NEWS & BLOG

Skateboarding Heritage Foundation

Another Tampa History Lesson — (Repost)

This post originally appeared on the blog at BroBowl.org on June 11, 2014:

On this date, June 11th, forty-seven years ago, a young, unarmed, African-American man by the name of Martin Chambers was shot and killed by one white Tampa Police officer by the name of James Calvert. According to a Tampa Tribune article dated June 12, 1967: “The .38 caliber bullet struck Chambers square in the back and killed him almost instantly. Within the hour reports of the shooting spread throughout the Central Avenue Housing project as residents gathered in the streets and near the shooting location to seek immediate answers.” The African-American community reacted almost immediately following the shooting. Riots, violence, and the burning and looting of local businesses quickly ensued. Several buildings along Central Avenue were destroyed as tensions continued to mount.

As the State Attorney Began to investigate the incident, rumors spread surrounding the shooting and the violence and destruction continued. A mere two days later Officer Calvert was exonerated of all charges as the shooting was ruled “a justifiable homicide". Several days of civil disturbances continued and ultimately peace was restored by a community group which came to be known as “The White Hats”.

You may ask, what does the shooting of a teenager and civil unrest have to do with the Bro Bowl? It has a great deal of significance. After the White Hats restored order, the community was asked what they would like to see in order to provide for a positive outlet for the youth of Central Avenue. There were several suggestions, and amongst them was the desire for a municipal park within the urban corridor for African-Americans to enjoy. Tampa City Council passed resolution 3692-F on December 11, 1975, which provided for the construction of said park. The park, which was later named in honor of Perry Harvey Sr., contained several amenities for the youth. Among them were tennis and basketball courts, a splash fountain for children of all ages, and both skateboarding and roller skate rinks.

While some claim that the Bro Bowl and Perry Harvey Sr. Park share none of the history of Central Avenue, and would rather focus on figures such as Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, and other famous entertainers, we invite you to discover a chapter of Tampa history that is seldom discussed. Central Avenue and the businesses there were erased forty years ago, only to be honored in the same park through the destruction of a piece of that same said history. How many encores of this dark chapter of our history can our city endure?

For further reading, please visit the following links:

Central Avenue Riots: The Real Story
Cigar City Magazine, February 10, 2011
http://www.cigarcitymagazine.com/articles/history/item/central-avenue-riots-the-real-story

Sample 3 - The 1967 Central Park Riots in Tampa
JAM1592, February 22, 2008
http://jam1592.blogspot.com/2008/02/sample-3-1967-central-park-riots-in.html

Myths & Facts: Central Avenue, Perry Harvey Sr. Park, and the Bro Bowl
18 Myths about Central Avenue, Perry Harvey Sr. Park, and the Bro Bowl Addressed, Debunked, and Explained
BroBowl.org
http://www.brobowl.org/save/mythsandfacts/

New video: Save the Bro Bowl PSA



The Bro Bowl in Tampa, Florida, is one of the last remaining skateparks of the 70s era.

HISTORY
Built in 1978, as a featured part of Perry Harvey Sr. Park, a new public city park, the Perry Harvey Sr. Park Skateboard Bowl (a.k.a. Bro Bowl) was designed by city employee Joel Jackson. The park was conceived of earlier in 1975, after Jackson witnessed a skateboard contest in a parking lot and noted a rising interest in skateboarding. At that time, no skateboard parks existed in the United States, not until Skateboard City in Port Orange, Florida, opened in February 1976. When Jackson's skatepark opened three years later, his concept remained distinct; a "skateboard rink" for inner city youth that was free to use, 24/7, with no fences and no supervision. It not only became Florida's first public skatepark, but one of the very first to be built in the nation. What made Jackson's surf-style skateboard park also unique, was that it was suited for all levels of skaters and still serves the Tampa community today. The Bro Bowl has been in magazines, ads, and on television, and featured in Tony Hawk's Underground video game in 2004.

On October 7, 2013, Perry Harvey Sr. Park Skateboard Bowl, aka the Bro Bowl, made history again after it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
http://www.nps.gov/nr/listings/20131025.htm
It is the first time in the history of the National Register that a property related to skate culture and history has ever been listed. Now this significant, cultural landmark is in danger again.

SAVE THE BRO BOWL
http://www.brobowl.org

The Bro Bowl has witnessed nearly four decades of the ever-changing landscape known as Downtown Tampa. It has seen many a conflict, as well as united people of all ages, race, gender, background, and socio-economic status. As this historic structure prepares to meet the challenges it faces that will ultimately determine its future, we offer an insight as to what it has meant to our City and generations both past and present. What are your experiences? How has this piece of green concrete shaped your life, and how will it shape others? Reflect on this, and let your voice be heard:

Sign the petition @:http://www.change.org/petitions/the-city-of-tampa-florida-preserve-the-perry-harvey-sr-park-skateboard-bowl-bro-bowl

Contact Mayor Buckhorn @: http://www.tampagov.net/dept_mayor/contact.asp or contact Dennis Fernandez, Architectural Review & Historic Preservation Manager, at (813) 274-3100, option 3 or @ Dennis.Fernandez@tampagov.net to encourage the City of Tampa to preserve this unique element of Tampa and skateboarding history.

It is now, or never.


SUPPORTERS
Parties who believe the Bro Bowl should be preserved include:

Skateboarding Heritage Foundation
http://www.skateboardingheritage.org

Surfrider Foundation
http://suncoast.surfrider.org

Florida Skate Museum
http://www.floridaskatemuseum.com

Tampa Preservation, Inc.
http://tampapreservation.com

Tony Hawk Foundation
http://tonyhawkfoundation.org

Professional skateboarder Bob Burnquist of X Games fame has recently stated on radio he also supports the preservation of this historic skatepark:
http://www.620wdae.com/onair/ron-and-ian-4273/bob-burnquist-stands-behind-saving-bro-12424969

News Release: 10/25/2013


Date:10/25/13

SKATEBOARDING HERITAGE FOUNDATION


NEWS RELEASE :

Perry Harvey Sr. Park Skateboard Bowl, aka “Bro Bowl”, listed on the National Register of Historic Places

The Perry Harvey Sr. Park Skateboard Bowl, commonly referred to as the “Bro Bowl”, has been formally recognized for its historical significance by the National Park Service. On October 7, 2013 the Bro Bowl was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Due to the efforts of the Skateboarding Heritage Foundation, Surfrider Foundation, Florida Skate Museum, the Bowl Bros, and thousands of supporters worldwide, this milestone achievement has been realized. The Bro Bowl is the first structure to be added to the National Register of Historic Places for its historical integrity with regard to skateboarding. We would like to offer our most sincere thanks to all who have supported the campaign, and look forward to preserving other structures and sites which possess historical and cultural value related to skateboarding. Thanks to the diligent efforts of Shannon Bruffett and the Skateboarding Heritage Foundation, a new door has been opened for the future preservation of skateboarding history and culture in the United States.

The Bro Bowl: 30 years of Tampa concrete

This is not a trailer, but the full-length documentary, courtesy of the filmmakers—John X. Dmaio, Troy Durrett, and Lance Robson, and Eye Splice Creative.