outside of the building be preserved, but because of the nature of the business the inside is able to be modernized for the comfort and safety of the residents. Today the building adds character and charm to the neighborhood and provides an excellent community for approximately 100 residents.

Author's Request

     If you or someone you know has pictures or documentation of this site, that can be shared with the current owner, please inform us. Of particular interest at the moment is information about the architect and construction. We would appreciate hearing from you if you have any information to help fill in the gaps of known history. Thank you: may you dwell richly in the Lord today.
 

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