MIKE MANDEL MOSAIC TILE PUBLIC ART PROJECTS
City of Tampa, Florida/Kennedy Parking Structure - Tampa FL, 2000
PARKING AT THE COURTHOUSE
One inch porcelain tile
15' x 145'
This mural connects together a variety of historical images central to the history of this site which is now the Florida/Kennedy Parking Garage.
From 1892, until 1950, this place was the home of the Hillsborough County Courthouse, remembered both for its Moorish decorative elements, as well as its distinctive onion-style dome. In the early 1950's, during a national wave of urban renewal efforts, this distinctive architectural jewel was razed, and replaced with a parking lot. The parking garage, built in 2000, is on this same site, and its pedestrian loggia area is the site for the mural.
The wall is 145' long and slopes from 10' to 15' high and is completely covered with one-inch porcelain mosaic tile, which creates the photographic illusion of the mural. The central imagery of the mural is of the former Courthouse, emphasizing its architecture and the great dome.
Alongside, there is imagery from inside the building of a trial being conducted within the courtroom, circa 1920. One can see a witness taking the oath in the presence of a judge and of other onlookers. On either side of the Courthouse are references to the automobile in different eras, recognizing the present function of the site as a parking garage for city workers and the police.
On the left, two officers stand at attention next to their late 50's patrol car. And on the right, there is an arrangement of cars from the 1920's parked at the Eli Witt Cigar Company, acknowledging cigar maufacturing as one of the major themes in Tampa's history.