Davis Islands is a Tampa neighborhood and archipelago made of two islands in Hillsborough County, Florida. Its proximity to Downtown Tampa, and its views of the Port of Tampa, make it a popular area to live. The population was 5,436 at the 2000 census.
Davis Island was built upon two man-made islands atop two small natural islands formerly known as "Little Grassy Key" and "Big Grassy Key" at the mouth of the Hillsborough River. The islands were built from mud dredged from the bottom of Tampa Bay in the 1920s and expanded. This dredge-and-fill operation was undertaken at the height of the Florida Land Boom by developer and Tampa native D. P. Davis. Davis then purchased all the dredged land for $350,000.
He planned a resort community with three hotels, nine-hole golf course, airport, and swimming pool. D.P. Davis then sold 306 of the original lots for $1,683,582. The development stalled when the Florida land boom of the early 1920s wound down, and Davis was mysteriously lost at sea while making a transatlantic voyage in October 1926.
Many of the original Mediterranean-style structures are still standing and have received national Historic Designation, as well as local protections. Buildings of note include the Palace of Florence and Mirasol. Today Davis Island is a mix of residential and retail areas. Most predominant today is an eclectic mix of architectural styles because of the slowdown in development in the 1930s.
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Updated: 23rd January, 2019 12:42 AM.