It is hard to believe that a skateboard basin could stop a 6.5 million dollar renovation project for Perry Harvey Sr. Park in Tampa Bay, Florida. I’m not from Tampa Bay so maybe I don’t understand the historical significance of the “Bro Bowl”, described as a skateboard basin located inside of the park, but I do understand the Central Avenue area’s importance in Tampa history. Central Avenue, now known as Orange Ave., contained over 100 Black owned businesses and was the center of a Black community first settled before the Civil War by freed slaves. The 6.5 million dollar renovation of Perry Harvey Sr. Park would create a history walk dedicated to the area’s Black community leaders and prominent citizens and I would hate to see that go away because of a skateboard basin that could be relocated.
Supporters of the skateboard basin have nominated it for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places to prevent its destruction or relocation. If approved, the status of the basin, could block the park’s proposed renovation. Andre Moses White, son of Tampa Bay businessman Moses White, is trying to placate both parties by recommending the renovation of the skateboard basin and
painting the structure with scenes from African-American history relating to the area, placing plaques on benches where kids could read them, constructing sculptures and busts of leaders in highly visible places. He also talked about piping in music of black musicians like James Brown and Jackie Wilson along with hip-hop. and other options could include making changes to the bowl to make it more acceptable to the black community.
I truly hope the City and Community of Tampa Bay can find a way to resolve this issue because the Central Avenue area deserves some type of historic structure that serves as a reminder of the greatness of the Central Avenue district. You can learn more about the situation by visiting the link below and reading the article.
Andre Moses White Urges Unity in Resolving Tampa’s Bro Bowl Controversy via Tampa Bay Times