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IT ALL STARTED WITH A CHISEL

In 1959 a group of determined women began to restore the facings of ballroom fireplaces at the Tampa Bay Hotel. With a set of chisels and muriatic acid, the women began removing mortar from tiles — and The Chiselers was born.


Chiselers Honored for Restoration of H.B. Plant Hall Minarets 

The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation recognized excellence in historic preservation throughout the state with its 2023 Florida Preservation Awards during the 2023 Preservation on Main Street conference.

“We are delighted to recognize the remarkable achievements of this year's recipients of the Florida Preservation Awards,” said Florida Trust Immediate Past Board President Jenny Wolfe. “Their commitment to preserving our heritage is inspiring, and we extend our heartfelt congratulations to everyone involved. It is through such localized preservation efforts that we witness the true power and success of preservation.”

Chiselers President, Beth Garcia, accepted the award on behalf on the Chiselers and their restoration work on the H.B. Plant Hall Minarets. Awards in this category acknowledge the proper restoration or rehabilitation of a structure to an earlier or original appearance.

The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation recognized the challenges faced by the restoration team. The restoration work encompassed brick-repointing; stripping and repainting the structural steel; repairing or replacing damaged windows, gypsum stairs and floors; and regilding the crescent moons in gold.

About The Chiselers

Founded in 1959, The Chiselers work tirelessly to preserve, restore and advocate for Tampa’s historic H.B. Plant Hall, formerly the Tampa Bay Hotel.

The original work began with time-consuming and physical labor to chisel away mortar covering the original tiles in the now National Historic Landmark. Today, through events – including our annual Market and Walk for the Minarets, private contributions and grants, our nearly 270 members raise funds to preserve this Tampa treasure. We have raised over $11 million dollars to carry out the work needed for the restoration of the 350,000 square foot building to the highest standards. As an all- volunteer organization, our members contribute approximately 15,000 volunteer hours annually.

About Henry B. Plant Hall

Henry B. Plant Hall, formerly known as the Tampa Bay Hotel, is one of the most captivating Victorian icons in the United States and a symbol of Tampa. This architectural masterpiece was built in 1891 during a time when Henry Bradley Plant was building an empire of railroads, steamships and hotels.

He built the Tampa Bay Hotel as a palace, symbolic of his empire. Now as Henry B. Plant Hall, it is home to classrooms, administrative offices, and more at the University of Tampa.

Henry B. Plant Hall Facts

  • 325,000 square feet, 6 acres , and a 1/4 mile long
  • 1,068 windows
  • 511 rooms
  • 5 stories tall

Support the Preservation of Henry B. Plant Hall

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Our Mission

The Chiselers, Inc. maintain the historic character and aesthetic integrity of the Henry B. Plant Hall, built in 1891 as the Tampa Bay Hotel.

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We rely on your support to ensure the preservation of the historic Henry B. Plant Hall.

The Chiselers, Inc.

EIN # 59-6200154. Registration #CH51363. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.

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