[Tampa, Fl. Burgert Brothers, ca. 1926]. Eighteen glossy linen-backed silver gelatin or albumen photographs bound in, including sixteen 7½ x 9½-inch albumens (two of them two-panel folding images), and two 7½ x 46- inch folding panoramic images, plus two detached 7½ x 9½-inch albumens laid in. Oblong quarto. Contemporary brown limp pebbled leather, gilt. Front joint mostly split, spine chipped, small chip to bottom corner of rear cover, binding reinforced within with twist ties. Two later notes tipped in to inside front cover. Overall, the photographs in very good condition, in a good binding. Item #WRCAM56573
A handsome, professionally-produced promotional photograph album for a proposed Uptown Tampa development called "Golden Hills." These early 20th-century views show Tampa Bay and the adjacent rural areas on which the development seeks to build, the same area where the fully-developed Temple Terrace area sits today. The photographs show a sketch of a proposed "Million Dollar Hotel" to be built at Golden Hills, a perspective view of the model showing Uptown Tampa, multiple views of orange groves, a few aerial shots showing the lands for the proposed development, "Beautiful Tampa Lake as it now appears," sample types of homes to be built at Golden Hills, rudimentary beginnings of streets for the development, and more. The first of the two large panoramas shows the raw land for the development, with a group of people milling about a field with "Lake Lee" in the background. The second panorama shows the current downtown city of Tampa in the mid- 1920s. Regarding the fate of the development, a handwritten note tipped in to the inside front cover is instructive, and reads: "Golden Hills Project. Feb. 8, 1926. East Hillsborough Co. Never got off the ground. Depression probably killed it."
The present photographs were produced by the Burgert Brothers, Tampa's leading commercial photographers from 1917 to about the early- 1960s. Established by Al and Jean Burgert, the studio focused primarily on the Tampa area, including Ybor City, Port Tampa, Temple Terrace, and Ballast Point. The Burgert Brothers' photographs captured Tampa's transformation from small coastal town to major urban center, recording the area's daily life, festivals, churches, homes, businesses, and urban development projects.
The present album was almost certainly produced in a small number to begin with, and OCLC does not report any copies. The only items related to Golden Hills in OCLC are a promotional map held by the Wisconsin Historical Society Library, and a single photograph of "Thonotosassa Boulevard Golden Hills, Uptown Tampa" (included in the present album) at the University of South Florida.
A possibly-unique surviving promotional photograph album for an unrealized Tampa-area real estate development in the 1920s.